Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs: Sharp ideological divides across EU on views about minorities, diversity and national identity

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The recent surge of refugees into Europe has featured prominently in the anti-immigrant rhetoric of right-wing parties across the Continent and in the heated debate over the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. At the same time, attacks in Paris and Brussels have fueled public fears about terrorism. As a new Pew Research Center survey illustrates, the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism are very much related to one another in the minds of many Europeans. In eight of the 10 European nations surveyed, half or more believe incoming refugees increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country.

Many Europeans concerned with security, economic repercussions of refugee crisis

But terrorism is not the only concern people have about refugees. Many are also worried that they will be an economic burden. Half or more in five nations say refugees will take away jobs and social benefits. Hungarians, Poles, Greeks, Italians and French identify this as their greatest concern. Sweden and Germany are the only countries where at least half say refugees make their nation stronger because of their work and talents. Fears linking refugees and crime are much less pervasive, although nearly half in Italy and Sweden say refugees are more to blame for crime than other groups.

Views of Muslims more negative in eastern and southern Europe

Most of the recent refugees to Europe are arriving from majority-Muslim nations, such as Syria and Iraq. Among Europeans, perceptions of refugees are influenced in part by negative attitudes toward Muslims already living in Europe. In Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece, more than six-in-ten say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Muslims in their country – an opinion shared by at least one-in-four in each nation polled.

Most Europeans say Muslims in their country want to be distinctFor some Europeans, negative attitudes toward Muslims are tied to a belief that Muslims do not wish to participate in the broader society. In every country polled, the dominant view is that Muslims want to be distinct from the rest of society rather than adopt the nation’s customs and way of life. Six-in-ten or more hold this view in Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Germany. Notably, the percentage saying that Muslims want to remain distinct has actually declined since 2005 in four out of five countries where trend data are available. The biggest drop has been in Germany, where the share of the public expressing this view has declined from 88% to 61%.

While most Europeans think the recent surge of refugees could lead to more terrorism, there is less alarm that Muslims already living on the Continent might sympathize with extremists. The percentage of the public saying that most or many Muslims in their country support groups like ISIS is less than half in every nation polled. Still, 46% of Italians, 37% of Hungarians, 35% of Poles and 30% of Greeks think Muslims in their countries are favorably inclined toward such extremist groups. On these and other questions included on the poll, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland often stand out for expressing greater concern and more negative views about refugees and minority groups.

Those on ideological right more unfavorable toward Muslims in most countriesAcross the EU nations surveyed, the refugee crisis has brought into sharp relief deep ideological divides over views of minorities and diversity. On nearly all of the questions analyzed in this report, people on the ideological right express more concerns about refugees, more negative attitudes toward minorities and less enthusiasm for a diverse society.

Partisan divides in France, UK on refugees in their countryFor example, negative opinions about Muslims are much more common among respondents who place themselves on the right of the ideological spectrum. In Greece, 81% of those on the right express an unfavorable view of Muslims, compared with 50% of those on the left. Significant right-left gaps in attitudes toward Muslims are also found in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

Similarly, supporters of far-right political parties hold much more negative attitudes toward refugees and Muslims and are much more skeptical about the benefits of a diverse society. For instance, fears that the surge of refugees will lead to more terrorism and harm the economy are considerably more widespread among supporters of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the UK and the National Front in France.

Ideology is not the only dividing line in European attitudes, however. On many questions, education and age also matter, with older people and less-educated individuals expressing more negative opinions about refugees and minorities.

These are among the key findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in 10 European Union nations and the United States among 11,494 respondents from April 4 to May 12, 2016, before the Brexit referendum in the UK and terrorist attacks at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, both of which took place in late June. The survey includes countries that account for 80% of the EU-28 population and 82% of the EU’s gross domestic product.

Along with worries about refugees and minorities, the survey finds mixed views regarding the overall value of cultural diversity. When asked whether having an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in their country makes their society a better place to live, a worse place or does not make much difference either way, over half of Greeks and Italians and about four-in-ten Hungarians and Poles say growing diversity makes things worse.

