Chart of the week: Attitudes towards immigration

Perceptions of immigration can show levels of social cohesion and peace within a country.

Community acceptance of immigration has been declining since 2014. However, acceptance of minority groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, and gay and lesbian people, has improved globally since 2008.

This chart shows the indexed trend for whether people feel that their country is a good place for immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and gay and lesbian people.

There is a strong correlation between acceptance of gay or lesbian people and overall Global Peace Index peace scores (r = -0.426), with more moderate correlations for acceptance of racial and ethnic minorities (r = -0.212) and immigrants (r = -0.213).

Acceptance of the Rights of Others is one of the eight pillars of Positive Peace, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace. Societies that reflect the characteristics of this pillar have formal laws guaranteeing basic human rights and freedoms, and informal social and cultural norms that relate to behaviours of citizens serve as proxies for the level of tolerance between different ethnic, linguistic, religious, and socio-economic groups. Similarly, gender equality and workers’ rights are important components of societies that uphold acceptance of the rights of others.

Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. Societal views of institutions, levels of corruption and political processes within a country are indicative of the presence or potential for Positive Peace.