Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Immigration: The U.S. vs. the rest of the world

Compared to the rest of the world, American citizens must be much more pro-immigrant, right, because our immigration policy is so liberal.

The World Values Survey asked thousands of respondents from all over the world about the right immigration policy for their country. Here is the distribution for the full sample (sample size = 68,171):

Immigration policy--percent

Let anyone come 13.1
As long as jobs are available 38.6
Strict limits 37.7
Prohibit people from coming 10.6

And here are the responses from Americans:

Let anyone come 6.8
As long as jobs are available 36.6
Strict limits 48.9
Prohibit people from coming 7.6

While the modal category for the world is "as long as jobs are available," it is "strict limits" for Americans. Americans are more conservative than the rest of the world on this issue, but our policies are much more permissive. It's a government of elites, by elites, for elites.   


  1. This has to be one your your most surprising, therefore valuable, postings.

  2. Black Death8:15 AM

    Excellent work!

  3. Sgt. Joe Friday9:30 AM

    "It's a government of elites, by elites, for elites."

    Although seemingly not related to immigtration (his is a "Game" blog, after all), I find Roissy's observation below to be pertinent:

    "...we will be at each other’s throats in no time. Perhaps this is what our ruling elites want, for in the chaos they will opportunistically enrich themselves… until the day the ropes are swinging from the lampposts."

    We can only hope.

  4. I bet the powers that be would go ape if someone made a website for immigration traitors a la the defunct Nuremberg Files website for abortionists.

  5. Anonymous11:56 AM

    I'd be interested to compare only to other developed countries. I can see how people from undeveloped countries would have a laissez-faire attitude than the US (assuming the want a remittance from someone who can move to the developed world or want to go there themselves). But the US may be more pro-migration than the rest of the developed world.

  6. Actually American citizens in general are an elite. It's not common people vs. an elite but rather elite vs. elite.

  7. In view of the fact that both immigration restrictions and legalized abortion are about discrimination against the unwanted, I will assume that someone talking about "immigration traitors" in the context of an anti-abortion post is talking about the restrictionists (who are, of course, traitors to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence).

  8. Anonymous3:47 PM

    "I will assume that someone talking about "immigration traitors" in the context of an anti-abortion post is talking about the restrictionists (who are, of course, traitors to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence)."

    Yeah, I'm sure the slave-owning indian-killing drafters of our founding documents were really committed to Third World immigration...

  9. Anonymous5:22 PM

    the restrictionists (who are, of course, traitors to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence).

    Setting aside for a moment the fact that the founding document of this country is the Constitution and not the Declaration of Independence, what does the Declaration have to say about immigration? It only objects to King George making immigration policy, it does not set up any "ideal" of immigration policy at all.

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