Northern Ireland is “ the hate capital of the West”, according to new university research, with an astonishing 44% of its citizens proving disturbingly homophobic.
The research from University of Ulster, to be published in economics journal Kyklos, said that Northern Ireland matches Greece in their significant animosity toward gays and immigrants.
Vani Borooah, Professor of Applied Economics of University of Ulster and John Mangan, Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland collaborated in the study, which surveyed 32,000 people across 19 European counties, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
The Human Rights and Values survey asked respondents what they thought of minority groups – and how they would feel about having members of certain groups as their neighbors.
The five groups included members of another races, immigrants or foreign workers, Muslims, Jews, and homosexuals.
An astonishing 44% of the 1,000 respondents of Northern Ireland said they didn’t want even one of the five groups as their neighbors.
Bigotry proportion of Northern Ireland was followed closely by Greece with 43%.
The lowest proportion occured in Sweden with 13%.
Homophobia was by far the main source of bigotry in most western countries: over 80% of bigoted people in Northern Ireland and Canada, and 75% of bigots in Austria, the USA, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy wouldn’t want gays or lesbians as neighbours.
In Scandinavian countries the main target of hostility turned toward Muslims.
74% of bigoted Danes, 68% of bigoted Swedes and 63% of bigoted Icelanders did not want Muslims as neighbours.
The study also came up with the following conclusions.
– Women are less likely to be bigoted than men.
– Some evidence that financial dissatisfaction might also be a source of bigotry.
– Students were less likely to be bigots than non-students.
Click here to see the full research report.