Relatively few Europeans believe diversity has a positive impact on their countries. At 36%, Sweden registers the highest percentage that believes an increasingly diverse society makes their country a better place to live. In many countries, the prevailing view is that diversity makes no difference in the quality of life.

Negative attitudes toward minorities common in many nations

Muslims are not the only minority group viewed unfavorably by substantial percentages of Europeans. In fact, overall, attitudes toward Roma are more negative than attitudes toward Muslims. Across the 10 nations polled, a median of 48% express an unfavorable opinion of Roma in their country. Fully 82% hold this view in Italy, while six-in-ten or more say the same in Greece, Hungary and France. Negative views of Roma have gone up since 2015 in Spain (+14 percentage points), the UK (+8) and Germany (+6). Greeks have also become increasingly unfavorable (+14 points) since 2014, the last time Greece was included in the survey.

Negative opinions about Roma, Muslims in several European nations

Negative ratings for Muslims have also increased over the past 12 months in the UK (+9 percentage points), Spain (+8) and Italy (+8), and are up 12 points in Greece since 2014. In France – where coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS at the Bataclan concert hall and elsewhere in Paris in November left 130 people dead – unfavorable opinions are up slightly since last year (+5 points).

Negative attitudes toward Jews are much less common. A median of only 16% have an unfavorable opinion of Jews in their country. Still, a majority of Greeks give Jews in their country a negative rating, and one-in-five or more express this view in Hungary, Poland, Italy and Spain. Unfavorable attitudes toward Jews have been relatively stable since 2015.

Language, customs and tradition seen as central to national identity

Language crucial to national identityOpinions vary about the key components of national identity, but European publics clearly agree that language is fundamental. Across the 10 EU countries surveyed, a median of 97% think that being able to speak the national language is important for truly being able to identify with their nationality. A median of 77% say this is very important. Majorities believe it is very important in every nation polled.

There is also a strong cultural component to national identity. A median of 86% believe sharing national customs and traditions is important, with 48% saying this is very important. Fully 68% in Hungary say sharing national customs and traditions is very important for being truly Hungarian, and 66% express similar sentiments in Greece. In contrast, fewer than four-in-ten consider sharing these traditions and customs very important in the Netherlands (37%), Germany (29%) and Sweden (26%).

There is less agreement about the need to be born in a given country. Still, a median of 58% say it is important for someone to be born in a country to be truly considered a national of that country; a third think this is very important. Religion is generally seen as less central to national identity. However, it is an essential factor to many in Greece, where 54% say it is very important to be Christian to be truly Greek.

To further explore this topic, we constructed an index based on the four questions we asked regarding national identity (importance of speaking the national language, sharing customs, being native born and being Christian). The results highlight the extent to which exclusionary views vary across the EU. By far, restrictive views are most common in Hungary, Greece, Poland and Italy; they are least common in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

1. Europeans not convinced growing diversity is a good thing, divided on what determines national identity

Few say growing diversity makes their country a better place to liveIn this survey, publics were asked whether having anincreasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in their society makes their country a better place to live, a worse place to live or doesn’t make much difference either way. In no nation does a majority say increasing diversity is a positive for their country. At most, roughly a third in Sweden (36%), the UK (33%) and Spain (31%) describe growing racial, ethnic and national diversity in favorable terms.

More common is the view that cultural diversity is neither a plus nor a minus in terms of quality of life. This is the prevailing attitude in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, where pluralities say growing diversity makes little difference in their quality of life. Meanwhile, the British public is split between those who see diversity as a positive, negative or non-factor for their country.

At the same time, more than half the public in Greece (63%) and Italy (53%) believe that growing diversity makes their country a worse place to live.

People on the right more likely than those on the left to say increasing diversity makes life worseViews on the value of national diversity often divide along ideological lines. People who self-identify as being on the right of the ideological spectrum are significantly more likely than those on the left to say that growing diversity is detrimental to their country. The gap is greatest in Germany, where those on the right and left are 36 percentage points apart (50% on the right say diversity is bad for the nation, 14% on the left). In other countries, the ideological split is also substantial, including in Italy and the Netherlands (both 26 percentage points) and in Greece (20 points).

