Most People 'Like' America, Claims Pew Survey

A global survey from the Pew Research Center shows that 69% of people view the United States in a favorable light

Wed, Jun 24, 2015
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A majority of people have a favorable opinion of the United States, its economy, and its fight against the Islamic State, reveals a new global survey from the Pew Research Center.

Overall, most people hold the U.S. in a positive light, with a global median of 69% saying they had a favorable opinion of it. That's an increase of four percent from the 65% of respondents who held the same opinion in 2014.

Pew's survey quizzed 45,435 people from 40 countries between March 25 and May 27.

Respondents seemed to be particularly impressed with the U.S.'s efforts to rein in the Islamic State (IS). Some 62% said they supported the U.S.-led airstrikes against IS in Iraq and Syria, while just 24% said they were against the campaign, which has so far failed to dislodge IS militants from the vast swathe of terrain they hold in the two countries.

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Past issues were also examined in Pew's survey. One of the questions asked of respondents was whether or not they believe the U.S.'s use of torture against terrorist suspects in the aftermath of the Spetember 11, 2001 attacks was justified. One third of foreign respondents said that torture was warranted, while just over 50% said they were dismayed at the use of torture techniques. This compares to almost 60% of American respondents who said the use of torture was acceptable.

With regards to the U.S. economy, a majority of respondents in 30 of the 40 countries said they believed the U.S. was still the world's leading economic power. However, people in 27 of the 40 countries said they believe China will eventually surpass the U.S. as the world's most dominant economy.

As for President Barack Obama, his popularity also remained high in a majority of nations, with his approval ratings actually improving in 14 of the 40 countries. India seems to be especially keen on the U.S. president, with almost three-quarters of respondents expressing their approval for him. However, Obama's popularity saw a sharp decline in Israel, where confidence in the U.S. leader slipped to just 49%, from 71% the year before.

Source: Pew Research Center via BBC News.

Image credit: Matthew Tichenor via flickr.com

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