More positive towards immigrants’ labour efforts
National opinion was more positive towards immigrants’ labour efforts in 2012 than the year before. The proportion agreeing that "Immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life" increased by 5 percentage points from 2011 to 2012.
This is shown in the annual population survey of attitudes towards immigrants and immigration conducted by Statistics Norway between 2 July and 11 August this year.
The share agreeing that "Most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life" was 80 per cent this year compared to 75 per cent the year before. The share agreeing has never been higher. The question was asked for the first time in 2002, and the percentage agreeing was then 66. Eleven per cent disagreed this year, and 9 per cent answered "Neither agree nor disagree".
Transient 22 July effect
The terror actions on 22 July took place during the data collection for last year’s attitude survey. The answers that were given after 22 July appeared to be somewhat more positive towards immigrants than those given in the preceding days. This can be seen most clearly in the reaction to the statement "Most immigrants represent a source of insecurity in society" . During the first weeks after the terror attacks, 70 per cent disagreed with this statement. In the present survey, the share disagreeing was reduced to 54 per cent. Similar tendencies can be found in the reactions to the statement that most immigrants enrich the cultural life in Norway, and that immigrants should have the same job opportunities as Norwegians.
What do immigrants themselves think?
This year we also present data showing what immigrants themselves think about the attitude questions. In some fields, immigrants with European backgrounds are at least as critical towards immigrants as the majority population. This can be seen in questions regarding abuse of the social welfare system, demands on immigrants to assimilate as much as possible, and questions about the desirability of having an immigrant as a domestic help or a future son-in-law or daughter-in-law. In other questions, immigrants and their children born in Norway embrace more benevolent attitudes than the rest of the population. This is the case in questions regarding immigrants’ contribution to Norwegian working life and whether it should be made easier for refugees and asylum seekers to get access to the country. On the question about immigrants’ contribution to the cultural life in Norway, immigrants from countries outside Europe and North America are the most positive. All these findings are, however, somewhat insecure due to the small number of immigrants in the sample.
Statistic Norway’s annual survey on attitudes towards immigrants and immigration is conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social inclusion. The aim is to reflect the sentiment of the population with regard to various aspects of the country’s immigration and refugee policy and towards immigrants as a group.
For the full report, see Holdninger til innvandrere og innvandring
- Table 1 Attitudes towards seven statements on immigrants and immigration, 2002- 2012. Per cent
- Table 2 Attitudes towards the statement "All immigrants in Norway should have the same job opportunities as Norwegians". 1993-2000 and 2002-2012. Per cent
- Table 3 Attitudes towards refugees' and asylum seekers' access to residence permits in Norway. Compared to today, should it be easier, more difficult or remain the same as today. 2002-2012. Per cent
- Table 4 Answers to three questions on relations to immigrants. 2002-2012. Per cent
- Table 5 Contact with immigrants in different arenas. 2002-2012. Per cent
- Table 6 Number of arenas where contact with immigrants takes place. 2002-2012. Per cent
- Table 7 Number of immigrants one has contact with. 2003-2012. Per cent
- Table 8 How often one has contact with immigrants, normally. 2003, 2007-2012. Per cent
- Table 9 Personal experience with the contact with immigrants. 2003, 2007-2012. Per cent