Youth Perspectives

These are the countries most welcoming to refugees

Migrants walk along a street after crossing the Austrian-German border from Achleiten, Austria, in Passau, Germany, October 29, 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkel came under intense pressure for her handling of the refugee crisis on Wednesday, with her Bavarian allies warning of a full-blown coalition crisis unless she takes immediate action to limit a record influx of migrants.

This country has the most welcoming attitude to refugees, according to new research from Amnesty International. Image: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Keith Breene
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Migration is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


Research from Amnesty International has identified China as the country with the most welcoming attitude to refugees.

The country scored higher than the 26 other nations surveyed in terms of positive attitudes held by members of the public towards refugees fleeing war or persecution.

The research looked at a number of attitudes including whether refugees should be given asylum, whether national governments were doing enough and how much help people would consider giving refugees themselves.

How do attitudes compare?

The Refugees Welcome Index ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents all respondents saying they would refuse refugees entry to their country and 100 represents all respondents saying they would accept refugees into their neighbourhood or home.

 Refugees Welcome Index
Image: Globescan/Amnesty International

Germany and the UK follow closely behind China with positive attitude scores in the 80s.

The United States scores 60% while France scores 56%.

Russia is at the bottom of the list of countries surveyed with only 18% of respondents saying they would welcome refugees in their neighbourhood or home.

   Refugees Welcome Barometer
Image: Globescan/Amnesty International

Should governments be doing more?

Globally, two out of three respondents agreed that their national government should do more to help refugees fleeing war or persecution.

Again, agreement is highest in China at 86% followed by Nigeria (85%) and Jordan (84%). Agreement is particularly low in Thailand and Russia, at under 30%.

In Turkey, India, Thailand and Russia, majorities think that their national government should not do more to help refugees fleeing war or persecution.

Who is most likely to think refugees need more help?

The report found that support for increased government action increased by 5% among those with a higher level of education. Support was also 6% higher amongst those with higher income levels.

Finally, those living in cities were 10% more likely to agree with the need for increased government action to help refugees.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Youth PerspectivesResilience, Peace and Security
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Innovation Prize: Meet the next generation of changemakers

Natalie Pierce and Maria Sol Adaime Gabris

July 11, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum