The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees is the “most pressing challenge” Germany faces, according to a survey by market research company GfK.
The ‘Challenges of Nations’ survey covers 24 countries and asks what they felt was the biggest challenge in their country, but no other country's nationals were so concerned by immigration as those in Germany.
In 2015, only 35 percent of Germans saw immigration as the most pressing problem; the last time it was viewed as the biggest challenge the country faced was in 1992, when 68 percent of respondents rated it as such.
“Every seventh person who mentioned this problem would like to see positive integration, and one in five is against any further immigration,” said Raimund Wildner, manager of GfK, according to Der Spiegel.
The second most concerning issue was unemployment, which only 13 percent of people listed as a main concern, compared to 80 percent ten years ago. According to Bundesamt statistics, the unemployment rate has fallen from 10.5 percent for 5.9 percent over this time period.
The third and fourth biggest challenges according to survey respondents were poverty and criminality, followed by domestic politics, in fifth place.
Worldwide, inflation and unemployment were generally seen as the biggest issues, but immigration and integration topped the poll in several other European countries too; in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, between 33 and 66 percent of those surveyed selected it as the biggest challenge.
The survey is representative and took place in February and March. 2,104 people in Germany (27,600 worldwide) over the age of 14 were questioned.