The UK’s views on immigration

14 October 2016
What was claimed

People in the UK want to see lower levels of immigration.

Our verdict

Polls suggest that immigration is currently the biggest issue for people in the UK and that a majority of people think it should be reduced.

“I interpret from general polls. I interpret from polls that have been recorded for years that people want lower migration.”

Amol Rajan, 13 October 2016

Immigration has been an increasingly important in the UK over the last 20 years.

In 1995 the proportion of people who said that “immigration or race relations” was one of the top five issues facing the UK was around 2%. By August this year it had increased to 34%, according to Ipsos Mori.

This made it the most regularly mentioned issue.This isn’t as high as in September 2015 when the same study found that 56% of people identified immigration as a key issue.

Of course this doesn’t tell us anything about what people think about immigration, just that they think it’s an issue.

Over half of people polled in the UK in 2013 said they felt immigration should be “reduced a lot”, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. Altogether 78% felt it should be reduced in some way. A YouGov poll in August suggested that around two thirds of people want to see less immigration.

Public opposition to immigration has been consistent since at least the 1960s.

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