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16 November 2022

Lithuania: Public attitudes towards refugees in 2022

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Vilnius-based non-governmental organisation Diversity Development Group and the Institute of Sociology at the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences published the results of a survey on the attitudes of Lithuanian residents towards certain ethnic and religious groups. 

The representative survey of the Lithuanian population was conducted in September 2022 by the Gallup organisation "Baltic Surveys". A total of 1 024 Lithuanian residents aged 18 and above were interviewed.   

The data revealed a decrease in hostility towards refugees in 2022 compared with the previous year. In 2022, 27 % of  respondents (47 % in 2021) indicated that they would not want to live in the same neighborhood as people who are refugees, 14 % (28 % in 2021) said they would not want to work in the same workplace as refugees, and 33 % (48 % in 2021) that they would not rent a place of residence to a refugee. 

Despite this clear improvement in attitudes towards refugees, the survey also found that the majority of people still feel the influence of refugees on society and state is overall a negative one. For instance, 83 % believe that the presence of refugees leads to an increase in crime in Lithuania, or causes increased social unrest (81 %), while only 22 % agree that refugees could enrich the cultural life of the country.

The survey also found that 2022 marked an increase in the proportion of residents supporting integration measures for refugees. For example, 80 % agree that the state should secure education for refugee children, 70 % that refugees should be able to access Lithuanian language courses, and 60 % that they should be offered free legal consultation. 

As in 2021, in 2022 mass media has remained the main source of information on various groups of refugees and migrants, with the exception of those displaced from Ukraine. 37 % respondents said that they had had personal contact with new arrivals from Ukraine.

Researchers involved in the survey assume that some of these changes in attitudes were influenced by the war in Ukraine. Approximately 65 % of survey participants noted that in the last five years their attitudes towards Ukrainians living in Lithuania has "improved a lot" or "rather improved than worsened", while approximately 75 % stated that their attitudes towards Russians living in Lithuania has "deteriorated a lot" or "rather worsened than improved".

The full study - in Lithuanian - is attached below or can be read online here, and a recording of an event presenting its results - also in Lithuanian - is available here

Public attitudes study survey results 2022
(290.66 KB - PDF)


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Posted by
Giedre Blazyte
Country Coordinator

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