Special Report

Countries That Hate America the Most

Hallstatt, Austria
Source: Thinkstock

9. Austria
> Disapproval rating: 60.0%
> GDP per capita: $46,986
> Unemployment rate: 5.7%
> Life expectancy: 81.3 years

While 37% of Austrians disapproved of U.S. leadership in 2011, today 60% of surveyed Austrians disapprove of the Obama administration. The change in sentiment among Austrian citizens may be due to the shift in the country’s domestic politics. In the first round of the most recent presidential election, Austria elected what would be the first far-right head-of-government in Europe since the end of World War II. Obama has spoken publicly against Austria and Europe’s rightward shift. In a speech delivered the day after Austria’s election, Obama warned against the “creeping emergence of the kind of politics that the European project was founded to reject,” calling it a “mentality that tries to blame our problems on the other.” The cultural shift in Austria may be one reason for the growing disapproval of U.S. leadership.

Cairo, Egypt
Source: Thinkstock

8. Egypt
> Disapproval rating: 62.0%
> GDP per capita: $11,803
> Unemployment rate: 12.9%
> Life expectancy: 71.1 years

Many of the countries that dislike the United States receive substantial U.S. assistance, which only reveals the often stark differences between the relationships of foreign governments and the sentiments of a country’s population. The U.S. has provided approximately $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt each year since 1987. In 2011, demonstrations in Tahrir Square started a string of popular uprisings known as the Arab Spring. After Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was toppled in 2013, the U.S. withdrew aid. The current leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has been accused of implementing a police state. In a move that has been interpreted as condoning the new regime, military aid to Egypt was restored this April.

Approval of U.S. leadership among Egyptians dropped sharply in 2015. The country was one of only seven where approval fell by 10 percentage points or more from 2014.

Aerial view, cityscape of Minsk, Belarus
Source: Thinkstock

7. Belarus
> Disapproval rating: 67.0%
> GDP per capita: $17,715
> Unemployment rate: 1.5%
> Life expectancy: 73.0 years

In 1994 President Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit Belarus, but relationships have deteriorated since. In 2004, Congress passed the Belarus Democracy Act, authorizing funding for political opposition parties and organizations that promote democracy and human rights in the country. Due to concerns over human rights violations and the undermining of democracy, the United States imposed sanctions against Belarus in 2006 and extended them earlier this year. Ideological differences between the two countries have defined political US-Belarus relations, and may also be reflected by the Belarus population. The most recent survey found that 67% of Belarusians disapprove of U.S. leadership, among the worst U.S. ratings of any country.