71% Of Immigrants Experience Prejudice, Study Shows

71% Of Immigrants Experience Prejudice, Study Shows

Published July 3, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Jói Kjartans

A new study conducted by the Multicultural and Information Centre Iceland shows that 71% of immigrants in Iceland have experienced discrimination from Icelanders.

The report, “Origin and multiple discrimination”, focuses on numerous aspects of daily life for immigrants in Iceland. Amongst them are their experiences with discrimination.

According to the study, only 28% of foreigners in Iceland said they had never experienced prejudice from Icelanders. 23% said they seldom experienced prejudice, 37% said they sometimes experienced prejudice, and 11% said they experienced it often.

These frequencies of discrimination were not evenly spread amongst nationalities, either.

“The main difference in the distribution of these answers is between the Polish and Thai respondents,” the study reads in part. “12% of the Polish respondents say [they] never encounter prejudices while 45% of the Thai respondents say so. The Polish respondents are also more likely to say that they often encounter prejudices (15%) than Thai respondents who come with 8% in this category.”

How much discrimination a foreigner experienced also depended on context. When dealing with Icelandic staff at a variety of institutions, the largest percentage of immigrants reported some form of prejudice from grade schools, at 19%. 14% of respondents said they experienced prejudice from staff at the Directorate of Labour, and 12% said the same of play school staff.

When asked for what reasons these immigrants believe they experienced prejudice, three factors stood out above gender, age, religion or disability: lack of fluency in Icelandic, ethnicity, and lack of fluency in English.

The full report, in English, can be read here.

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