Party affiliation is also linked to views on cultural diversity. In the UK, for example, fully 64% of people who support the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) say that a more racially, ethnically and nationally diverse society makes the UK a worse place to live. Only 32% of Conservative Party adherents and 19% of Labour Party supporters share that view. In France, 51% of those who feel closest to the anti-immigrant National Front say increasing diversity is bad for France. Just 34% of supporters of the Republicans and 11% of Socialist Party adherents agree. In Germany 62% of people who have a favorable opinion of the right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) believe Germany is worse off because of growing numbers of people with different racial, ethnic, and national identities. And in Sweden, 65% of the public that holds a favorable view of the anti-immigrant Swedish Democrats voices the opinion that more diversity is making Sweden a worse place to live.

Those with less education say increasing diversity makes their country a worse place to liveViews on diversity also differ based on the educational level of the respondent. Less-educated people are more critical of diversity than more-educated members of the public. In the Netherlands, 43% of people with a secondary education or less say an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities makes their country a worse place to live. Just 22% of those with more than a secondary education agree, a 21-point differential. There is a similar 20-point education gap in views of diversity in the UK, a 14-point gap in Spain and a 13-point divide in Sweden.

In their views toward cultural diversity, Europeans look very different from Americans. In a March 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 58% of Americans said having more people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities makes the U.S. a better place to live. Only 7% said increasing diversity makes life worse.

Language: A strong prerequisite of national identity

Ability to speak the national language viewed as very important across EuropeThe European Union has 24 official languages and a number of other regional and minority languages among its 28 member states. And language facility is considered an important component of nationality across Europe. More than nine-in-ten people in all of the nations surveyed say that to be a true national of their country it is important to speak the country’s national language. Such sentiment is not lightly held. Majorities in all of these countries say it is veryimportant to be able to converse in the local tongue. This includes 84% of the Dutch and 81% of the British and Hungarians.

Ability to speak national language more important to those on right than on leftDespite this overwhelming belief that language is a strong requisite of nationality, some differences in the intensity of such feelings exist along ideological and demographic lines.

People on the right of the ideological spectrum are more likely than those on the left to say national language facility is very important. This gap is greatest in France (22 percentage points), Sweden (20 points) and the UK (19 points).

In some countries, people ages 50 and older are more likely than those ages 18 to 34 to strongly believe that the ability to speak the official language is very important. This generation gap on language is 23 percentage points in Sweden, 18 points in the UK and 17 points in Spain.

Americans also see language facility as important to national identity. Roughly nine-in-ten people in the United States believe it is very important (70%) or somewhat important (22%) to speak English to be a true American.

Cultural roots of nationality

Sharing customs and traditions is very important to being considered truly Hungarian or GreekMost Europeans believe that adhering to native customs and traditions is also important in defining national identity. Overwhelming majorities in all 10 EU countries express the view that sharing such aspects of culture is important to being a true German or Pole or Swede and so forth.

But there is less intensity to such sentiment than there is about speaking the national language. Half or more of respondents in only five countries say sharing customs and traditions is very important. This strong sentiment linking nationality and culture is most popular in Hungary (68%) and Greece (66%). Notably, 36% of Swedes and 26% of Germans express the view that it is not very important or not important at all to share native customs and traditions to be considered Swedish or German.

There is a relatively deep ideological divide over the relationship between adherence to local culture and true nationality. Those on the right are significantly more likely than those on the left to link the two issues in a number of countries. In the UK this right-left differential is 30 percentage points. In France the gap is 29 points and in Poland it is 21 points.

Those on right more likely than those on left to say traditions are very important to national identityCultural identity is also a partisan issue in a few countries. In France, sharing French customs and traditions is most important to those who feel closest to the National Front (66% say it is very important). But Socialists are far less likely to feel strongly about this (only 39% say it is very important). In the UK, 81% of those who identify with UKIP say adhering to British culture is very important to being British. Just 44% of Labour sympathizers agree.

People of different generations disagree on the importance of customs and traditions to national identity. In eight of 10 nations surveyed, those ages 50 and older are more likely than those ages 18 to 34 to say adhering to native culture is very important. This is the case in the UK (24 percentage points), France (23 points) and Greece (21 points).

