May 26, 2010

Are Americans Rude?

12%

A reader asks: Do people in foreign countries find Americans polite? A Pew Research survey finds few in Western counties call them “rude,” including just 12% of Germans.

A Pew Research Center fan recently wrote us to ask if people around the world shared his opinion as a widely traveled person that people in other countries found Americans as polite and courteous. A 2005 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that few in most Western countries view Americans as “rude,” including just 12% in Germany, 21% in Poland, 26% in the Netherlands and 29% in Great Britain. In fact, Americans were more likely to call themselves rude (35% did so) than were people in these foreign countries. Our neighbors to the north, however, were not as generous in their opinions. A majority of Canadians described Americans as rude. Looking farther around the globe, countries such as Turkey (53% find Americans rude), Indonesia (56%) and Jordan (64%) share the unflattering opinion of Americans with Canadians. It should be noted, however, that since this survey was taken, overall views of the U.S. have improved considerably. Read More