According to research by Ipsos MORI, the Scottish public’s average estimate is that 25 per cent of people living in Scotland were born outside the UK. The true figure is seven per cent.
The finding is part of the Perils of Perception Survey, which is based on phone interviews with over 1,000 people carried out between November 27 and December 5.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: “Our perception of how widespread immigration is in Scotland doesn’t match the reality.
“This misperception is partly because we overestimate what we worry about: the more we see coverage of an issue, the more widespread we think it is. We are often least accurate on
issues that are widely discussed in the media or highlighted as challenges facing our society, such as immigration.”
The polling, which was carried out in 38 countries worldwide, shows people in all countries overestimate the proportion of immigrants in their population.