Press Release

Pew Global Attitudes Project Releases Major International Poll Examining Views of America, China and the Global Economy

  • June 12, 2008


The 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Survey is based on more than 24,000 interviews conducted in 24 nations from March 17-April 21, 2008.  The first report on this survey features attitudes toward the United States, international views on economic issues, and as the Olympics approach, views about China.  The report also covers a number of other important international issues, such as views of world leaders, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and environmental issues.

Here are some highlights of the poll:

Some encouraging signs for America's global image emerge, a first for this decade.
  • While America's image remains negative or mixed in most countries, favorable views of the United States have increased modestly since 2007 in 10 of 21 nations.
  • Many people around the world are paying close attention to the U.S. presidential election.
  • And - except in countries that are extremely anti-American - many believe the next president may well change U.S. foreign policy for the better.
  • Just about everywhere greater numbers express confidence in presidential candidate Barack Obama than in John McCain.
  • But as President Bush's second term nears its close, huge majorities around the world continue to express little or no confidence in him.

Global economic gloom; America takes the blame.

  • Majorities in most countries surveyed describe their current economic conditions as bad.
  • Assessments have worsened over the past year in 14 of 22 countries surveyed in both this year and 2007.
  • China and India are notable exceptions to this global pessimism.
  • The American economy is now seen as having a considerable influence - and a negative impact -- on national economies, both large and small, in all parts of the world.

China's image is slipping in many nations.

  • Global publics express considerable concern about Chinese policies and the impact China is having on their own countries and lives.
  • China's global image is becoming increasingly parallel to America's - favorable ratings are comparable, as China's image slips again, and both countries are seen as unilateralist and as having considerable influence on other nations.
  • But people in most countries surveyed approve of the decision to hold the Olympics in Beijing.

Media Contact

Vidya Krishnamurthy