Young people in India were the most positive about legal immigration among 20 countries polled for a new global survey published on Wednesday.
As many as 47% of young Indians aged in their late teens and early 20s think the government should make it easier for immigrants to live and work legally in India, compared to 14% who thought it should be made more difficult.
The findings are published by London-based charity Varkey Foundation following an in-depth opinion poll by Populus.
“Generation Z: Global Citizenship Survey - What the world’s young people think and feel” claims to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date global survey of the views of Generation Z -- those born between 1995 and 2001.
“At a time of nationalist and populist movements that focus on the differences between people, the evidence shows that young people -- whatever their nationality or religion -- share a strikingly similar view of the world,” said Vikas Pota, chief executive of Varkey Foundation.
“Teenagers in Nigeria, New Delhi and New York share many of same priorities, fears, ambitions and opinions. There is far more unity among young people than a glance at the headlines would suggest,” Pota said.
The same questions were asked of members of Generation Z in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.
The key India findings include 94% of those surveyed said that more people being educated around the world made them hopeful for the future -- a higher percentage than in any other country polled apart from Indonesia.
In India, over half those surveyed (53%) support same-sex marriage, despite the fact that it is not recognised by law in India.
Indian young people are also among the most hopeful about the world of any country polled -- 49% of respondents think the world is becoming better, compared to just 18% who think it is becoming worse while 31% think it is becoming neither better nor worse.
Across all countries surveyed, just 20% of young people thought the world was becoming a better place.
In India, having a good relationship with family is seen as being at least as important to overall happiness as physical and mental health.
“Many assumptions are made about this first generation of ‘digital natives’. The survey allows us to challenge our assumptions with hard evidence. It is the most comprehensive recent attempt to understand the lives of Generation Z -- the first group born who may conceivably live to see the 22nd century,” Pota said.