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Immigrants’ subjective wellbeing in Europe: variation by regional attitudes towards immigrants

Sedovicova, Michaela (2024) Immigrants’ subjective wellbeing in Europe: variation by regional attitudes towards immigrants. Migration Studies, 12 (1). 68 - 92. ISSN 2049-5838

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Identification Number: 10.1093/migration/mnad034


Research suggests that migrants’ well-being varies with their lived environment. This variation’s potential but under-researched driver is non-migrants’ attitude towards immigrants (ATI). Using pooled European Social Survey data (2010–18) for twenty-two destination countries, I address the question, ‘Are more positive ATI in regions where migrants live associated with their higher life satisfaction?’. To answer it, I estimate models of life satisfaction regressed on a summed index of six measures of ATI aggregated to the regional level and control for individual-level predictors and country, year, and origin fixed effects. I find a significant association between more negative regional ATI and lower migrant well-being. Its strength is comparable with the most important known individual-level predictors of well-being (e.g., education). My descriptive results further show that the length of stay at the destination moderates the strength of association (only those more recently arrived are affected). Despite well-attested links between feelings of discrimination and well-being, I show that those who express greater discrimination are not more sensitive to ATI. This suggests that each measure speaks to a separate mechanism for experiencing discrimination. Showing that ATI is strongly related to migrants’ well-being implies that the lived environment should be at the forefront of the migration outcomes research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2023 11:27
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 17:09

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