Recent UK headlines have highlighted the Home Office contradicting its own internal study of migration data as to why refugees come to the UK that shows that 98% of people arriving across the Channel boat are likely fleeing persecution to make claim for asylum. The UK has yet to confirm when the announced Afghan refugee settlement scheme is to start and has only half the asylum applicants it had in early 2000s with an overall 4% decrease in asylum applications.  At Techfugees, with the support of our partners Markettiers and Milk and Honey, has launched an opinion survey to understand what citizens think about refugees in the United Kingdom. The result is here: UK consumer survey indicates the British people are demanding the Government to DO MORE and for the U.K. to “level up” in being transparent on refugee open data in order to be recognized as leading nation supporting skill-up of displaced people that harnesses untapped talent and wealth of their positive contribution to local communities to fuel UK economic growth recovery. Here are the detailed results. 

KEY DATA – PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS REFUGEES
  • More than half of Brits (54%) agree that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries. Although 12% believe they are only doing so because they are dissatisfied with their existing quality of life – not due to war (which 21% believe) or persecution (14%). 
    •  Recent analysis of Home Office data shows 98% of asylum seekers crossing the channel are fleeing persecution.
  • When asked what word comes to mind when they hear the term ‘refugee’, over a quarter (28%) of Brits say the word that comes to mind is ‘distressed’. Similarly, when shown the term ‘Asylum seeker’ just over a quarter (26%) say the word ‘distressed’ comes to mind.
  • While just 1 in 5 (18%) say the word ‘Illegal’ comes to mind when they hear the term ‘refugee’, this rises to slightly over a fifth (21%) who say the word ‘illegal’ comes to mind when they hear the term ‘Asylum seeker’.
  • 1 in 16 (16%) disagree that refugees should have the opportunity to enter other countries, with 54% stating that there are too many people in those countries already as the reason.
    • In reality, Government data shows asylum-seekers/refugees make-up only 6% of the total UK migrant population as of September 2021.
  • Respondents in the UK associate refugees with occupations such as manual labourers (17%), cleaners / maintenance workers (13%), and agriculture workers (9%) – with science / technology (3%) and business (3%) being two of the least popular associations.
  • Meanwhile, 40% of Brits say the government could do more to support refugees, with 59% say they should be given the opportunity to learn new skills in another country
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) believe refugees have the potential to enter new countries and embark on a career that contributes positively to society

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about the detailed results of the survey, have a read below

Q1 What, if any, words come to mind when you hear the following terms?

Refugee:

  • Over a quarter (28%) of Brits say the word that comes to mind when they hear the term
    ‘Refugee’ is Distressed.
  • Less than a fifth (18%) say ‘Illegal’ comes to mind when they hear this term.
  • Whereas 1 in 11 (9%) say ‘hardworking’ comes to mind when they hear the term ‘Refugee’.

Asylum seeker:

  • When it comes to ‘Asylum seeker’, just over than a quarter of Brits (26%) say the word
    ‘Distressed’ comes to mind when they hear this term.
  • While slightly over a fifth (21%) say the word ‘Illegal’ comes to mind.
  • For 1 in 11 (9%) ‘Unqualified’ comes to mind when they hear the term ‘Asylum seeker’

Displaced Person:

  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits say the word ‘Distressed’ comes to mind when they hear the
    term ‘Displaced Person’.
  • 1 in 12 (8%) claim ‘Illegal’ comes to mind when they hear this term.
  • Whereas ‘Unskilled’ is the word to comes to mind for 1 in 14 (7%).
Q2. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
‘I think refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries’
  • More than half of Brits (54%) agree* in thinking that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries.
    o A quarter (25%) strongly agree with this
    o Nearly three in ten (29%) somewhat agree with this.
  • 1 in 6 (16%) disagree** in thinking that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter
    other countries.
    o 1 in 11 (9%) strongly disagree with this.
    o  1 in 14 (7%) somewhat disagree with this.
  • More than 3 in 5 (62%) of those aged 16-24 agree* with this statement, compared to less than half (47%) of those aged 55+ who think the same.
  • Slightly over than 1 in 5 (21%) of those surveyed in the South West disagree** in thinking that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries, as opposed to just over 1 in 7 (15%) of those in Wales.
*This combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
** This combines ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘somewhat disagree’
Q3. Why do you disagree that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries?
  • More than a half (54%) of respondents disagree** with this because they say there are too many people within other countries already. Whereas 53% said there is not enough housing to welcome more people.
  • 3 in 5 (60%) of those aged 55+, disagree** because they believe people do not enter new countries for the right reason, compared to only 29% of those aged 16-24 who think the same.
  • Nearly half of males (49%) disagree** that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries because they believe crime levels increase when people come from other countries; compared to almost two fifths (39%) of females who think the same.
** This combines ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘somewhat disagree’
Q4. Why do you agree that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries?

