Research on Finnish Society


To vote or not to vote? A macro perspective. Electoral participation by immigrants from different countries of origin in 24 European countries of destination

Stéfanie André Jaap Dronkers & Ariana Need
Tilburg University, Maastricht University, University of Twente

Electoral participation of immigrants is an important issue in Europe, particularly because immigrants vote less often than natives. This may suggest a lack of political integration and might result in proportionally lower representation in parliament, in turn affecting democratic legitimacy. This research analyses 8,132 immigrants in 24 European countries. We find that although the largest differences are at the level of the country of destination, the measured characteristics of the country of origin offer more powerful explanations. We conclude that immigrants from countries with more political and socio-economic opportunities have a higher propensity to vote. Immigrants who live in countries with a higher economic development level also vote more often.

Keywords: Electoral participation, immigrants, multilevel modelling, European Union, origin countries

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