Canadians and the Australians both agree that immigrants play a vital role in the strength of their society and country and that they improve the lives of locals too.
When recently asked, the majority of survey takers in the world’s top migrant destination countries say immigrants strengthen their countries.
The 2018 Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries that host half of the world’s migrants showed that in most cases migrants are seen as an asset rather than a burden on country coffers and resources. Canada was at the top of the list with nearly 70 % of Canadians saying immigrants are an essential part of the Canadian way of life while 64% of Australians agreed with the statement. In 2017 3% of both countries’ populations consisted of migrants.
Countries with some of the world’s largest immigrant populations were surveyed, including more traditional destinations like the United States, Canada and Australia that have seen waves of immigrants arrive since at least the 19th century.
While some media reports may paint a somewhat different picture Australians are excited about the contributions migrants make. Late in 2018 the Australian newspaper The Guardian said “Migrants are making Australian’s Richer” and cited the results of a joint research effort by the Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs which showed migration is benefiting the country’s coffers.
“Skilled migrants are adding to Australia’s wealth and are not living on welfare or robbing local workers of jobs, a report has found.
“The paper cites International Monetary Fund estimates showing Australia’s migration program will add up to 1% to annual average GDP growth from 2020 to 2050 because it focuses on skilled migrants of working age, which limits the economic impact of Australia’s ageing population.”
The research also showed that in most cases Australians and Canadians felt that migrants adjusted well to life in their adoptive countries and were mostly integrated into local society.
On Canadians’ attitude to migrants the Globe and Mail commented, “On a global scale, Canada still stands out for the public’s positive attitudes toward new comers and in the happiness that immigrants themselves report. When asked about their well-being, Canadian immigrants were ranked seventh-happiest out of 140 countries.”
Unsurprisingly locals are happy with migrants as long as they are in their host country legally, with almost all of those surveyed agreeing that migrants whom have entered their country without following due course should be seen as criminals and be deported.
Pew also discovered that educated younger people on the left of the political spectrum ended to be more pleased with migrants than those with little to no education.
“In many countries surveyed, younger adults, those with higher levels of education and those on the left of the political spectrum are generally more likely to be pro migrants,” stated the report.
Sources: pewglobal.org, The Guardian (Australia) and Globe and Mail (Canada)