Nearly three-quarters of Americans want immigration into the United States to decrease or stay at the current level. Only 24 percent want more migrants to come here.
Canadians are even tougher in their attitudes, with just 19 percent wanting to allow more foreigners into the country.
That’s according to findings released Monday by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed 27 nations during a time of dramatic worldwide migration, much of it propelled by war and poverty.
“As the number of international migrants reaches new highs, people around the world show little appetite for more migration — both into and out of their countries,” Pew wrote. In the surveyed nations, “a median of 45 percent say fewer or no immigrants should be allowed to move to their country, while 36 percent say they want about the same number of immigrants. Just 14 percent say their countries should allow more immigrants.”
In the U.S. poll, 29 percent favored fewer or no immigrants, while 44 percent wanted about the same level.
In Europe, big majorities in some of the countries that became transit routes or destinations during the continent’s recent surge in asylum-seekers want no part of newcomers. Most people in Greece (82 percent), Hungary (72 percent), Italy (71 percent), and Germany (58 percent) said fewer or no immigrants should be allowed to move to their countries. Only 2 percent in Greece and Hungary wanted more immigrants to move there.
People in other countries held similar views. Large majorities in Israel (73 percent), Russia (67 percent), South Africa (65 percent), and Argentina (61 percent) say their countries should let in fewer immigrants. In every country surveyed, less than a third said their nation should allow more immigrants.
Worldwide, a record 258 million people lived outside their birth country in 2017, up from 153 million in 1990, Pew said.
The 27 countries surveyed are home to more than half of the world’s international migrants. The U.S., with 44.5 million immigrants in 2017, has the largest foreign-born population in the world, Pew said. That’s followed by Saudi Arabia (12.2 million), Germany (12.2 million), and Russia (11.7 million).