Dec 08, 2023

Czechs’ Neighborly Preferences: Positive Shifts for Vietnamese, Decline for Russians

A recent STEM study indicates that while Czechs have historically embraced Slovaks and individuals from developed nations as neighbors, their acceptance of Vietnamese neighbors has surged over the past decade.

Senior analyst Kateřina Duspivová notes, “In 2023, 71% of Czech citizens are open to having Vietnamese neighbors, a significant increase from the 40% recorded in 2014, suggesting widespread acceptance of the Vietnamese community in Czech society.”

The conflict in Ukraine has also reshaped Czech attitudes toward neighbors with Ukrainians now viewed more favorably than Russians. Prior to the conflict, the sentiment was the opposite. However, acceptance of Eastern nationalities such as Arabs, Syrians and Afghans remains consistently low.

The TRENDY research series, which gauges Czech attitudes toward foreigners, reveals a continued positive disposition towards Slovaks (91%) and individuals from developed Western countries, including English, American, French and German citizens.

Croatians also enjoy relatively high acceptance at 71%. Conversely, geographically and culturally distant nationalities, such as Arabs, Afghans, Syrians or Sudanese, are perceived as problematic or even unacceptable neighbors by less than a quarter of Czechs.

While long-term preferences for Western neighbors remain unchanged, there are interesting shifts in the middle of the hierarchy. Due to the Ukraine conflict, acceptance of Russians as neighbors has declined to 36% in 2023, compared to 50% in 2016. In contrast, Ukrainians’ acceptability has risen to 45%, surpassing Russians by 9 percentage points.

Notably, Vietnamese immigrants emerge as success stories in Czech mutual understanding. Acceptance has risen from less than 10% in the 1990s to 71% in November 2023, comparable to foreigners from Western countries.

However, negative attitudes persist towards Roma people with only 24% considering them acceptable neighbors in 2023, similar to attitudes towards foreigners from the Arab world.

The November 2023 STEM research also uncovers disparities in social distance based on socio-demographic characteristics. While there are no significant gender differences, age plays a role with younger individuals more open to foreigners.

Education also influences attitudes with highly educated individuals more accepting, except for Americans, accepted by 90% of college graduates and 64% of those with basic education. Additionally, language proficiency influences willingness to have foreigners as neighbors.

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