Special Report

Countries That Hate America the Most

4. Lebanon
> Disapproval rating:
> GDP per capita: $16,430
> Unemployment rate: N/A
> Life expectancy: 80.1 years

A religiously diverse Middle Eastern country — 54% Muslim and 41% Christian — Lebanon is one of 15 countries in which a majority of respondents disapprove of U.S. leadership. It is also one of 11 countries where a majority disapprove of the EU leadership, and one of eight countries in which a majority disapprove of Germany’s leadership. Since the end of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, Congress has approved more than $1 billion to improve Lebanese security forces’ control over the country and foster economic growth. The U.S. standing among Lebanese respondents improved slightly from 2013, when 71% disapproved of the U.S. Possibly contributing to a longer term U.S. loss of standing in Lebanon is the fact that some members of Congress questioned continued funding of U.S.-sponsored initiatives there. Since the 2012 fiscal year, Congress has placed conditions on annual aid to Lebanon.

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3. Belarus
> Disapproval rating:
> GDP per capita: $17,623
> Unemployment rate: 0.51%
> Life expectancy: 72.5 years

As in several other former Soviet Union countries, many Belarus residents may still harbor dislike for America as a result of tensions during the Cold War. Further, the U.S. backing of Ukraine after Russia’s annexation of Crimea may have exacerbated ill will towards the U.S. in Belarus, as it did in other countries in the region. The country is still friendly with Russia, as about 62% of Belarus respondents approved Russia’s leadership, up from 46% in 2013 — the largest such increase among countries reviewed. The county’s high opinion of Russia, the country disapproving of the United States the most, may partly explain its similarly poor perception of the United States. Also, poor economic factors may partly account for the poor rating, as economically struggling nations often look upon the U.S. unfavorably, according to Holliday. The country’s inflation rate of 18.1% was the fifth highest among countries reviewed, and the GDP per capita of $17,623 was among the lower figures worldwide.

2. Palestinian Territories
> Disapproval rating:
> GDP per capita: N/A
> Unemployment rate: N/A
> Life expectancy: N/A

The 72% disapproval rating of Palestinians towards the United States improved somewhat from 2013, when 80% disapproved of U.S. leadership — the worst rating at the time. The U.S. government has stated it favors a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, perceptions among Palestinian Territories residents will likely not improve as long as the United States is perceived as fully supporting and aiding Israel despite its continued occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Hamas, the effective governing body in the Gaza Strip since 2007, is also considered by the United States and other Western nations to be a terrorist organization.

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1. Russia
> Disapproval rating:
> GDP per capita: $24,298
> Unemployment rate: 5.5%
> Life expectancy: 71.1 years

No country disapproves of America more than Russia, where 82% of survey respondents said they disapproved of U.S. leadership. This was also the worst rating from Russia in the history of the survey. While many Russians do not like America, residents of many other countries do not approve of Russia. The median disapproval rating of Russian leadership was greater than the median approval rating, the only country to claim this distinction. And while a majority of residents in 15 countries disapprove of the U.S., a majority of residents in 42 countries disapprove of Russia’s leadership. Russia’s disapproval rating of U.S. leadership worsened considerably from 2013, increasing 12 percentage points. Recently implemented U.S.-led Western sanctions on Russia have likely intensified Russians’ disapproval. According to historical data from the Levada Center, Russia’s independent public opinion tracker, negative attitudes towards the United States spiked during the invasion of Iraq and worsened again in 2008 after the Russia-Georgia conflict. More recently, the U.S. sided with Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

In a previous version of this story, Slovenia was incorrectly described as part of the USSR. In fact, while Yugoslavia, which included Slovenia, was a communist nation with a history of diplomatic ties to the Soviet Union, it was a sovereign nation.

In a previous version of this story, due to a processing error, Belarus’ unemployment rate was incorrectly listed as 51%. In fact, the unemployment rate in Belarus is 0.51%. 

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