The Top 5 Countries That Don’t Like The U.S. & The Top 5 That Do (Updated 2020)

by SharonKurheg

When it comes to views of other countries, politics, economics, world ideals, basic attitudes, what we’re “fed” by the media and those with power, etc., all play roles in how we view each other. Just as we as individuals like some people more than others, the same holds true for the countries of the world.

As part of their Global Attitudes Project, Pew Research has been studying and reporting other countries’ opinions of the United States on an annual basis since 2002. Since that time, they’ve conducted nearly 600,000 interviews in 64 countries. Although not all countries are included in the survey every year, it’s still a very interesting look at how others view us.

The question asked has been: Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of the United States. In the interest of simplicity of the survey, Pew then combined “very favorable” and “somewhat favorable” responses into an overall “favorable” response. Similarly, those who replied with “very unfavorable” and “somewhat unfavorable” were combined to become “unfavorable.”

Here are their most recent findings:

Top 5 Countries That Don’t Like The U.S.

  1. Turkey (73% unfavorable)
  2. Russia (60% unfavorable)
  3. Germany (57% unfavorable)
  4. Mexico (55% unfavorable)
  5. Lebanon (53% unfavorable)

Top 5 Countries That Do Like The U.S.

  1. Israel (83% favorable)
  2. United States (81% favorable)
  3. Philippines (80% favorable)
  4. Poland (79% favorable)
  5. South Korea (77% favorable)

Click here to see some of last year’s results, as a comparison.

Looking at the surveys over the long term, it’s interesting to see how things have changed.

  • In 2016, the United States’ view of ourselves was at 85%; it’s since gone down 4 points. It’s also amusing that in some years, other countries’ opinion of us was better than our own.
  • On the whole “how much” other countries did or didn’t like us has changed. In the past year, we were upwards of 94% favorable with other countries (that was Kenya in 2010), now the best we get is 83%.
  • On the other side of the coin, we’ve been unfavorable as low as 99% (Jordan, more than once). At least 27% of people in Turkey like us.
  • It’s also kind of sad that some countries used to have a relatively high opinion of us (U.K. 75% and Canada 72% in 2002) and now don’t (U.K. 57% and Canada 51% now).

The 2020 survey uses data from the Spring 2019 Global Attitudes Survey. So COVID wasn’t yet an issue. It will be interesting to see how the United States’ response to the pandemic will be reflected in others’ views of us in future surveys.

Meanwhile, for those of us who plan to visit other countries, it’s an interesting perspective to know how they feel about us.

Click here for the full 2020 survey results, as well as access to all previous years’ surveys.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


derek December 23, 2020 - 2:02 pm

If asked this questions, I have several opinions. 1. Opinion of a country’s government, 2. Opinion of the country’s people 3. Opinion of living in the country as a native 4. Opinion of living in the country as a foreigner.

For example, I wouldn’t mind being a Japanese living in Japan. However, I wouldn’t like to be a Nigerian living in Japan or a non-Japanese speaking American in Japan. I have high opinions (but not perfectly high) about Canadians but my opinion of the government, particularly one province’s government as lousy.

I don’t think Turkey is #1. North Korea doesn’t like America. Iran likes American porn but not Americans. It’s correct about Germany. They think Americans are stupid and they are superior.

AlohaDaveKennedy December 24, 2020 - 1:58 pm

19% in the US don’t like the US? Hmmm…we need a self-deportation tax credit to give these people bus fare to Canada when the border reopens?


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