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Icelandic Citizens Most Accepting of Migrants

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Icelandic Citizens Most Accepting of Migrants

Austurvöllur square

Photo: Páll Stefánsson

Iceland is the country most accepting of migrants in the world according to a recent study by Gallup. The nation scored an 8.26 out of a possible 9 in a questionnaire intended to gauge people's opinions on foreign immigrants. Citizens of 138 countries were asked migrant acceptance index questions as they were asked to give their personal opinions.

The questionnaire asked participants to voice whether certain situations were ‚a good thing‘ or ‚a bad thing‘. The situations were ‚immigrant living in this country‘, ‚an immigrant becoming your neighbor‘, and ‚an immigrant marrying one of your relatives‘. The results of the survey, which took place in 2016, were released on the 23rd of August.

Immigrants make up 9.1% of the Icelandic population at this point in time as they comprise 308,074 of the total of 338,349 people living in Iceland. The largest immigrant contingent is Polish as they number 13,795, which is 4% of the citizens of Iceland.

The Icelandic government has been criticized in recent years for its handling of asylum seekers. The Icelandic government has, up to this point, used the Dublin Regulation to send asylum seekers away. Iceland is a non-EU member yet it has an agreement in place to apply the provision. Thus, is can send asylum seekers and refugees back to the European Union country which they left to travel to Iceland.

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