Portugal is one of the few countries where perception about immigration has evolved positively – The Economic Journal

Portugal is one of the few countries where perception about immigration has evolved positively - The Economic Journal

The evaluation is set out in the "Settling In 2018: Indicators of Immigrant Integration" report, a detailed comparative analysis of the integration of immigrants and their evolution over time for all OECD countries and of the European Union, as well as selected G20 countries.

With regard to Portugal, he said that, along with the United Kingdom and Norway, it was felt "the strongest oscillation towards a favorable opinion" towards immigrants. According to the report, about half of European citizens have no opinion on whether or not immigrants make their country a better or worse place to live, while the other half is divided between those who believe in the benefits and those who advocate harm of immigration.

"The Nordic countries and Ireland have the most positive views, while Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic have the most negative views," the report said. He said that since 2006 Europeans' opinions on immigrants have remained stable, but that in most countries more and more people are taking a 'positive trend'.
On the other hand, he mentions that native people when interacting with immigrants "have a greater tendency to consider immigration an opportunity, especially when this interaction happens in the workplace."

According to the OECD, more than 26% of European citizens who relate at least once a week to immigrants in their workplace see immigration as an opportunity, a figure that falls to 14% among those with little interaction.

"Notable exceptions are Portugal and Luxembourg, where people who have rare contacts with immigrants are more likely to claim that immigration is an opportunity than those with frequent contacts," the OECD says.
However, about 14% of the immigrant population are said to be victims of discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, nationality or race, with levels "particularly high" in Greece and Latvia, where more than a quarter of the immigrant population feels they do part of a group that is discriminated against.

"The levels are also high in Portugal", where one in six immigrants feels discriminated against, a situation similar to other European countries, such as France, Holland or Belgium. As regards the integration of children and young people who are descendants of immigrants, the report shows that in Portugal, along with Greece and Luxembourg, the pre-school enrollment rate is higher, reaching 90%.

However, 25% of young people say they feel dislocated inside the school, with dropout levels being at least twice as high as among national students. Overall, the report says that many countries have made important improvements in the integration of immigrants and their children, but that there are still many challenges and that the potential that immigrants bring is still wasted.

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