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Germany: Approval for a welcoming culture higher than in 2014

Berlin - According to a study, the majority of Germans have a positive view of the welcoming culture for immigrants . 56 percent said they agreed, 22 percent were neutral or negative, according to the long-term “affiliation and equivalence” survey conducted by Bielefeld University, which has been sponsored by the Mercator Foundation and has been carried out every two years since 2014.

The number of those who approve of the welcoming culture increased significantly in the past year. Since 2014 it had fallen slightly but steadily from around 40 percent to around 37 percent in 2018. According to the study, more than 62 percent agreed with the statement "I am pleased that Germany is becoming even more diverse and colorful ". Just over a fifth of those questioned rejected this.

Immigrants should adapt more to Germans
Almost 60 percent said they were happy "when more and more migrants feel at home in Germany" (22 percent rejection). Around 45 percent said they liked "that so many migrants choose Germany as their new home" (27 percent rejection). At the same time, almost two thirds of those questioned without a migration background said that immigrants should adapt more to Germans and not the other way around. 56 percent of the immigrants also expressed this expectation.

A majority of almost 50 percent agreed with the statement that those who are new to Germany “should be entitled to as much as everyone else”. 27 percent rejected this statement. More than a third said immigrants should "under no circumstances make demands or make claims". The respondents were divided when it came to the demand that immigrants should be satisfied with less. 39 percent each agreed or rejected it.

The number of immigrants should be limited
A narrow relative majority found the statement that there are too many migrants in Germany (41 percent agree, 39 percent disagree). 35 percent versus 33 percent were also convinced that the number of immigrants living in Germany should be limited.

Almost two thirds of migrants said they would like to maintain their cultural identities. At the same time, overall support for assimilation, i.e. the participation of immigrants while giving up cultural significance, rose to almost a third.

“The desire of many immigrants to maintain culturally relevant things, rituals and identities does not mean that they want to isolate themselves,” concluded study director and social psychologist Andreas Zick. Only five percent of the immigrants surveyed identified themselves as “non-German” based solely on their origin.

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