• 17 Jun 2014

Social attitudes survey published

The British Social Attitudes Survey is published today by NatCen. This year’s section on migration was supported by Changing Minds, a small group of funders including PHF, which supports work related to negative attitudes towards migrants.

The survey found a continuing desire among a majority of Britons to see migration reduced but differences of opinion over the benefits that migration has brought to the UK economy and culture. Better educated groups tend to view immigration more favourably and are much less likely to see the motivation of immigrants to claim benefits as the most important cause of migration. Less economically advantaged people view migration less favourably in terms of its contribution to the economy. Fifty five per cent of people with the most negative view of immigration believe migrants come to the UK to claim benefits.

The questions about attitudes to immigration were developed in collaboration with Robert Ford from the University of Manchester.

The British Social Attitudes survey has tracked public opinion on a range of social issues since 1983, providing valuable data for government, journalists, opinion formers and academics. NatCen also aims for the research to reach as many organisations trying to improve life in the UK as possible.