Study: Americans Know Little About Immigration

Sep 7, 2016

Credit Metrocosm / Washington Post

Immigration has been a hot-button issue throughout the 2016 presidential race. But, according to surveys, Americans actually know very little about the issue.

The Washington Post recently noted that it was “remarkable just how much Americans overestimate immigration in their country.” On average, Americans guessed that one-third of people in the U.S. are immigrants. That’s more than double the actual figure.

Americans also overestimate the size of the Muslim population in the country. People on average guessed that 15 percent of the U.S. population is Muslim. The actual figure? One percent.

The United States is hardly alone. Hungary, Poland and Japan also overestimate the Muslim populations in their countries. However, Americans rank among the top in the world for their overestimation percentage. One thing that all developed nations seem to have in common? None seem to underestimate immigrant populations.