From Iceland — More Than Half Of Icelanders Want To Welcome More Refugees

More Than Half Of Icelanders Want To Welcome More Refugees

Published May 23, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Most Icelanders who took public broadcasting’s election poll believe Iceland should accept more refugees to the country. Results differed depending on municipality, with some 67% of Reykjavík residents supporting welcoming more refugees.

RÚV reports that overall, 55% of respondents supported bringing more refugees to Iceland, while 41% were against it; more precisely, an even number of respondents were very supportive or very against, at 20% and 21% respectively.

Results varied by municipality, additionally relevant as refugees are often settled by municipality, with local authorities providing many if not most of the services they will receive, e.g., residence and schooling. 67% of Reykjavík residents support welcoming more refugees while only 30% were against it.

While the majority of most major municipalities support welcoming more refugees, there were some exceptions. The greatest opposition was in Reykjanesbær, where 70% of residents were against more refugees in their municipality, while 26% supported it. Ísafjörður was the next less welcoming, at 57% against and 39% in favour, and the Westman Islands showing similar levels of support and opposition.

Icelanders have traditionally been more welcoming of refugees than opposed to them. Last year saw the greatest upwards spike, with 88.5% of Icelanders across the country polled by Market and Media Research welcoming, at a time when US President Donald J. Trump was proposing greater restrictions against refugees to the US.

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