- The favorable rating of Canada is 87%, Great Britain 86%, France 84%, Japan 82%
- North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Iraq are the worst
- Preference has dropped significantly for seven countries this year; no improvement
WASHINGTON, DC – Canada, Britain, France and Japan are rated favorably by more than eight in 10 Americans this year in Gallup’s annual Global Affairs Poll. The survey, which was conducted before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, finds five countries at the other end of the spectrum with favorable ratings below 20%: North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Iraq.
Bar chart. US assessments of 19 foreign countries are very or somewhat favorable. Canada, Britain, France and Japan topped the list with more than eight in 10 Americans rating them favourably. North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Iraq are the lowest rated, with less than two in 10 Americans rating them favorably.
Ten of the 19 countries and territories surveyed in the Feb. 1-17 survey receive mostly favorable ratings from the American public. In addition to the four countries with scores above 80%, Germany (78%), India (77%), Israel (71%), Egypt (64%), Mexico (63%) and Ukraine (62%) are viewed favorably by majorities.
Ratings for Russia and Ukraine were gathered as Russia was building up troops along the Ukrainian border and the Biden administration warned an attack was imminent. It is likely that Ukraine’s assessments would be more positive and Russia’s more negative if the poll were conducted today.
Meanwhile, with the five countries at the bottom of the list having favorable ratings below 20%, four others are rated favorably by less than half – China (20%), the Palestinian Authority (27%), Saudi Arabia (33%) and Cuba (40%).
Whether Americans view a country favorably or unfavorably generally depends on the relationship between the United States and that country. Gallup has historically found that nations allied with the United States are viewed positively by Americans, while countries with strained relations with the United States receive negative ratings overall – and those ratings have historically reacted to changes in relations with the United States. In the past, for example, majorities of Americans held positive views of Russia and China and negative views of France and Egypt.
Favorable ratings Generally lower or stable
With the exception of Ukraine, Gallup has tracked Americans’ favorable ratings on those 19 countries over the past two to three decades. None have seen a significant increase in preference since 2021, but the ratings of seven countries have dropped significantly.
- Afghanistan saw the biggest drop in its favorable rating, down nine percentage points from a year ago – covering the chaotic withdrawal of the US military from that country last August. The current 12% is its lowest point on record.
- Russia’s favor fell seven points to a new low of 15% in the last reading (before the invasion).
- Americans’ opinions of Cuba and Iraq have each dropped five points over the past year.
- The favorable ratings of three US allies – Germany (down six points), Canada (five points) and Britain (five points) – also fell slightly; however, their ratings remain strong.
Changes in Americans’ Views of Foreign Countries
% very/rather favorable
After dropping precipitously last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, China’s 20% rating remains the lowest on record.
Although no country has seen a significant increase in popularity since 2021, India at 77% hits its all-time high from last year.
Fan ratings from 11 countries differ significantly
Supporters have similar views on eight countries: India, Afghanistan, North Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Britain and Russia.
At the same time, Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents are significantly more likely than Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents to have a favorable opinion of 10 countries: Mexico, the Palestinian Authority, Cuba, France, Canada, China, Germany, Ukraine, Iraq and Iran. Mexico has a favorable rating of 77% among Democrats and 49% among Republicans, a difference of 28 points. The rating gap of the Palestinian Authority is 21 points, 38% among the Democrats and 17% among the Republicans.
Only one country — Israel — has a higher favorable rating from Republicans than Democrats. Both groups view it positively, but the Republican score is 15 points higher, at 80%.
Differences in supporters’ views on foreign countries
% very/rather favorable
|Countries without significant partisan differences are not represented.|
To stay up to date with the latest information and updates from Gallup News, Follow us on twitter.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.
See complete answers to questions and trends (PDF download).