Opposition to immigration is widespread, but weaker in certain segments of the population: London residents, younger people, ethnic minorities and foreign-born whites, and those with university degrees are less likely than others to favour reducing immigration.
For many years, more British people have been willing to accept migrants from Europe and Australia than from India, Pakistan, and the West Indies. Surveys show that younger generations of Britons are less likely to differentiate migrants by region of origin, and might be more accepting of migrants overall.
Those who oppose immigration are likely to have negative perceptions of migrants’ impact on British jobs, crime rates, and culture.
Research provides strong evidence that opposition to immigration comes from feelings of threat to one’s group – especially to national identity or culture. Researchers continue to debate the impact of economic class, fiscal policy concerns, education, prejudice, and values.