German Millennials most ‘immigrant-friendly’ among Europeans, study reveals

German Millennials most ‘immigrant-friendly’ among Europeans, study reveals
German Millennials tend to be the most open-minded about immigration to their country even at times of economic hardships, according to a new study that gives a thought-provoking insight into mindset and worldview of young Europeans.

The majority of young Europeans have little or no trust in their countries’ governments and political elites, are anxious about their future, but still, many of them approve of cultural diversity and welcome immigration.

Entitled ‘Generation What?’ the 49-page survey covered more than 200,000 young people from 11 countries across Europe. 

Asked whether they felt that immigrants “enriched the country’s cultural diversity,” 80 percent of Germans said “yes”, which is the top result in Europe, according to the comprehensive study by German broadcasters ZDF, SWR and Bayerischer Rundfunk. Spain and Luxembourg placed came close behind at 78 percent and 76 percent respectively.

Germans and Spaniards were also least likely to say that immigration was their top concern, though Germany remains the prime destination for asylum seekers, while Spain has taken in relatively few migrants compared to other major European countries.

And even in the midst of an economic crisis, German youth was the most willing to agree with a statement saying, “In times of high unemployment, jobs should be reserved for a country’s own people.” Less than a quarter – 24 percent – of German Millennials agreed with this notion, which was the least amount of any country by far.

On the opposite end, 58 percent of the Austrians and 57 percent of the Czechs maintained that domestic jobs should at all times be reserved for locals.

Regardless of age and gender, 65 percent of young Europeans were wary of rising nationalist sentiments in their respective countries, while 13 percent of respondents viewed them in a positive light.

READ MORE: Majority of Europeans say Muslim immigration should be stopped – poll

The most concerned about nationalism were 80 percent of Greeks and 78 percent of Germans who answered “yes” to the statement “I believe the rise of nationalism is true and I view this developing negatively.”

One particularly notable finding was young Europeans’ distrust of institutions. Overall across the continent, 86 percent of interviewees had no trust of religious entities, while 82 percent of Europe’s youth had no trust in political institutions.

Subsequently, economic stagnation and political crises that sent shockwaves across Europe have seemingly taken their toll and affected the Millennials’ views of the future. Fifty-three percent of Italians said they look into the future with pessimism, followed by 49 percent of the French and 47 percent of Greeks.