- Biden is dramatically more popular around the world than former Trump was, according to new Pew polling.
- In 12 countries Pew surveyed, a median of 75% expressed confidence in Biden.
- Confidence in Biden was tied both to his personal characteristics and his policies.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
America’s reputation around the world has sharply rebounded since President Joe Biden took office, according to a Pew Research Center global survey published Thursday.
The new Democratic president is dramatically more popular globally than former President Donald Trump was. In 12 countries Pew surveyed in both 2020 and 2021, a median of 75% expressed confidence in Biden after a median of 17% said they had confidence in Trump last year. And while just a median of 34% had a favorable view of the US in 2020, favorability has surged to 62% this year.
In Germany, the portion of the public who has confidence in the US president to “do the right thing regarding world affairs” jumped from 10% last year to 78% this year. The shift is similarly stark in other major countries allied with the US. In France, confidence in the US president has surged from 11% to 74%, in Italy from 16% to 75%, in Canada from 20% to 77%, and in the UK from 19% to 52%.
Confidence in Biden was tied both to his personal characteristics — he is rated as dramatically more “well-qualified” and less “dangerous” and “arrogant” than Trump — and his policies.
Biden has made two major foreign policy decisions with overwhelming popularity abroad: rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accord. In Pew’s spring 2021 survey of 16 advanced economies in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, 89% supported the US rejoining the WHO and 85% approved of the US recommitting itself to the international fight against climate change.
“The election of Joe Biden as president has led to a dramatic shift in America’s international image,” Pew concluded in its report.
Seventy-four percent of the public in the 16 countries surveyed said they have confidence in Biden’s decision-making on world affairs, putting him second behind German chancellor Angela Merkel among major world leaders.
Over the last two decades, the US’s Republican presidents have received much lower marks from the global public than Democratic presidents have. Former President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq drove his global approval down, while the world largely embraced former President Barack Obama.
But the US’s reputation is still struggling in many countries around the world. Just 42% of the public in New Zealand have a favorable opinion of the US. About half feel the same way in Singapore and Australia. And confidence in American democracy is quite low. Just 17% of the public in the 16 countries think US democracy provides a “good example for other countries to follow.”
In a Washington Post op-ed this week, Biden framed his first overseas trip as an effort to recommit the US to its democratic allies.
“This is a defining question of our time: Can democracies come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world?” he wrote. “Will the democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century prove their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries? I believe the answer is yes. And this week in Europe, we have the chance to prove it.”
Pew surveyed a total of 16,254 adults from March 12 to May 26, 2021 in the 16 countries: Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.