Is there a website that measures the level of xenophobia in countries or cities? It would be better if it's color coded.

Xenophobia could mean a lot for some tourists, I myself do not like to travel to places with high xenophobia levels.


Xenophobia is a dislike or fear of people from other countries or of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Some definitions suggest xenophobia as arising from irrationality or unreason.

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    How exactly would one measure this?
    – choster
    Jan 25, 2013 at 14:55
  • @choster perhaps surveys or tourists feed back... or any other techniques.. Jan 25, 2013 at 15:24
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    Another question - why? What brought you to ask this?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:38
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    @choster: You don't have to know how to measure a thing before reading a report on measurements of such things. Jan 26, 2013 at 13:41
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    There's all kinds of attitude surveys on places like Buzzfeed and what-not, and you'll always be welcomed here in Essex, dude. I am pressing 'Skip' in the review queue on this one :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Sep 14, 2015 at 10:59

3 Answers 3


What criteria would you use to label people xenophobic? And would these criteria really reflect your own experience visiting these places?

In an article on xenophobia in European cities published in "Business Insider", the criterion is the answer "strongly/somewhat disagree" to the statement "The presence of foreigners is good for the city" in the EU survey "Perception survey on quality of life in European cities".

While the question does fit with the definition of xenophobia, it doesn't really reflect the experience of visiting these cities as a tourist, assuming the sample size is sufficient for a meaningful analysis (which is most unlikely)

People tend to be a big part of the reactions they get. Some people can travel just about anywhere and enjoy a great welcome while others go to the same places and are endlessly disappointed, scammed...

Any broad generalization on the matter is more likely to cause problems than it is to help travelers.

You would be better served by making a list of countries you are interested in and doing some more detailed research on those. Check out what scams are frequent. Check out if people complain of double pricing. Check out if formal segregation between locals and foreigners. Read accounts of foreigners who travel cross country by bike/motorbike as they will usually give you a good idea of how they were perceived by people they met. etc.

It will give you a far better picture of the situation than some superficial xenophobia index.

  • This, I think, is the answer that gives the most realistic answer. I so agree with the fact that the way your perceive your travels depend very much on how you see it; hence, some travellers have a great time while others don't. Jan 25, 2013 at 18:27
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    well said. And that question would be interpreted by many as meaning "is a large population of foreigners living here permanently good for the city" which most people would answer "no" to as in the experience of most Europeans such a situation means mostly a large population of criminal permanently unemployable foreigners sucking at the public teat of social security (which sadly is the case in much of western Europe). Tourists however are usually warmly welcomed in those same cities by those same people.
    – jwenting
    Jan 26, 2013 at 6:12
  • Indeed. These people are able to put their racism on hold when the tourists arrive. This is even more true for persons who make a living from the tourists. Jan 26, 2013 at 10:05
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    @MarcelC. I don't think racism is the right word. These people are afraid of foreigners taking their jobs. They are afraid about people who have nothing to lose and don't care about the laws of the country. Neither of these factors apply to tourists and so you get the paradox of people who are both xenophobic and yet genuinely welcoming to foreign tourists.
    – Sylverdrag
    Jan 26, 2013 at 12:28
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    @hunter2 it's not racism at all, it's at most xenophobia. If 2 million Canadians a year were crossing into the US illegally and filing for welfare or taking up low wage jobs, leaving millions of low educated Americans unemployed, the same sentiments would arise against them. Same in Europe, we don't see hundreds of thousands of Belgians come here into the Netherlands and drive locals out of work because they through a loophole in EU law can be hired at 30% the price of a local, we do see 200k Poles doing it.
    – jwenting
    Jul 25, 2013 at 9:39

There's no hard/fast way to measure this. Do you do it on race? Or just foreigners? Or how they're treated in their country? Or the distribution of race in a country?

One international means of 'measuring' might be to look at the "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination" - a document with 86 signatories and 175 parties.

Several of the parties have conditions on their signature, refusing to accept some parts. That doesn't necessarily make them racist though - for example, the ones refusing to ban hate speech do so (they claim) to protect freedom of speech laws.

Parties who signed/ratified the convention (from Wikipedia)

Then you can look at who didn't sign or ratify the convention. As can be seen in the map above, there are a few countries - like North Korea, who didn't sign or ratify. Some might see that as a sign of xenophobia, some might just say they didn't agree with the wording.

Then of course, you have opinion on the most xenophobic/racist countries. There's an article on The Most Racist Countries in Europe. You also have a post on Answers.com claiming it's Saudia Arabia. Another claims Australia is one of the most racist countries.. Each has different ideas on 'most' depending on their Weltanschauung (view of the world).

Finally, a way to find out in depth about the types, levels and variety of racism around the world would be to read. Wikipedia has a page of Racism by country, broken down by continents, which you can use to find out about all the details of xenophobia - be it historic, cultural, religious, economic or demographic reasons

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    your answer is great, but its about racism.. I was asking about xenophobia.. xenophobia is simply the fear od the dislike of foreigners. Racism is something else.. Jan 25, 2013 at 17:46
  • Actually, it's an often used interchangeably - "In various contexts, the terms "xenophobia" and "racism" seem to be used interchangeably, though they can have wholly different meanings (xenophobia can be based on various aspects, racism being based solely on ethnicity, and ancestry). Xenophobia can also be directed simply to anyone outside a culture. Basically, a completely biased opinion regarding foreign matters." (Wiki).
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 25, 2013 at 18:08
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    Consider the USA. Many people there who are racist are displaying that behaviour to their fellow citizens. And it's certainly possible to be xenophobic to someone of the same race as you who speaks another language or in some other way is easy to spot as foreign. I think these behaviours may co-occur but are not the same thing. Jan 27, 2013 at 3:33
  • Kate - Indeed they CAN be different, but as per the defintion in my previous comment from Wikipedia, they're often used interchangeably, but CAN have different meanings. It's all down to context. One would also presume that tolerance is a common trait among less-racist and xenophobic peoples, and that as racism decreases, so would xenophobia.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 3:42
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    I share the same opinion as Kate on this one Mark. Jan 27, 2013 at 6:25

One does not simply measure xenophobia.

There is this long forum thread: Name the most/least xenophobic countries.

This article, These 20 cities may be the most xenophobic in Europe, uses a survey (PDF in article).

A black friend of mine told me that it was not possible for him to go to Russia because of racism, some internet research backs that up.
Should black people travel to Russia? blog post proposes a Yes and a No answer.

(And you want a map color-coded?)

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