Educational background also matters in a person’s views of the link between culture and national identity. People with less education are more likely than those with a higher level of education to believe that customs and tradition are very important to nationality. This educational differential is 20 points in France and Spain and 19 points in the UK.

More than eight-in-ten Americans also think that it is very important (45%) or somewhat important (39%) to share U.S. customs and traditions to be truly American.

Birthright nationality

Hungarians and Greeks most likely to say birthplace is very important to national identityNo European country accords citizenship based simply on the fact that a person was born in the territory of that state. Nevertheless, in six of 10 EU nations, majorities say it is very or somewhat important to have been born within a country’s borders in order to be considered a true national of that society. The countries where such sentiment is strongest are Hungary (52% say place of birth is veryimportant), Greece (50%), Poland (42%) and Italy (42%). Notably, in the Netherlands (16%), Germany (13%) and Sweden (8%), fewer than one-in-five believe birthplace is a very important component of national identity.

In some nations ideology plays a major role in such views. People on the right are much more likely than those on the left to say place of birth is very important in Greece (31 percentage points), the UK (24 points) and Italy (23 points).

There is also a partisan divide on birthright nationality in several countries. Notably, in the UK 57% of UKIP supporters, but only 24% of Labour backers, believe it is very important to be born in the UK to be considered truly British. In France 41% of National Front adherents, but just 21% of Socialists, say that to be French it is very important that one be born in France. And in Spain 49% of People’s Party backers and 42% of Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party supporters, but just 19% of anti-establishment Podemos adherents, voice the view that to be Spanish it is very important to be born in Spain.

Less-educated more likely to say it is very important to be born in countryEducation also plays a role in public views on the relationship between being native born and national identity. In eight of the 10 EU countries, people with less education are significantly more likely than those with more education to believe that it is very important to have been born in their country to be considered a true national of that society. This educational differential is 24 percentage points in the UK, 23 points in Spain and 19 points in Poland.

By comparison, more than half of Americans believe it is very important (32%) or somewhat important (23%) to have been born in the U.S. to be truly American. This is almost identical to the EU medians (33% very important, 25% somewhat important).

Religion and national identity

Greeks say being Christian is very important to being considered truly GreekIn Europe today, there are widely disparate views on the importance of religion to national identity.

In four of the 10 countries surveyed, strong majorities believe it is important to be Christian to be considered a true national. This includes 54% of Greeks who say religion is very important to Greek identity. In contrast, in the other six countries polled, most people think religion is not important to national identity, including about half or more in Spain (57%), Sweden (57%) and the Netherlands (52%) who say it is not at all important.

To young Europeans, Christianity is less central to nationalityViews of the importance of religion to nationality often divide along generational lines. People ages 50 and older are significantly more likely than those ages 18 to 34 to say that being a member of the dominant religion in their country is very important to national identity. This generation gap is largest in Greece: 65% of older Greeks say it is important but only 39% of younger Greeks agree. The differential is 19 percentage points in the UK, 16 points in Germany and 15 points in Hungary.

People on the right of the ideological spectrum are also often more likely than those on the left to voice the view that religion is very important to nationality. This right-left divide is particularly prominent in Greece (26 points) and Poland (21 points). The ideological left is quite secular in Germany (5% say religion is very important to nationality) and Spain (6%). By comparison, people on the left in Greece (40%), Hungary (26%), Italy (24%) and Poland (21%) say being a member of the dominant local religion is important to be truly Greek, Hungarian, Italian or Polish.

About half of Americans think it is very important (32%) or somewhat important (19%) to be Christian to be considered a true American. Notably, the proportion of Americans who say religion is very important to national identity is roughly double the EU median of 15%.

2. Negative views of minorities, refugees common in EU

Against this backdrop, attitudes toward Muslims and refugees loom large in the European political debate, and this is reflected in current public opinion. Majorities in Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland express negative attitudes toward both Muslims and refugees. Even in countries with more positive views, such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, at least half believe Muslims do not want to integrate into the larger society and majorities express concerns that refugees increase the chance of domestic terrorist attacks.

In general, older people and less-educated individuals are more negative toward both Muslims and refugees. And in most countries, people on the right of the ideological spectrum are much more negative than those on the left.

