Which countries' refugees will Americans welcome?

Linley SandersData Journalist
March 09, 2022, 10:24 PM GMT+0

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to displace Ukrainian citizens, with humanitarian organizations accusing Russian troops of attacking civilians trying to flee conflict zones.

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds that most Americans say they are ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees that are fleeing violence, but fewer would welcome refugees from other nations who are seeking to escape violence.

YouGov asked whether the U.S. should accept refugees from four different countries that a large number of people are leaving because of unsafe conditions: Afghanistan, Guatemala, Syria, and Ukraine.

Americans support the U.S. accepting refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine by a margin of 54% to 25%, with Democrats and Republicans more likely than not to say the U.S. should do this. But for taking in refugees fleeing violent conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Guatemala, there is less overall support and far bigger partisan differences.

While Democrats say the U.S. should accept refugees from Afghanistan by a margin of 62% to 18%, Independents are nearly evenly split. Republicans are nearly twice as likely to say the U.S. should not accept Afghan refugees fleeing violence as say they should.

Americans are split on whether the U.S. should be accepting refugees from Syria (35% say the U.S. should vs. 38% who say it should not) or from Guatemala (35% vs. 38%). Most Democrats want to take in refugees fleeing each country (55% each for Syria and Guatemala) but Republicans are far less likely to say the U.S. should do this (16% and 15%, respectively).

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between March 5 - 8, 2022. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty