Roma people and Muslims are the least tolerated minorities in Europe
June 5th, 2015, Will Dahlgreen

Roma people and Muslims are the least tolerated minorities in Europe

Negative impressions of Roma people and Muslims are high across northern Europe – and 10% have a negative impression of Jewish people in France

Writing in the Times, Tony Blair has warned that economic decline in Europe is leading to instability. Only three times in the past hundred years has growth in Europe fallen below 1%, he notes - just before the first and second world wars, and in 2014, a year when 766 anti-semitic acts were registered (a 38% rise on 2013). Following the Paris kosher supermarket hostage crisis which left four Jewish men dead last year, the official body overseeing migration to Israel forcast record levels of Jewish emigration from France, which has Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim population.

New YouGov research across seven northern European countries finds that between France, Germany and Britain, France has a higher average level of negativity towards minority groups. Germany has the lowest, and is at the bottom of the table overall, beaten only by Sweden.


Similar or higher levels of negativity in Britain as in France towards Roma/Gypsies/travellers and Muslims puts only three points between the two countries on average. In France, however, a greater proportion of people have negative impressions of black and gay people (14%), and one in ten have a negative impression of Jewish people.

Denmark appears to be very intolerant overall, but setting the especially high level of negative sentiment towards Roma/Gypsies/travellers to one side, it is third (18 points), behind Finland (23) and France (20). On this measure, Britain is second to last (16 points, behind Sweden's 14).

Finland is almost completely white, perhaps explaining the high level of negativity towards black people (20% have a negative impression). However, Finland also has the highest proportion with negative impressions of gay people (15%).

PA images

See the full poll results