Monday, 27 June 2016

Quick update on the relationship between migration and immigration sentiment

Chris Hanretty commented he'd found a positive relationship at constituency level between migration levels and positive migration sentiment. I wondered if there might be some hidden non-linearity there too. Chris kindly (and like a good scientist) provided his data along with his blog post so I downloaded it (plus migration data from the 2011 census) and took a look. Here is mean immigration sentiment by quantile decile of immigration stock:

So, the relationship here is consistently positive. But note that until you get to the last 3 quantiles deciles, it's basically flat. The story here again seems to be: places with lots of immigrants are pro-immigrant, rather than places with no immigrants are anti-immigrant.

Note also: this uses stock of international immigrants. My previous post used flows over the past 10 years, which is presumably more relevant to the EU debate – the EU had nothing to do with UK immigration to the UK in, say, the 50s, 60s and 70s. But I couldn't find constituency-level data on flows.