Is Diversity bad for A Nation's Prosperity?

Aug 2016
Firstly, I don't think diversity is necessarily a bad thing. However, it sometimes seems like having tension between disparate groups of people produces more problems than it solves. Also, it seems like this tension is largely unavoidable when said peoples are forced to live together.

What are your thoughts?

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
it seems like this tension is largely unavoidable when said peoples are forced to live together.
I'd say "it seems" is rather euphemistic.

If we exclude the "forced to live together", the diversity isn't an issue, as if You have a nation composed by more than one citizen, You have ... diversity.

I suppose You refer to diversity as in different ethnically (?). It isn't the issue.

US is "diverse", Switzerland is "diverse", and don't seem having prosperity problems. As "non-diverse" nation's did/do have prosperity problems.

In a democratic, well functioning society, diversity is more an asset than an issue.
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Tuthmosis III

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
the middle ground
Funny how "tension between disparate groups of people" tends to diminish when there is money to be made. :D
Apr 2018
Upland, Sweden
As deaf tuner said, a country can be diverse and still be succesful (such as Switzerland) - where I think I'd disagree with him is whether or not that diversity is part of what has added the "net benefit" of said society.

It all depends on how you deal with your diversity. Switzerland for example is very decentralized, largely on ethnic/ linguistic grounds. In that particular case it probably also helps that the different linguistic groups are quite similar and can relate to each other, from a global perspective... Italians, French and Germans have interacted fruitfully for all involved, after all - also the first cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy, the eidsgenossenschaft were exclusively German speaking, breaking away from the Holy Roman Empire.

What specific kind of diversity do you have in mind? I take it as a given that you are talking about ethnic and cultural diversity, but not all kinds of diversity are ethnic in nature. Political diversity (i.e. political decentralization) can be very beneficial I think. Similarly intellectual diversity can, although it no doubt acts destabilizing in the short run, most of the time be beneficial for a society in the long run...

It also depends on what kind of society you want to live in. Austria Hungary worked, in a sense. Whether it could have been made to work democratically is another matter.
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Apr 2018
Upland, Sweden
Funny how "tension between disparate groups of people" tends to diminish when there is money to be made. :D

A common enemy/threat often have the same effect.

Common interests often have the same effect too.
Are such constellations stable in the long term though? Would you support your neighbours when the going gets tough if they had nothing to offer you, if you are only held together by interest, or business partnerships? What do you do when the threat dissappears...?

But these things are not immaterial. Some would say that modern nationstates in Europe are artificial creations, as much a product of aggregated interests among local elites and outside threats after all. So you both certainly have a point, sure.


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Biology tells us that diversity is a pivotal asset to improve. History can tell us something similar: which is the most successful country in the world?
US ... the country with the greatest diversity ever. Despite what Trump can say, US have been made by migrants coming from all over the world and today "Americans" are actually generic terrestrial beings.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
Can you really generalize like that though? Would it be great for a country like Japan, for example?
Japan, especially the Yamato people, ostracize foreigners. They even ostracize other Japanese of other "races." Since ostracizing is a deliberate form of division, I'd say that more diversity isn't solving anything in Japan since it leads to more conflict, more animosity, more intolerance, more alienation. The only way to fix it is to get the Japanese people themselves more tolerant, which means having them change their own culture. Good luck with that...