Special Report

Nine Countries That Hate America Most

9. Tunisia
> Disapproval rating: 54.0%
> GDP per capita: $9,447 (90th highest)
> Unemployment: 16.7% (12th highest)
> Life expectancy: 75 years (tied for 47th highest)

Animosity towards the United States in Tunisia culminated in a 2012 ransacking of the U.S. embassy in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, by Islamic radicals. The people of Tunisia took to the streets to protest their leadership and a high unemployment rate, which reached 18.3% in 2011. The attack on the U.S. embassy came roughly one year after the protesters succeeded in ousting the country’s then-president, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Although the United States has been vocal in its support of democracy in Tunisia and has provided $400 million in financial aid to the country since 2011, more than half the population disapproves of U.S. leadership. As in many countries that have negative views of the United States, Tunisia’s economy is struggling and many of its people distrust the government. The vast majority of Tunisians believed that corruption was widespread throughout their government, according to a Gallup study in 2012, and only 20% believed the country’s economy was getting better.

8. Iran
> Disapproval rating: 56.0%
> GDP per capita: $12,804 (78th highest)
> Unemployment: 13.2% (18th highest)
> Life expectancy: 73 years (72nd highest)

Iran has long been at odds with the United States, most recently over Iran’s nuclear program. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, when Iran took more than 50 Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Additionally, policy analysts have credited European Union and U.S. sanctions for causing some of the country’s wide-ranging economic problems, with inflation among the chief concerns. Consumer prices in Iran rose 30.5% in 2012 and a world-leading 42.3% last year, according to IMF estimates. This had serious consequences for much of the population, just 53% of whom noted in 2012 they had enough money for shelter, the lowest of 17 countries in the region. Similarly, just 54% said they consistently had enough money for food that year, lower than all but one other peer nation. The effects of a poor economy may play a role in the residents’ distaste of America, with 56% disapproving of U.S. leadership.

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7. Slovenia
> Disapproval rating: 57.0%
> GDP per capita: $27,417 (36th highest)
> Unemployment: 10.3% (33rd highest)
> Life expectancy: 80 years (tied for 23rd highest)

Slovenia — a former communist nation that separated from Yugoslavia in 1992 — has suffered from a years-long financial crisis. Fixing the country’s weak financial institutions has been enormously expensive, according to a 2013 report in the Economist. Gross government debt as a percentage of GDP rose from just 35% in 2009 to an estimated 71.5% last year. While the country has struggled to repair its financial system and return to economic growth, protests against corruption led to the ouster of Slovenia’s government last year. In 2012, less than a quarter of the population had confidence in their judicial system, worse than in all but one other country in the area. Among the nations with the highest disapproval ratings of U.S. leadership, Slovenia is unique in that it is a NATO member. The U.S. State Department also asserts the two nations have a strong relationship.

6. Egypt
> Disapproval rating: 57.0%
> GDP per capita: $6,553 (76th lowest)
> Unemployment: 13.0% (20th highest)
> Life expectancy: 71 years (82nd highest)

Gallup collected survey data in Egypt before the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi and prior to the U.S. aid cuts later in the year. More Egyptians may now disapprove of U.S. leadership than the 57% who disapproved at the time Gallup conducted the surveys in 2013. Political turmoil has continued to plague Egypt since protesters succeeded in overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Egyptian respondents frequently reported negative experiences — such as feeling sad, stressed, angry or experiencing physical pain. More than half said they were worried during much of the previous day in 2012, more than most other countries reviewed in the region. The U.S. Department of State currently advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Egypt due to instability and violence across the country.

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