Why Allies Have Mixed Views of America

People in countries closely allied with the United States view America positively for its technological savvy and its entertainment industries, but negatively for its health care system, race relations and as a model for a healthy democracy, a global survey finds.

The findings, released on Monday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, come as U.S. President Joe Biden is in Europe to hold talks with allies and attend the U.N. climate conference. The study was conducted in the U.S. and 16 other advanced economies and reveals the complicated image the U.S. projects abroad and the mixed views Americans have of their country.

Among the survey’s major findings of people outside of the U.S.:

— A median of 72% of people say American technology is the best or above average compared to other developed nations.

— A median of 71% say American entertainment is the best or above average.

— A median of 66% say the U.S. health care system is below average or the worst compared to other developed countries.

— A median of just 17% say democracy in the U.S. is a good example for others to follow. Findings from the same survey show most Americans and people polled in the other 16 countries want political reform.

[MORE: Countries Seen to Have the Best Public Health Care Systems]

Global views of U.S. living standards are mixed; in most countries surveyed, pluralities say the American standards of living are average. And majorities say discrimination of people in the U.S. based on their race or ethnicity is a very serious problem. The Pew survey was conducted less than a year after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer set off protests around the world over racial injustice.

Opinions of U.S. military strength and its universities are favorable. Among the 16 countries surveyed, a median of 69% say America’s military as at least above average and a median of 59% view the country’s universities as at least above average.

Americans themselves are critical of some aspects of U.S. society. Approximately 42% of U.S. adults surveyed said racial or ethnic discrimination remains a very serious problem and another 32% say it is a somewhat serious problem.

And about 4 in 10 Americans surveyed say the U.S. health care system is either below average or the worst when compared to other nations.

The Pew findings align with many of the results of the annual U.S. News Best Countries survey released this past spring. Among the U.S. News findings from residents of 78 countries is the U.S. is seen as one of the top countries for technological expertise and one of the worst countries for providing racial equality.

How the U.S. is viewed globally is particularly relevant as Biden began a trip late last week across Europe. Over the weekend he attended a Group of 20 summit in Rome. On Monday, Biden told world leaders meeting at the climate conference in Scotland that the U.S. was “not only back at the table, but hopefully leading by the power of our example.” He also apologized for his predecessor Donald Trump removing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

The Pew survey was conducted earlier this year in the U.S., Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

More from U.S. News

Top 10 Countries for Technological Expertise, Ranked by Perception

10 Worst Countries for Racial Equality

The 25 Best Countries in the World

Why Allies Have Mixed Views of America originally appeared on usnews.com

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