mexicans think mexicans should be mexican

from the world values survey, in answer to the question* “In your opinion, how important should the following be as requirements for somebody seeking citizenship of your country? – Having ancestors from my country”

80.9% of mexicans feel it’s very or rather important that a person ought to have MEXICAN ancestors in order to become a citizen of mexico. americans at 39.4% come nowhere close to that (click on the charts to see BIGGER versions):

mexicans are in league with sub-saharan africans on this score, although people from mali win the prize for being the most “xenophobic”:

and indians are even LESS welcoming than the mexicans. 87.2% of indians think u should have INDIAN ancestors if u wanna become a citizen of india:

now, more power to ’em i say! but, next time some la raza advocate is annoyed when americans say they don’t want amnesty for all the illegal mexicans in the country — or the next time bill gates starts sayin’ we need more indians in the country — well, they oughta be reminded of these facts.

the rest of the asians surveyed also have pretty healthy “xenophobic” attitudes. the taiwanese scored kinda low, but i’m guessing they were thinking of their relatives back on the mainland when they answered that question.

middle easterners/north africans also don’t want foreigners becoming citizens of their respective countries:

and some europeans also feel strongly about the issue. whassup with the poles?! tired of being run over from both east and west?:

only the germans, norwegians, andorrans (who?), swedish and swiss scored lower than americans. but the swiss have shown lately (in their last few referendums on minarets, etc.) that they’re maybe finally getting a little fed up. even the laid back swedes voted in an “extremist” right-wing party last time round. and 13% of germans want a führer back. whoops!

the times they are a changin’…?

previously: people in hong kong are soooo waaaycist!

update 12/11: see also “Is Ancestry Important for Citizenship? (World)” and “Ancestry for Citizenship? (USA)” @hail to you.

*question asked in: Andorra [2005], Argentina [2006], Australia [2005], Brazil [2006], Bulgaria [2006], Burkina Faso [2007], Canada [2006], Colombia [2005], Cyprus [2006], Chile [2006], China [2007], Egypt [2008], Ethiopía [2007], Finland [2005], France [2006], Georgia [2008], Germany [2006], Ghana [2007], Great Britain [2006], Guatemala [2004], Hong Kong, China [2005], India [2006], Indonesia [2006], Irak [2006], Iran [2005], Italy [2005], Japan [2005], Jordan [2007], Malaysia [2006], Mali [2007], Mexico [2005], Moldova [2006], Morocco [2007], Netherlands [2006], New Zealand [2004], Norway [2007], Peru [2006], Poland [2005], Romania [2005], Russian Federation [2006], Rwanda [2007], Serbia [2006], Slovenia [2005], South Africa [2007], South Korea [2005], Spain [2007], Sweden [2006], Switzerland [2007], Taiwan [2006], Thailand [2007], Trinidad and Tobago [2006], Turkey [2007], Ukraine [2006], United States [2006], Uruguay [2006], Viet Nam [2006], Zambia [2007].

(note: comments do not require an email.)



  1. HBDChick, I am glad you have looked into this and helped spread the word on this interesting dataset. However, direct country-to-country comparisons are not on the solidest of ground here.

    In brief: Different groups have different histories and so will interpret the question differently.

    Consider Taiwan’s situation, versions of which exist in many nations: What -is- “Taiwanese ancestry”? During the Crusades era, there were no Han-Chinese living on the island of Taiwan at all. During the Reformation, still no settlements at all. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock there were finally some tiny Chinese footholds, but it was still negligible and the island was dominated by the native hunter-gatherers and simple-farmers. Colonist waves from China replenished Han-Chinese stock continually from the 1600s-1949. By today, Chinese are the super-majority, what, 98%, and the “native Taiwanese” of yesterday (a people with a visible Australoid strain, similar to SE-Asians) are in-effect extinct. This is in a part of the world with a very old “Historical Memory” (Chinese say their civilization is, what, 8,000 years old? Chinese anthropologists claim Mongoloid direct descent from the erectus Peking Man! [Which is likely true, but that’s another story]). Then there is the Chiang-Kai-shek crowd who, in-effect, invaded the island in 1949: They have -no- “Taiwanese ancestry” (from before the late 1940s) at all, but they form, what, 20% of the population, and ruled the island till relatively recently? Should this group with very recent roots not be qualified for citizenship according to those Taiwanese saying “Ancestry is Very Important”? In simple terms: There would be a lot of things going through a Taiwanese’s mind on this question because of their unique history. Does their low-result (the lowest overall in East-Asia) mean they are “less ethnically-conscious” than other East-Asians? Surely not, but their history would lead them to answer this question differently.

    In certain other countries, like Germany and South-Korea and China, there is a political issue of large emigrant communities and their relations with the “Motherland”. So it is a practical issue rather than a philosophical one. Maybe some South-Koreans oppose the lavish treatment given to Korean-Americans by the Republic of Korea government: exemption from armed service, right to dual citizenship, to come and go as they please, to work in South-Korea without special permission. They are babied and lured back, but they are often seen by the man on the street as [and often are] “Ugly Americans”, arrogant, brash, and so on, and many cannot even speak Korean very well. Some Koreans are understandably sore about this. This does -not- imply they are indifferent about racial issues or don’t care what the future citizenry of their country is! Yet the so-called “Gyopo” issue (Koreans born abroad), could very well probably depress the “Yes” figure (Very+Somewhat). Korea is a little more complicated still because of the division: Some “South-Koreans” have North-Korean ancestors who fled during the war, but the phrasing of the question translated in Korean may be “Ancestors from South-Korea”, leading otherwise-basically-racialistic persons to say “Not Important”. In the case of German respondents, they may answer based on their stance on the specific “Spaetaussiedler” Question (people who claim to be of German-ancestry from in Eastern-Europe) rather than the philosophical merits of citizens being united by common ethnoracial-ancestry.