Roma, Muslims viewed negatively

Many Europeans rate Roma, Muslims unfavorablyThe survey asked respondents about their views of Muslims, Jews and Roma in their country. As has been the case in previous years, Roma receive the most negative ratings among the three groups asked about. In most countries, at least four-in-ten of the public say they have a very or somewhat unfavorable view of Roma. Negative attitudes are particularly widespread in Italy, Greece, Hungary and France.

At the same time, relatively few Europeans give Jews a negative rating. No more than a quarter express unfavorable views of Jews in most countries. The major exception is Greece, where a 55% majority holds a negative opinion of Jews.

Opinions of Muslims vary considerably across Europe. Half or more in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Greece and Spain have a very or somewhat unfavorable view of Muslims. And in Italy (36%), Hungary (35%) and Greece (32%), roughly a third hold very unfavorable opinions. Majorities in the other nations surveyed express positive attitudes about Muslims. Nonetheless, at least a quarter in each country have negative views of Muslims.

In the past year, unfavorable opinions of Muslims have increased in the UK (+9 percentage points), Spain (+8) and Italy (+8). In Greece, negative views of Muslims are up 12 points since 2014, the last time the question was asked.

In many countries, older people and those with less education are more negative toward Muslims. For example, 75% of those ages 50 and older in Greece have an unfavorable view of Muslims, compared with 53% of 18- to 34-year-olds. The age gaps are also large in Sweden (20 points), France (13 points), Italy (12 points), Spain (10 points) and the UK (8 points).

In Spain, 54% of people with a secondary education or less rate Muslims negatively, while fewer of those with a postsecondary education (40%) do the same. Significant differences by level of education are also present in Sweden (23 points), the UK (17 points), the Netherlands (15 points), Greece (12 points) and France (11 points).

Those on ideological right more negative toward MuslimsThe biggest divide in each country, however, tends to be political. In Greece, 81% of people who place themselves on the right of the ideological scale have a negative opinion of Muslims, while 50% of people on the left say the same. There are also double-digit right-left divides in Germany (30 points), Italy (29 points), the Netherlands (25 points), Sweden (21 points), Spain (19 points), France (18 points) and the UK (15 points).

This ideological divide translates to large partisan divides as well. In France, supporters of the anti-immigrant National Front (57%) are 32 percentage points more negative toward Muslims than those who identify with the Socialist Party (25%). A similar gap exists in the UK between supporters of the right-wing UK Independence Party (54% unfavorable) and Labour (22%) adherents. In both countries, supporters of the center-right parties hold views more similar to center-left partisans than to far-right partisans. Roughly three-in-ten supporters of the Republicans in France (31%) and Conservative Party backers in the UK (27%) say they have an unfavorable view of Muslims.

In Sweden, 75% of those who are favorable toward the anti-immigrant Swedish Democrats are negative toward Muslims. Similarly, in Germany, 59% of people who express a favorable view of the anti-immigrant AfD hold a negative view of Muslims.

Muslims seen as distinct, but not necessarily extremist

Most Europeans say Muslims in their country want to be distinctAt least half of the public in nine of the 10 countries surveyed say that most Muslims in their country want to be distinct from the larger society. This includes roughly two-thirds or more in Greece, Hungary and Spain.

In general, older people and less-educated individuals are more likely to say Muslims want to be distinct. In addition, many people who are religiously affiliated are more skeptical about Muslims’ desire to integrate than those who do not identify with a particular religion. In France, 60% of Catholics say Muslims in their country want to be distinct, compared with 48% among those who are unaffiliated. There are also double-digit gaps on this question between those affiliated with the dominant religious groups1 in their country and the unaffiliated in the UK (19 percentage points), the Netherlands (15 points) and Germany (11 points).

Those on ideological right more convinced Muslims do not want to integratePeople on the right of the ideological spectrum are much more skeptical that Muslims want to integrate into the larger society than those on the left. Nearly two-thirds of right-leaning Britons (65%) say Muslims want to be distinct, compared with just 32% of those on the left. There are also double-digit ideological divides in Germany (33 points), France (28 points), the Netherlands (23 points), Sweden (23 points), Spain (14 points) and Italy (14 points).

