BBC News Worldwide Poll: Global Views Of US Improve
The annual BBC worldwide poll started in 2005. Nearly 30,000 people were polled between November 2009 and February 2010 in 28 countries. The poll surveyed if people had a positive view or a negative view of a country without asking for a reason or justification for the answers collected by the pollsters.
As in 2009, Germany is the country that is viewed most favorably. Of the 28 countries surveyed in the 2010 poll, 15 are nations that have been polled each year since 2005. For this reason, the poll provides a long term tracking on how worldwide opinion has shifted or not overtime. The 15 countries included in the BBC poll every year since 2005 are: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, The Philippines, Russia, Turkey, the UK and the US.
The overall winner is Germany, leading the most favorably viewed nations with an average of 59 percent positive opinions, followed by Japan with 53 percent, the United Kingdom with 52 percent, Canada with 51 percent, and France with 49 percent. As a whole, the European Union scored positively at 53 percent.
For the least favorably viewed countries, Iran scored the worst with 15 percent, followed by Pakistan at 16 percent, North Korea at 17 percent, Israel with 19 percent, and Russia with 30 percent.
But what is the most notable trend in the 2010 poll, as highlighted by the BBC’s top pollsters, is the sharp improvement of the perception of the United States’ influence in the world, from negative to more positive, since President Obama took office.
In the 15 nations polled since the survey begun in 2005, positive views of the US stand now at 40 percent compared to 28 percent in 2007. At the same time, favorable opinions of China have declined, from 49 percent of positive views in 2005 to 34 percent in 2009 and 2010.
“People around the world today view the United States more positively than at anytime since the second Iraq war. While still well bellow that of countries like Germany and the UK, the global standing of the US is clearly on the rise again,” said Doug Miller, one of the lead pollsters in the survey.
Of all the 28 countries surveyed this year, 19 viewed the US positively, while six have a negative perception and two are divided. Positive views of the US have increased, since 2009, by 21 percent in Germany, 18 percent in Russia, 14 percent in Portugal and 13 percent in Chile. Meanwhile, negative opinions of the US declined by 23 percent in Spain, 14 percent in France and 10 percent in the UK. The three countries are now leaning towards a positive opinion of the US.
“After a year, it appears the “Obama effect” is real. Its influence on people views worldwide has soften the negative aspects of the United States’ image, while positive aspect are not yet coming into strong focus. While China’s image is stuck in neutral, America has motored past it in the global soft-power competition,” said Steven Kull the other lead pollster of the survey.
To read the complete BBC News worldwide survey click here.