IMMIGRATION ATTITUDES

Many Germans Say Too Many Foreigners, Survey Finds

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Close to half of the Germans surveyed said there are too many foreigners. Picture source: Getty images

More than a year after Germany opened its borders to roughly a million migrants and refugees, a new poll has found that a large number of Germans believe there are too many foreigners living in Germany.

An Allensbach Institute survey, commissioned by Handelsblatt, found that 45.3 percent of German citizens without immigrant background believe there are “too many foreigners in Germany today.” Just 25.8 percent answered ‘no’ when asked the question, while 28.9 percent were undecided.

Attitudes are similar among German citizens with an immigrant background. In this group, 42.2 percent said too many foreigners lived in Germany, while 32.6 percent disagreed with statement and 25.2 percent were undecided.

Though a large number of Germans are concerned about immigration, they generally do not show a tendency toward isolationism or protectionism, according to the poll. When asked their opinion about the statement “Europe is our future,” 60 percent of Germans without an immigrant background and 68 percent with an immigrant background agreed.

The poll did not specify how it defined persons with an immigrant background, but Germany’s ministry for migration considers every person born without German citizenship or born to at least one parent without German citizenship under that category.

Free trade was also viewed positively in both groups. Just 15.8 percent of Germans without an immigrant background see more disadvantages than advantages for the German economy from free trade. Among Germans with an immigrant background, just 11.9 percent said there are disadvantages.

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