Posted on September 13, 2010

Is Immigration Bad for the Economy? Many People Say Yes

Matthew Scott, Daily Finance (AOL), September 10, 2010

Significant numbers of Americans and Europeans surveyed by a Financial Times/Harris Poll say immigration reduces the quality of life in their countries.

Immigration can be a sore subject in a down economy. According to the results of a Financial Times/Harris Poll released Friday, many people in the U.S. and in five of the largest nations in Europe believe that immigration has a negative impact on the economy, jobs and public services.


Immigrants Blamed for Lower Quality of Life

For example, more than 40% of those surveyed in each of the six countries felt that the current level of immigration made their country a worse place to live, led by 64% Britain, 60% in Spain, 57% in Italy, 49% in the U.S., 44% in Germany and 43% in France.

When asked whether it was easier, harder or the same to find a new job because of immigration, 67% of those in Spain said it was harder to find a job, followed by 60% in Italy, 57% in the U.S., 57% in Britain, 46% in Germany and 45% in France. The majority of those polled in the U.S., Britain, France and Spain–and more than 40% of those in Italy and Germany–said immigration reduced their level of health-care services, and the majority of respondents in the U.S., Britain and Germany felt immigration damaged their public-education systems.

Overall, 52% of those surveyed in Britain, 51% in Spain, 48% in France, 43% in the U.S., 42% in Italy and 32% in Germany believe immigration has a negative effect on their economy. That’s an eyebrow-raising amount of negative sentiment considering that the poll didn’t even mention illegal immigration.


[The poll results, with tables, are available here.]