A more detailed look at a recent Maskína survey about Icelanders’ attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers shows some revealing results.
According to the survey, conducted by Maskína on behalf of Amnesty International in Iceland, 85.5% said they welcomed more refugees coming to Iceland, with 74% saying they believe Icelandic authorities should do more to help those who are fleeing war and persecution.
The demographics also reveal that in some cases, Icelanders have more progressive attitudes towards refugees than the global average.
In the general sense, women were more likely to have a positive attitude towards refugees than men. Attitudes also trended towards the more positive the younger an Icelander was, the lower their income was, and the higher level of education they had.
In fact, in response to the statement, “Refugees who are fleeing war and persecution should be able to seek asylum in other countries”, 84.6% of Icelanders said they agreed, compared to the global average of 73%.
Most striking of all, however, was how Icelanders felt about living near or even with refugees.
According to the results, 12.7% said they were ready to let refugees live in their homes; 52.2% said they approved of the idea of refugees living in their neighbourhoods; 9.1% said they supported refugees living in their municipality; and 11.5% said they approved of refugees being granted asylum in Iceland. When compared with global results, Icelanders as a whole were more likely to accept refugees living near or with them, while elsewhere in the world, respondents viewed refugees living in their country more positively if the refugees in question lived far away from the respondents.