Immigration as strength or burden

New American citizens during a naturalization ceremony.
New American citizens during a naturalization ceremony. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pew asked respondents from 18 countries whether immigrants are “a burden on our country because they take our jobs and social benefits” or “make our country stronger because of their work and talents.”

Trends: Greece, Germany and Italy are more skeptical about immigration now than in 2014, while the opposite is true in Spain, the U.K., and France.

Details: The U.S. (59%) and U.K. (62%) were among the most likely to consider immigrants a strength, despite recent political fights over immigration. So was Japan (59%), which has historically heavily restricted immigration.

  • People in Hungary (5%), Greece (10%), Italy (12%), Russia (18%), Poland (21%) and Israel (26%) were very unlikely to consider immigration a strength.
  • In Western Europe, "strength" was the more likely response: Sweden (62%), Germany (59%), Spain (56%), France (56%), Netherlands (50%).

Worth noting: Immigration is more politically polarized in the U.S. than any other country polled. In Canada, meanwhile, 65% of conservatives actually view it as a strength, compared to 81% of liberals.