In terms of partisan differences, 80% of UKIP supporters say Muslims want to be separate from the larger society in the UK, while just 40% of Labour identifiers agree. In France, 76% of National Front partisans say Muslims want to be distinct compared with 42% of Socialist Party supporters.

Views on the integration of Muslims have changed over time in some of the countries polled. Since 2005, when the question was first asked, the percentage saying Muslims want to adopt national customs has increased by 23 percentage points in Germany, 12 points in the UK, 11 points in the Netherlands and 7 points in France.

Ideological left driving change in attitudes on Muslims in UK, GermanyIn Germany and the UK, the change over time is driven mostly by people on the left of the ideological divide. Since 2011, the overall percentage of Germans saying Muslims want to adopt their country’s customs increased by 9 percentage points. Among left-leaning Germans, the rise was 23 percentage points, from 28% in 2011 to 51% today. In the UK, the overall change since 2011 was small (+3 percentage points saying adopt customs). Among people on the left, however, the percentage saying Muslims want to integrate with the larger society increased from 33% in 2011 to 53% in the current survey.

Few Europeans say significant numbers of Muslims in their country support ISISWhen asked specifically about support among Muslims for extremist groups like ISIS, few among the European publics surveyed think such sympathies are widespread.

Nonetheless, in no country does a majority say “very few” Muslims support ISIS. And in five countries, a quarter or more say many or most Muslims do so. This includes 46% in Italy, 37% in Hungary, 35% in Poland, 30% in Greece and 25% in Spain. Large percentages of Poles (28%) and Hungarians (20%) do not express an opinion on this question.

In countries such as France and the UK where fewer people believe that most or many Muslims in their nation support extremists groups, the political divisions are stark. A third of National Front supporters in France think a significant portion of Muslims in their country sympathize with groups like ISIS, compared with 15% of Socialist Party identifiers. About four-in-ten UKIP partisans (41%) express the same concern about Muslims versus just 10% of Labour supporters.

Negative views on refugees and their impact on security, economy

Perceived refugee threat higher among those with negative view of Muslims Overall, Europeans are sharply divided on whether refugees leaving countries such as Iraq and Syria are a major threat to their country. Majorities in Poland, Greece, Hungary and Italy express this view as do 52% in the UK. Elsewhere, concern is much lower.

It is important to note that worries about refugees are not necessarily related to the number of migrants coming to the country. Poland, where 73% say refugees are a major threat, has had several thousand asylum applications in the past year. Germany, meanwhile, has had several hundreds of thousands of applications. Just 31% of Germans are concerned about refugees. (For more on international threats, see our recent report “Europeans Face the World Divided.”)

Nonetheless, it is clear that attitudes toward Muslims and refugees are closely linked in public opinion. In all 10 countries surveyed, people who have a more negative view of Muslims are also much more concerned about the threat of refugees. For example, in Sweden, 50% of those who have an unfavorable opinion of Muslims say refugees are a major threat to their country. Only 10% of Swedes who have a positive view of Muslims say the same. In the UK, where immigration was a key issue in the debate around the vote to leave the European Union, 80% of those who have negative opinions of Muslims express concern about refugees compared with 40% among those who are favorable toward Muslims. Elsewhere, the attitudinal gap is at least 20 points.

Many Europeans concerned refugees will increase domestic terrorismWhen it comes to defining the specific threat from refugees, Europeans perceive the possibility of domestic terrorism and a negative economic impact as bigger concerns than crime. At least half of the public in eight of the 10 countries surveyed say they believe that refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country. Concern about terrorist attacks is highest in Hungary and Poland, though clear majorities say the same in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Greece. In the UK, 52% worry about the possibility of more acts of terrorism.

The French and Spanish are the only two publics where concern about terrorism is somewhat lower, with at least half of these publics taking the opposite view that refugees will not increase the chance of domestic terrorist attacks. This is especially notable in the case of France, which experienced two high-profile attacks in January andNovember of 2015, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.

People on the right of the ideological spectrum are particularly concerned about refugees and terrorism. Double-digit gaps between people on the right and the left of the ideological scale are present on this question in all countries except Poland. The right-left gap is largest in the UK (35 percentage points), France (34 points), Italy (32 points) and Spain (32 points).