    Still others might interpret the question to flatly mean “Do you support jus-sanguinis in the ongoing jus-solis vs. jus-sanguinis debate?” (citizenship by right of birth or by right of parentage). Those who interpret the question in that way are answering a very different question than those who interpret it as “Do you oppose racial-aliens becoming citizens?”

    Then there are the Norways and the Irelands: Countries with recent very-heavy emigration histories. They say that Norway lost an incredible 40% of its population to emigration during the 1850s-1920s, almost all of it the to the Midwest USA. So in a zero-migration scenario, instead of there being 4.4 million (ethnic-)Norwegians in Norway today, there would be 7.4 million. Surely a group like the Norwegians, conscious of such a history, will answer the question differently than, say, the residents of Mali. If Norwegians say “ancestry is very important”, they would be saying that 4-in-10 of their own great-great-great uncles and aunts, of the same ultimate ancestral stock as themselves [the present Norwegians], should have been rejected by their new societies!

    Now consider Malaysia: Malays (the aboriginals) were not a majority until 1965 when supermajority-Chinese Singapore broke away. All Malays know that Malaysian society would collapse if the “immigrant” Chinese and Indians and Europeans were expelled. There is no doubt about it. Yet there is constant ethnic struggle, with Malays claiming the right to special-privileges, endless affirmative-action, special positions in government. Non-Malays don’t like it, and there is a history of deadly race-riots. Yet their results on this question boggle the mind: Supposedly 88.5% of total Malaysians say ancestry is important, but only 55% or so of total Malaysians even have multi-century local ancestry (i.e., are ethnic-Malays)! So the Chinese-Malaysians and the Indian-Malaysians answering this question, what question are -they- answering, anyway? What is “Malaysian ancestry” for them? Say all of Mr.Chen’s great-grandparents were born in Malaysia but all 16 of his great-great-grandparents were born in China, does Mr.Chen count as having “ancestors from Malaysia”, or not? Apparently either there is completely-unreported, suddenly-arisen nasty case of mass-ethnomasochism among non-Malays Malaysia (with 3-in-4 Chinese/Indians apparently opposing their own citizenship in Malaysia), or people are interpreting the question differently there for one reason or another, than they are/could-be elsewhere. Selection bias is not to blame: Only 689/1201 respondents are Muslim, 57.4%. If only Malays were surveyed, it’d be nearer 100%-Muslim.

    I need not even touch on the confusion the question would inspire in the USA and other extensions of Western Europe (Australia, etc.) [Similar to that in Taiwan, but even messier]. It’s just impossible to compare a USA to a region settled by a single group for thousands of years. (In the USA I’d further expect that many interpreted the question to be on the “Anchor-Baby” question, jus-solis, 14th-Amendment citizenship for illegal immigrants, rather than anything philosophical).

    Finally, certain Europeans who have sympathies for racialist-nationalistic ideas will still tend to answer “Not Important”, because of Europe’s “petty-national” history. I mean, find me even one Dutchman who would violently oppose Dutch citizenship for someone of Flemish birth and ancestry who moved to Netherlands at age 2 and lived there till adulthood? Such a thing would be truly crazy. Yet that Flemish-born person is of “non-Dutch ancestry”, strictly speaking. (Except that brief period of pan-Dutch unity in the 1800s).

    Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of words saying what may be obvious but overlooked: There are a LOT of potential problems with as-is inter-national comparisons for this dataset. A lot. Different national-histories and clearly different interpretations of the question based thereupon make it so.

    More valid are intra-national comparisons. (i.e., within one nation). Within one society, everyone will basically have the same approach to the question, in terms of specific national-historical vantage point and specific circumstances.

    I attempted to analyze one nation at a time this way, to find what patterns might exist. I used the same dataset but broke it down by age/class, which are the two most useful parameters as far as I see it. The trends by age and class are interesting. The basic trends -can- be compared internationally “with a grain of salt” (remembering the above).

    I found several things I did not expect. ~Half of working-class youth in Germany say “Ancestry is Important” vs. only 16% of upper-class youth. Similar for Poland, Norway, and the USA. But in East-Asia, the pattern is are reversed, where it is the upper-classes who carry the “ancestry is important” banner.

    Links to my analysis:

    Northern Europe
    Germany — A dramatic story in the young generation, polarizing itself.

    East Asia
    South Korea

    <a href=";World


  2. One more thing: I’d point out that you have excluded the “I Don’t Knows” and the “No Answers”. These are considerable in some cases and can skew the data. Most strikingly, in this case, it is China.

    Chinese “Very’s”: 597
    Chinese “Somewhat’s”: 533
    Chinese “Not’s”: 391
    Chinese IDKs: 486
    Chinese No-Anwers: 8
    TOTAL Surveyed: 2015
    (Very+Somewhat)/TOTAL= 56.1%

    In your chart you have 74.3% of Chinese as having said “Very or Somewhat Important”. Actually, only 56% of -total- respondents said that.

    One can only speculate about why so many Chinese — 1-in-4 — were “I Dont Know’s”, and what that means.


  3. Fascinating post and kudos to Hail for the astute observations on disparate countries. I am Dutch myself and somewhat knowledgeable about the situation in Southeast Asia, and I think your analysis about the various factors that come into play in the results of this kind of survey is spot on,


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