Tolerance

The degree of community acceptance of minority groups is a measurable dimension of social cohesion. Acceptance of three such groups is considered here: migrants, ethnic minorities and gay and lesbian people.

On average, people in the Asia/Pacific region are less likely to think that their country welcomes immigrants than their peers in OECD countries (Figure 7.10). Over 85% of Australians and New Zealanders respond affirmative when asked whether their country is a good place to live for immigrants. By contrast, less than a quarter of Cambodians and Thais say the same (Figure 7.10, right scale). The biggest decline in positive sentiment since 2006/2008 appears to have taken place in Kazakhstan, while residents of the Kyrgyz Republic and Pakistan think their country has become a better place for immigrants.

On average across the Asia/Pacific and OECD countries at least two-thirds of the population consider their country tolerant towards ethnic minorities (Figure 7.11). Residents of Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia perceive their country to have become significantly more tolerant towards ethnic minorities over the last decade. The opposite trend emergences when considering the sentiment in India and Kazakhstan where tolerance towards minorities is now at a lower level.

OECD countries appear on average to be more tolerant of gays and lesbians than countries in the Asia/Pacific region (Figure 7.12). Nepal, New Zealand and Australia record the highest perceived tolerance levels followed by Hong Kong (China) and the Philippines. Only less than 5% of the population in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka report that their country is a good place to live for gays and lesbians.

Data and measurement

Data on tolerance comes from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in more than 150 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error, and variation in response rates. Hence, results should be interpreted with care. These probability surveys are valid within a statistical margin of error, also called a 95% confidence interval. This means that if the survey is conducted 100 times using the exact same procedures, the margin of error would include the “true value” in 95 out of 100 surveys. Sample sizes vary across countries from 1 000 to 4 000, and as the surveys use a clustered sample design the margin of error varies by question. The margin of error declines with increasing sample size: with a sample size of 1 000, the margin of error at a 95% confidence interval is 0.98/picture or 3%; with a sample size of 4 000, this is 1.5%. To minimise the effect of annual fluctuations in responses related to small sample sizes, results are averaged over a three-year period, or two-year period in case of missing data. If only one observation in a three-year period is available this finding is not reported.

The results presented in this indicator are based on the following questions: “Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for immigrants from other countries? Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for racial and ethnic minorities? Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay or lesbian people?”

Figure Note

Figure 7.12. Percentage point change between 2006-08 and 2015-17 averages is not available for Bangladesh, Pakistan.

Figure 7.10. OECD countries are more likely to think their society is a good place to live for immigrants than economies in the Asia/Pacific region
Share of people who think that the city or area where they live is a good place to live for immigrants from other countries
picture

Gallup World Poll (www.gallup.com).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933901028

Figure 7.11. Variation in perceived tolerance for ethnic minorities
Share of people who think that the city or area where they live is a good place to live for racial and ethnic minorities
picture

Gallup World Poll (www.gallup.com).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933901047

Figure 7.12. Perceived tolerance for gays and lesbians increased in OECD and Asia/Pacific countries over the last decade
Share of people who think that the city or area where they live is a good place to live for gay or lesbian people
picture

Gallup World Poll (www.gallup.com).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933901066

End of the section – Back to iLibrary publication page