International views of the United States – and President Joe Biden specifically – are largely positive across a sample of countries around the world, with a majority of respondents giving both strong reviews, according to a survey released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
The survey, which reached more than 27,000 adults in 23 countries through interviews conducted between Feb. 20 and May 22, found that 59% of respondents give the U.S. a favorable rating. A smaller share – 54% – approve of Biden, while about 4 in 10 respondents lack confidence in him. Some Western European countries such as France, Greece, Italy and Spain were less likely to have confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs.
While Biden’s favorability was lower overall than that of the country he leads, his rating is far better than his predecessor’s for the most part, as measured by Pew. Biden’s international approval rating has been better than former President Donald Trump’s throughout his time in office, especially in middle-income nations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In Mexico, for example, Trump had just an 8% favorability rating in 2019 compared to 43% for Biden in Pew’s most recent survey.
These numbers likely have political roots. Across the 17 countries where people were asked to place themselves on an ideological scale ranging from left to right, respondents on the political right generally had more positive views of the U.S. than those on left.
When it comes to views of the U.S. as a whole, the countries with the most positive ratings were Poland (93%), Israel (87%), South Korea (79%), Nigeria (74%), Japan (73%) and Kenya (71%). Hungary – which has remained a strong ally of Russia since its invasion of U.S.-supported Ukraine in February 2022 – was the only country that had under 50% of respondents with favorable views. Ratings also dropped marginally from 2022 to 2023 in Germany, Canada, South Korea and Sweden.
Those surveyed otherwise have a somewhat complicated view of the U.S.’s place in the world order. A median of 82% said the country interferes a great deal or a fair amount in the affairs of other nations – and that number rose above 90% in Greece and Italy. But even with this in mind, respondents were split on whether the U.S. takes their country’s interest in mind when dealing with international policy decisions. The U.S. also had the highest percentage of people who view it as the world’s leading economic power (41%), while China came in just behind at 33%.
Additionally, 61% of those surveyed said the U.S. contributes to peace and stability around the world, with that number reaching 85% in Poland – a Ukraine ally. Some countries, however, also view the U.S. as being a more dangerous place than other similarly wealthy nations. Less than a third (28%) thought so overall, but respondents in several countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom said the U.S. is more dangerous, comparatively. Young people ages 18-39 were more likely to have this sentiment across the countries surveyed.
The 23 countries surveyed by Pew were: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. Eight countries were included in the report for the first time since 2019, due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.