Immigrant’s Life Satisfaction in Europe: Effect of Regional Attitudes towards Immigrants?

Michaela Šedovic , London School of Economics and Political Science

Current research on intergroup contact suggests that the contact of migrants with the host population has an effect on their wellbeing; however, it does not explore the host population’s attitudes towards immigrants (ATI). The presented paper aims to explore this gap. It employs ATI as an explanatory variable and examines the association between the ATI in destination countries and migrants’ wellbeing. Using three rounds of European Social Survey (ESS) data from 21 European countries, this paper answers the question, “Are more positive local attitudes towards immigrants (measured at a subnational regional level in European countries) associated with higher life satisfaction of immigrants?”. I employ a regression model with fixed effects. The outcome variable is an 11-point scale of wellbeing, the main explanatory variable is a summed index of 6 measures of ATI aggregated on the subnational level (NUTS regions), and the fixed effects are destination country, world region of origin/country of origin and ESS round. The preliminary results show there is a significant association between the subnational level of ATI and migrants’ wellbeing. It also shows that the effect of years lived in the destination country interacts with the effect of ATI, and the wellbeing of immigrants living in regions with different levels of ATI converges over time.

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 Presented in Session 70. Migrant Populations