Trust, life satisfaction and opinions on immigration in 15 European countries

Europa is going through an eventful period. The economic crisis, large migration flows and terrorist attacks are cross-border events that put pressure on international solidarity and attitudes towards civil liberties such as freedom of movement. To what extent are the inhabitants of European countries in favour of immigration and receiving refugees? Or, more generally, to what extent do they trust policymakers and politicians, institutions and one another, and are they satisfied with their lives?

Auteur(s): Jeroen Boelhouwer (SCP), Gerbert Kraaykamp (RUN), Ineke Stoop, (SCP).
ISBN/ISSN/anders: 978 90 377 0775 5

More far-reaching questions are whether Europeans share values, beliefs and attitudes, and whether Europeans from different countries are becoming more similar over time. Preliminary answers to these questions are given in this report, which is an update of an earlier report entitled Nederland in Europees perspectief (‘The Netherlands in a European perspective’), published in October 2015.

This publication is based on the most recent data from the European Social Survey (ESS), a large-scale biennial study of attitudes and values. It devotes special attention to attitudes towards immigration as measured in the seven rounds of the ESS that have been fielded since 2002, and which were measured in greater depth in the 2002/2003 and 2014/2015 rounds. The data for 2014/2015 are currently available for 15 countries in various parts of Europe.

Jeroen Boelhouwer is a researcher in the Participation, Culture and Living Environment research sector at SCP. His research interests are quality of life, social indicators and well-being.

Gerbert Kraaykamp is Professor of Empirical Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Radboud University Nijmegen, and Director of the Nijmegen Institute of Social and Cultural Research (NISCO). Since 2013 he has been the National Coordinator of the European Social Survey in the Netherlands.

Ineke Stoop is senior survey methodologist at SCP and Deputy Director - Methodological of the European Social Survey.

Data Used

European Social Survey (Europese Commissie/European Science Foundation)