Millennials in the US are more welcoming of refugees than the global average

Refugees welcome.
Refugees welcome.
Image: Reuters/Mike Theiler
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Millennials in the US are more accepting of refugees than many of their peers elsewhere, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) survey of people aged 18 to 35. A majority of young people around the globe would welcome refugees to their country, according to the report, although the strength of this feeling varies by place.

Nearly 90% of US of respondents to the WEF survey said they would welcome refugees to their country, compared with 72% globally, according to the survey of 15,990 respondents.

The findings come as the number of refugees admitted to the US was reduced by nearly half in the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency, versus the final three months of the Obama administration, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Trump has sought to cap the number of refugees the US takes in at 50,000, although much has hinged on the Supreme Court’s view of the president’s “travel ban” executive order.

By some measures, there are more people displaced from their homes by poverty and violence than any time since World War II. It’s estimated that 11 million or more Syrians have fled their homes since the country’s civil war began in 2011, millions of whom have gone to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.

More than half of the respondents in the WEF survey said governments should find ways to integrate refugees into the workforce, and 64% of young people in North America expected the government to integrate refugees into the working population.

Europe, by contrast, had the largest proportion of respondents who wanted to deport refugees, at 8%; globally, 4% of respondents said refugees should be deported. More than a million migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe via Mediterranean routes, such as Greece and Italy, since 2015, many trying to make their way to Germany.