Recent polls in Norway, Sweden and Finland show a varied picture of attitudes towards immigration, with Finns being most opposed, while Sweden and Norway generally think it's a good thing.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
61% of Norwegians think that immigration is positive, according to a poll by Sentio for Nationen. 23% don't think so.
The percentage who think immigration is positive went up from last year, when 46% thought it was. People in the countryside are most skeptical towards immigration, while the residents of Oslo and other large cities are most positive.
The study shows that younger people are more positive than the elderly, and that skepticism is greater in North Norway than in other parts of the country. Women are a little more positive towards immigration than men.
People with the highest educational level are much more positive towards immigration than people with a low educational level. On the political level, SV (Socialist-Left Party) voters are most pro-immigration. 95% of them are positive and nobody thinks immigration is negative. Skepticism is greatest by the Progress Party, where more than half don't think that immigration is positive.
Nearly two thirds of Finns say Finland should not encourage more foreigners to move here, according to a YLE survey. Supporters of the right-wing True Finns Party were the most opposed to more immigrants. However, Centre Party and Social Democratic supporters were not far behind.
According to the survey, 63 percent of respondents said Finland should not try to entice foreigners to live here. A whopping 82 percent of True Finns backers were of the same opinion. For Centre Party supporters the number was 70 percent, while 68 percent of Social Democratic backers felt the same way.
Supporters of the Green League were the most receptive to more immigrants. A total of 65 percent of Green respondents said that Finland should work to attract foreigners here.
Swedish attitudes to immigration and refugee centres have become more positive, with urbanites, women and young people among the most favourable, a new report from the SOM institute in Gothenburg shows.
The SOM survey, conducted in the autumn of 2009, shows that 36 percent of Swedes consider that there are too many foreigners living in Sweden. In 1993 the figure was 52 percent.
"Never before have Swedish attitudes been so accepting as their are now," Professor Marie Demker wrote in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Monday.
In 1993, 25 percent replied that they would not like an immigrant from another continent marrying into the family, this figure had dropped to 12 percent in the autumn.
"Despite the attempts to mobilize, groups which oppose immigration remain a peripheral sub-culture," Demker wrote.