Opinions of the United States are largely positive and improving, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
The survey found that U.S. favorability improved from 65% in 2013 and 2014 to 69% this year. The highest favorability came from the Philippines (92%), and the lowest from Jordan (14%) followed by (15%). Other countries that viewed the United States in a positive light were Ghana (89%), South Korea (84%), Kenya (84%), Italy (83%), Israel (81%), Ethiopia (81%), and Senegal (80%),
Regionally, Russia and the Middle East held the least favorable views (with the exception of Israel, where U.S. favorability is positive), while Africa held the most favorable views.
When it comes to money matters, the U.S. is still seen as the global kingpin, but maybe not for long. Of the 40 countries polled, a majority in 30 of them saw the United States as the world’s biggest economic power, but 27 countries—especially those in the EU—thought that China would eventually take the throne.
Opinions of certain U.S. military practices, however, were nowhere near as flattering. Views of the U.S. mission against ISIS, while still enjoying the support of the majority, were slightly less favorable (62%) than overall U.S. favorability. Much more disdainful to survey respondents were U.S. interrogation techniques, commonly recognized as torture. Only 35% viewed U.S. use of torture as justified, compared to 60% of Americans (more so Republicans than Democrats).
When it comes to approval of President Obama, support is widespread and growing in many countries, with the approval of 69% of respondents. In Israel, however, the Obama’s subtle but growing criticism of Israel for the occupation of Palestinian land and its actions in the war there last year, has garnered him diminishing support, nosediving from a 71% approval rating one year ago to only 49% this year—still better than his approval rating at home, which hit 45% in a recent Gallup poll.
Before Obama taking office in 2008, the U.S. reputation around the world was in the gutter, with only eight out of 23 countries polled that year having a 50% or higher favorable view of the United States.
The United States isn’t the only world power improving its reputation with the global community. China also saw a bump in favorability, from 49% in 2014 to 55% this year.
Pew polled a total of 45,435 people over the age of 18 in 40 countries between March 25 and May 27, using face-to-face and telephone interviews.