UK concerns about immigration ‘depend on level of education’

06 Jul 2016 |

A majority the UK residents surveyed for the latest British Attitudes Survey believe immigration has had a negative impact on a number of aspects of British life.

The annual poll found that more than seven in 10 people believe that immigration has increased the pressure on schools and two-thirds of the 4,328 people questioned believed it has impacted the NHS negatively.

The report, which has been carried out every year since 1983 to gain a snapshot of what people in the UK think about key issues, found major differences in people’s attitudes towards immigration depending on their age and their level of education.
Overall, people’s concerns about the negative impacts of immigration to the UK on the economy and the nation’s cultural lives have declined over the past few years.
However, while 51 per cent of people with no formal educational qualifications believe that immigration is bad for the economy, just 15 per cent of people with degrees shared this view. Just over two in 10 graduates thought that immigration has had a negative impact on cultural life in Britain, compared to 54 per cent of those without qualifications.
The largest consensus between well qualified people and those without qualifications was actually on education. Some 67 per cent of graduates believe immigration has increased pressure on schools, compared to 76 per cent of unqualified people.
Younger people seemed less concerned about the potential effects of immigration than older people in the majority of categories they were questioned about.
Professor John Curtice, from survey organiser NatCen, told the BBC that fewer people appeared concerned about the effects of immigration on the economy, probably because the outlook was improving at the time the survey was conducted in late 2015.