Just 1% of Russians approve of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration — the worst U.S. approval rating of countries in the world and the lowest approval of U.S. leadership in any country in the past decade. Unlike Russia, many countries have a positive view of the United States, according to the most recent Gallup poll. In fact, compared to other world powers, including Russia, the United States is generally perceived more favorably. However, the populations of some countries seem to truly hate America.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed “Rating World Leaders: 2016 What People Worldwide Think of the U.S., China, Russia, the EU and Germany,” a report based on polls conducted by polling and analytics firm Gallup. In Russia, 89% of the population disapproves of U.S. leadership. A number of former Soviet states, as well as several Middle Eastern nations, also have very high U.S. disapproval ratings. Iran rounds out the list, with 51% of residents reporting a negative view of U.S. leadership. In all, there are 15 countries where a majority of the population disapproves of the Obama administration.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St. Ambassador Stuart Holliday, president and CEO of the Meridian International Center said these ratings “reflect legitimate opinions that people have whether they’ve been shaped by culture, history, or the news.”
Although U.S.-Russia relations have improved considerably since the Cold War, they began to deteriorate after President Vladimir Putin took power. Holliday explained that Putin has been largely responsible for positioning the United States as opposing Russia and stoking the negative sentiment.
In the case of United States and Russia, the perception of each country’s population of one another seems to mirror U.S.-Russia relations. However, this seems to be the exception. In other countries, the populations seem to maintain unfavorable views towards U.S. leadership despite normal to strong ties between the two governments.
A majority of the 15 nations are formal allies of the United States. Four of the 15 — Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Pakistan — are among the top recipients of U.S. foreign assistance. As Holliday explained, governments typically form relationships around policy positions. The views of the people, by contrast, “might be formed on where they might want to migrate to, to live, whether they admire the education system or the economic system.”
Not only are a population’s’ views often quite different from that of a government, but because of the varied possible interpretations of the survey question and because of the differing amounts of information available in each country, disapproval ratings can have different meanings in each country. Nowhere is this variance more apparent than in the United States itself, where 61% of residents disapprove of U.S. leadership, worse than a few of the countries who hate America the most.
To identify the countries that hate America the most, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed “Rating World Leaders: 2016 What People Worldwide Think of the U.S., China, Russia, the EU and Germany,” a report published in October 2016 through a partnership between nonprofit global leadership organization The Meridian International Center and polling company Gallup. Gallup conducted face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, 15 years and older, in 133 countries in 2015. Survey participants were asked whether they approve or disapprove of U.S., Chinese, Russian, EU, and German leadership. Each country on this list was ranked on the percentage of residents who disapprove of U.S. leadership. GDP per capita (PPP) and unemployment rates in each country are for 2015 and came from the International Monetary Fund. Life expectancy at birth came from the World Bank.
These are the countries that hate America.