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Religious Adults in N. America Less Accepting of Migrants

Adults in the U.S. and Canada who say religion is important in their lives tend to be less accepting of migrants, according to a Gallup report released on April 26.

“Gallup created the Migrant Acceptance Index (MAI) to gauge people’s acceptance of migrants based on increasing degrees of personal proximity. The index is based on three questions Gallup asked in 138 countries in 2016 and in the U.S. and Canada in 2017,” the report explained.

“The questions ask whether people think migrants living in their country, becoming their neighbors and marrying into their families are good things or bad things. The higher the score, the more accepting the population is of migrants.”

Canada was the fourth most accepting nation with an MAI score of 8.14, behind Iceland (8.26), New Zealand (8.25) and Rwanda (8.16).

The U.S. ranked ninth with a score of 7.86, behind Sierra Leone (8.05), Mali (8.03), Australia (7.98) and Sweden (7.92), and ahead of Nigeria (7.76), which rounded out the top 10.

Religion had a notable impact on MAI scores in North America, as adults who said religion is an important part of their daily life were less accepting of migrants than their country as a whole.

In the U.S., religious adults scored 7.81, while religious adults in Canada scored 8.00.

By contrast, adults from both nations who said religion was not an important part of their daily lives were more accepting of migrants than their country as a whole.

In the U.S., this group scored 8.27, while these adults in Canada scored 8.49.

“The divide in migrant acceptance grows even larger among those who approve of Trump and are religious,” the report noted. “The index score for Americans who approve of Trump and say religion is important in their daily lives is 6.97, while those who are not religious and do not approve of Trump score an 8.61.”

The full report is available here.