New research has shown that attitudes to immigration in Ireland became more negative during the recession, and are now lower than the Western European average. Personal experience and social contact are found to promote positive attitudes to immigration and migrants in Ireland.
The new study entitled Attitudes to Diversity in Ireland draws on a survey of attitudes from the European Social Survey collected since 2002. It has found that the attitudes of Irish-born people to immigrants and immigration vary significantly over time, depending on the ethnicity of the migrants, on respondents’ education and financial security, and on the level of individual contact people have with those from different ethnic backgrounds.
The research published jointly by the ESRI and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission looks at Ireland’s increasing diversity and monitors attitudes for the period from 2002-2014. The results for Ireland are also compared with averages from ten other Western European states.