Do you think Britain is an intolerant society?
With all the talk of "immigrants taking our jobs", Islam being "incompatible" with being British not to mention swathes of MPs wanting to retreat behind our borders to fend off the rest of Europe, you'd be forgiven for thinking the answer is "yes".
Well, some new research has vindicated Brits and shows we are perhaps a more welcoming society than the headlines would lead you to believe.
Two Swedish economists embarked upon a project to test whether economic freedom made people more or less racist.
The findings were then translated into this map by the Washington Post. Red areas show high levels of intolerance, blue low levels.
Participants in the study were asked to identify people they would not want to live next to.
One of the options was "people of a different race" which is the response shown on the map.
A few points of note:
- Western countries and Latin America appear to be the most tolerant
- India is by far the most intolerant closely followed by Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong
- Pakistan, sandwiched between India and Iran, is surprisingly tolerant
While the methodology may not be foolproof the visualisation of the data does make for interesting viewing.
As for the the original study, the two Swedish researchers concluded there was no correlation between economic freedom and racial tolerance.
Interestingly hoever, they did find a link between economic freedom and tolerance towards homosexuals.