Muslim Integration

Concern among Britons about the integration of Muslim immigrants into British society has lessened somewhat over the past year but still remains at quite a high level, according to the fourth report on Transatlantic Trends: Immigration, published in Washington on 15 December 2011 and available at:

Transatlantic Trends: Immigration is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Barrow Cadbury Trust, and the Fundacion BBVA.

The fourth round of fieldwork was conducted in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and the United States between 25 August and 18 September 2011. In each country 1,000 adults aged 18 and over were interviewed by telephone, although the questions about Muslims were put to a half-sample (of 509 in Britain).

Asked how (first-generation) Muslim immigrants were integrating into the host society, 44% in Britain said ‘well’, up seven points on 2010, and 49% ‘poorly’ (down four points).

Britons were somewhat more negative about Muslim immigration than Americans (40% of whom replied ‘poorly’), French (48%) and Italians (46%), but less so than Germans (58%) and Spanish (64%). However, all the European peoples surveyed displayed rather less negativity in 2011 than in 2010.

In all six countries the children of Muslim immigrants were felt to be better integrated into the host society, into which they had been born, than their parents. 60% of Britons considered that these children had assimilated ‘well’ (up one point on 2010), with 33% feeling that they had integrated ‘poorly’ (three points more than in 2010, possibly associated with a reduction in ‘don’t knows’).

Britons were more inclined to report ‘poorly’ than Italians (22%) and Americans (25%) but less than the other nations, particularly France (48%).

For BRIN’s post on the 2010 Transatlantic Trends: Immigration study, see:

Fears about Muslim non-integration are longstanding in British public opinion polls, as will be seen from the broader analysis of British attitudes towards Islam and Muslims to be published next March as Clive Field, ‘Revisiting Islamophobia in Contemporary Britain, 2007-10’, in Islamophobia in the West: Measuring and Explaining Individual Attitudes, edited by Marc Helbling (London: Routledge), pp. 147-61.


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