Similarly, the partisan divide on worries about terrorism is wide. For example, 87% of UKIP supporters believe refugees increase the likelihood of domestic terrorist attacks, compared with 39% of Labour partisans. In France, 85% of National Front identifiers are worried about a possible link between refugees and terrorism, while just 31% of Socialist Party supporters say the same.

Many say refugees will have a negative economic impactBroad majorities in Hungary, Poland, Greece and Italy say refugees are a burden on the country because they take people’s jobs and social benefits. Roughly half in France agree.

The British and Dutch are split over the economic threat posed by refugees. Nearly equal percentages say refugees are a burden as say their work and talents make the nation stronger.

Swedes and Germans, meanwhile, are much more positive on the economic impact of refugees. Roughly six-in-ten in Sweden (62%) and Germany (59%) believe that refugees’ economic contributions make their country stronger. The Spanish also lean more positive than negative on this question.

Lower-educated people are much more concerned about the economic impact of refugees. In the UK, 56% of those with a secondary education or less say refugees will be an economic burden, compared with 23% of more highly educated Britons. The educational divide is also large in the Netherlands (28 points), Spain (26 points), France (19 points), Sweden (16 points), Greece (15 points), Italy (11 points) and Germany (11 points).

Ideological gaps are wide on this topic as well, with right-leaning individuals more likely to have a negative view of refugees with respect to the economy. The difference between those on the right versus the left is 20 points or more in most countries. The political chasm is particularly deep in France, where 71% of people on the right say refugees are an economic burden compared with just 34% of those on the left.

Few blame refugees for crimeThe partisan gap on this issue is also very large. In France, fully 90% of National Front supporters are worried about the economic impact of refugees, while just 36% of Socialist Party identifiers express concern. In the UK, 84% of UKIP supporters say the same, compared with 35% of Labour partisans.

Finally, the threat of crime ranks much lower in Europeans’ concerns about refugees. Majorities or pluralities in most countries believe that refugees are no more to blame than other groups for crime in their nation.

The exceptions are Sweden and Hungary, where the publics are divided, as well as Italy, where the prevailing view is that refugees are responsible for more crime than other people. As with other questions, the ideological and partisan divides are wide on this issue.

Across Europe, concern about refugees tied to views of Muslims Across all three threats – terrorism, the economy, and crime – people who hold unfavorable views of Muslims are much more worried about refugees’ impact on their country. For example, in the UK, 84% of people who give Muslims a negative rating also say that refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country. Just 39% of Britons with a favorable view of Muslims say the same. On the issue of refugees and terrorism, the gulf between people with positive and negative views of Muslims is wide in all 10 European countries surveyed. This pattern holds in nearly all countries for concerns about refugees’ economic impact and their effect on crime as well.

Appendix A

Greece most exclusionary, Sweden leastTo further explore national identity across the countries surveyed, we developed an additive index. The index combines responses for the four survey questions that ask about national identity. Specifically, these questions ask how important each of the following items is to being truly of a particular country’s nationality: speaking the national language, sharing customs and traditions, being born in the survey country, and being a Christian.2 The internal consistency of the index was evaluated using a principal components analysis and Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient.

Responses for each of the four questions range between 1 and 4, where 1 indicates the least exclusionary sentiment and 4 represents the most exclusionary sentiment. For instance, those who say it is very important to have been born in the survey country in order to be truly that country’s nationality are coded as a 4 while those who say that this is not at all important are coded as a 1. The responses for the four questions are added together for an index that ranges from 4 to 16, where 4 represents the least exclusionary sentiment and 16 represents the most exclusionary.

Index scores are only calculated for respondents who gave substantive answers to all four questions, comprising a large sub-sample (n=10,239) out of the total sample (n=10,491). Those who replied “Don’t know/Refused” to any question were not included in the index.

We report the mean score for each country here. On a scale of 4 to 16, index scores range between 9.85 in Sweden and 13.72 in Greece. The overall EU median for all valid responses is 12.

In addition, we also recoded the scale into a dichotomous variable, where 1 indicates respondents who are at or above the EU median on the full scale and 0 indicates respondents below the median.

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