Western Europe's Attitudes About Immigration

September 29, 2011

These are the results of two recent surveys about immigration conducted in Italy, Spain, France, Britain, Germany and Sweden as part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Italy was the only country of the Western European nations surveyed where a majority viewed the impact of immigrants negatively. Publics in Britain, France, Germany and Spain were divided, while the Swedes had an overwhelmingly positive view of the influence immigrants had on their country.

While the recent anti-immigrant violence has been directed at Africans, Italians expressed equally negative views of immigration from Eastern European countries as they do about immigration from the Middle East and Africa. Two-thirds said it was a bad thing that people from the Middle East and North Africa come to live and work in Italy; an equal number said the same about immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Only about one-in-five Italians saw immigration from the Middle East and Africa and Eastern Europe as a good thing for Italy (20% and 22%, respectively).

Germans were also largely unwelcoming of immigrants. Solid majorities in Germany said it was bad that people from the Middle East and North Africa (64%) and from Eastern Europe (58%) moved to their country.

Opinions were more mixed in Spain and France, while many more in Britain and Sweden said immigration from the Middle East and North African and from Eastern European countries was a good thing than said it was a bad thing.


A fall 2009 survey found that more than eight-in-ten Italians (83%) agreed that "we should restrict and control entry into our country more than we do now," including 40% who completely agreed with the statement.

Majorities in the other Western European countries included in the 2009 poll also expressed support for tougher restrictions on immigration. About eight-in-ten in Spain (80%) and Britain (78%) shared that view, as did 65% in Germany and 64% in France.

Juliana Menasce Horowitz. "Widespread Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Italy". Pew Global Attitudes Project, 2010.

Related: Italians Are Anti-Immigration and Pro-Italy

Men's Hair and Eye Color Preferences

September 7, 2011

The British men surveyed here had a preference for women with brown/black hair (61.7%) and blue/green eyes (57.7%). The remaining 38.3% preferred blond/red hair, and 42.3% preferred brown/hazel eyes. Men in France, Spain, Italy, the U.S. and Brazil were also surveyed, and black was the most popular hair color in all of those countries, while brown and green eyes were preferred.

Badoo, the world's largest Social Network for meeting new people, has polled 2,000 UK males to find the features they find most attractive in the opposite sex. The results have been surprising, with blondes being beaten by brunettes.

In fact a third (33.1%) of all those polled said they find brown hair more attractive than blonde (29.5%), black (28.6%) and red (8.8%), contradicting the adage that gentlemen prefer blondes.

A further surprise the study uncovered is that 38.8% of guys looked for a dress size of 12-14 in their perfect woman, with only 10% looking for a size 6-8. This proves that whilst magazines fill their pages with skinny models, UK males actually prefer a more average build. Only 4.2% preferred size 18+ whilst a curvy size 14-18 was the second most popular with 25.5% of the vote.

Blue eyes still rule the roost in the UK however, with a massive 40.2% of guys preferring blue eyes over brown (29.2%), green (17.5%) and hazel (13.1%).

When all of the pieces of the puzzle are compiled, it's TOWIE's Lauren Goodger who has all of the attributes that men in the UK find most attractive. Her brown hair, blue eyes and average build give her the perfect combination for being the girl next door and the type of girl that UK males find most attractive.

Badoo also ran the study in France, Spain, Italy, US and Brazil and came back with surprising results. In fact only the French said they preferred their women skinny with all others saying they prefer average to curvy women. In all of the countries surveyed, black was the most popular hair colour (except the UK). The UK was also the only country that opted for blue eyes, with brown and green topping the table around the world.

Lloyd Price, from Badoo, said, "I was amazed that blonde hair and size 8 did not top the list. Magazines are full of skinny blonde models, so it is nice to see that in reality guys prefer the girl next door look. Lauren Goodger's boyfriend Mark Wright is clearly a lucky man in the eyes on the nation."

Badoo. "Sorry Marilyn, Gentleman Don't Prefer Blondes Reveals New Study By Badoo.com" [Press Release]. Badoo.com, 22.08.2011.