Majority of U.S. Public Supports High-Skilled Immigration

GMD_19.01.22_HighSkill-Immigration_Featured-ImageSource: Pew Research Center

But U.S. trails other economically advanced nations in share of immigrants with high skills

Like publics in other economically advanced countries with a high number and share of immigrants, a majority of Americans support encouraging the immigration of high-skilled people into the United States, according to a new survey of 12 countries by Pew Research Center in spring 2018.

Roughly eight-in-ten U.S. adults (78%) support encouraging highly skilled people to immigrate and work in the U.S., a percentage that roughly matches or is exceeded by Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Australia.

Smaller majorities share this positive view of high-skilled immigration in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Among the countries analyzed, only in Israel (42%) and Italy (35%) do fewer than half back high-skilled immigration.

Across the 12 countries, younger adults, more highly educated adults and adults with higher incomes tend to be more supportive of encouraging highly skilled people to immigrate to their countries – findings that are generally in line with other surveys on attitudes toward immigrants and immigration. (See Appendix B for demographic breakdowns.)

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