Hungary comes in second place after North Macedonia as the least accepting country in the world for migrants, according to the second Migration Acceptance Index compiled by polling institute Gallup in 2019.
The first index was compiled in 2016 and has shown that in three years global attitude toward migrants has sunk dramatically in some cases, the agency said in a recent press release.
“Since Gallup’s first measure of people’s acceptance of migrants in 2016 and 2017, and the signing of the Global Compact on Migration in 2018, people’s acceptance of migrants has declined globally, and people are even further apart in some countries than they were before” the institute said. “These divides underscore the challenges that remain as the world, and the future of migration policy, both try to find their footing in the post-COVID-19-pandemic world.”
The index – with migration acceptance measured on a scale of 1 to 10 where the higher the number the more accepting the nation – has declined to 5.21 from 5.34.
Most of the decline was on account of Latin American countries – primarily among them Peru, Ecuador and Colombia – where the acceptance index has dropped more than two full points in the face of the huge wave of migrants from Venezuela, fleeing a collapsing nation.
“Initially, many of the migrants and refugees were welcomed in these countries, but public sentiment started to turn against them as their economies, and their health, education and social assistance programs buckled under the strain,” Gallup said.
The three countries least accepting of migrants in the world are North Macedonia, Hungary and Serbia.
At the other end of the scale, the most accepting countries are Canada, Iceland and New Zealand, all with scores above eight, with the United States sixth with an index of 7.95.
Gallup created the Migrant Acceptance Index in 2016, after the 2015 European migration crisis as a means to gauge public opinion on migration.
Title image: Migrants watch others erecting tents in woods near the Croatian border near Kladusa, Bosnia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Edvin Zulic)