*Respondents who agree that refugees should be given the opportunity to enter other countries

  • Just over half (53%) agree* with this because if they were in that situation, they would want to be welcomed.
  • While nearly half (47%) believe it’s the right thing to do.
  • And a third (33%) think they can be multi-skilled.
  • More than 2 in 5 (44%) of respondents in Scotland agree* with this because they think they benefit the community, compared to less than a fifth (17%) of those in Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • Only a quarter (25%) of females agree that refugees should be given the opportunity to
    enter other countries they help to drive a country’s economy, compared to more than 3 in
    10 (31%) of males who think the same.
*This combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
Q5. What factor do you think is contributing the most towards the current refugee crisis, if any?
  • ‘People escaping wars’ is the most common factor (21%) Brits think is contributing the most towards the current refugee crisis.
  • Whereas 1 in 7 (14%) think it is people escaping persecution.
  • A fifth of those in or close to Edinburgh (20%) think the same, compared to only 3% of those in or close to Brighton.
  • 1 in 8 (12%) of Brits think dissatisfaction with their existing quality of life is another factor.
  • This doubles to 16% of men compared to 8% of women
  • A quarter (25%) of respondents in the South West think people escaping wars is the factor that contributes the most, compared to slightly over 1 in 8 (13%) of respondents in the North East.
Q6. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
I think the U.K Government could be doing more to support refugees
  • 2 in 5 (40%) agree* in thinking that the U.K. Government could be doing more to support
    refugees.
    o Just under 1 in 5 (19%) strongly agree with this.
    o Slightly over a fifth (22%) somewhat agree with this.
  • Whereas slightly over a quarter (27%) disagree** with this.
    o With 1 in 6 (16%) who strongly disagree
    o Just over 1 in 10 (11%) who somewhat disagree
  • More than half of respondents (55%) aged 16-24 agree* with this, the highest of all age groups.
  • More than a third (36%) of parents of children aged 18+ disagree** in thinking that the U.K
  • Government could be doing more to support refugees, compared to just under 1 in 5 (19%) of parents of children under 18.
*This combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
** This combines ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘somewhat disagree’
Q7. Have recent events and news stories, such as Afghanistan, Syria, Channel crossings etc,
changed your opinion about refugees?
  • Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) of Brits say that recent events and news stories have changed their opinion about refugees.
  • This rises to 42% for parents of children under 18, compared to just 23% of those who are not parents/guardians.
  • However, more than half of Brits (56%) say this has not changed their opinion. This is especially true for those aged 55+ at 77%
  • 2 in 5 (40%) of those aged 25-34 say recent news stories have changed their opinion, compared to just over 1 in 6 (17%) of those aged 55+ who think the same.
  • More than half (54%) of respondents who are not parents or guardians say these events have not changed their opinion, compared to just over 1 in 5 (23%) who think the opposite.
Q8. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
I think refugees should be given the opportunity to learn new skills in another country
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) of Brits agree* in thinking refugees should be given the opportunity to learn new skills in another country
    o Over a quarter (28%) strongly agree with this.
    o Slightly over 3 in 10 (31%) somewhat agree with this.
  • This rises to more than three quarters (76%) of those who live in or close to Belfast, compared to just 47% of those who live in or close to Nottingham.
  • Whereas just over 1 in 8 (13%) of Brits disagree** with this.
    o With 1 in 12 (8%) who strongly disagree
    o And only in 1 in 20 (5%) who somewhat disagree
  • More than two thirds (67%) of those aged 25-34 surveyed agree* with this, (the highest of all age groups), compared to just over half (51%) of those aged 55+.
*This combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
** This combines ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘somewhat disagree’
Q9. What occupation(s) do you most associate with refugees, if any?
  • The top 3 occupation(s) Brits most associate with refugees are:
    o Manual labour (17%)
    o Cleaning and maintenance (13%)
    o Agriculture (9%)
  • More than half of Brits (56%) associate refugees with an occupation.
Q10. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
I think refugees have the potential to enter new countries and embark on a career that contributes positively to society
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) of Brits agree* in thinking refugees have the potential to enter new countries and embark on a career that contributes positively to society.
    o Over a quarter (27%) strongly agree with this.
    o 3 in 10 (30%) somewhat agree with this.
  • This rises to more than two thirds (68%) of those in Greater London, compared to slightly over half (51%) of those who live in East Midlands.
  • Whereas just over 1 in 8 (13%) of Brits disagree** with this.
    o With 1 in 12 (8%) who strongly disagree
    o And only in 1 in 20 (5%) who somewhat disagree
  • This doubles to 16% of those aged 55+ compared to 8% of those aged 25-34.
*This combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
** This combines ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘somewhat disagree’
The research was conducted by Opinion Matters with 2,055 UK nat rep general respondents from
05.11.2021 – 08.11.2021. Opinion Matters abide by and employ members of the Market Research
Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.