It’s that time of the year again. The BBC has published this year’s study of the popularity rating of the most important countries.
Between December 2010 and February 2011, more than 28,000 people were interviewed worldwide. The main focus of the survey was on the perceived image globally of the 27 countries in question. The study is representative and is considered an accepted opinion-forming medium around the world.
The study has been conducted annually since 2005. The 2010 results once again put Germany in first place. This means that officially, Germany has the best image worldwide. Who would have guessed that 70 years ago?
The USA is also constantly improving its image. For the 4th year in a row, its worldwide image popularity rating has increased.
South Africa also stands out. Following the soccer world cup in 2010, South Africa recorded the second highest increase in popularity amongst the analysed countries. Its popularity rating has increased from 35 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2011. In particular, interviewees from the USA, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and South Korea see the country in a much more positive light than in 2010.
Brazil, too, has improved. “The jump in positive views of Brazil follows the successful democratic transition from President Lula da Silva to Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president,” says Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan. GlobeScan conducted the study at the request of the BBC. Particularly in the USA, Canada, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and all of the surveyed western European countries, Brazil received a positive image rating.
In general, the image of most countries has improved significantly. Last year, the study was characterised by sobering results. This year, however, the international mood is a much more positive one. This appears to be in correlation with the economic upswing, which is currently taking hold in many countries. Not included in this trend of positive ratings however are the countries of Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. Their popularity rating decreased in comparison to last year.
Furthermore, what is also striking is the high level of animosity and negativity held towards the USA in Muslim countries. Only Indonesia rates the influence of the USA positive with 58 percent, though this may have more to do with the fact that Barack Obama spent part of his childhood there and has since maintained strong links to the country.