- Biden is significantly more popular around the world than former Trump, according to a new Pew poll.
- In 12 countries polled by Pew, a median of 75% expressed confidence in Biden.
- Confidence in Biden was tied to both his personal characteristics and his policies.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
America’s reputation in the world has rebounded sharply since President Joe Biden took office, according to a global Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.
The new Democratic President is significantly more popular around the world than former President Donald Trump was. In 12 countries polled by Pew in 2020 and 2021, a median of 75% expressed confidence in Biden after a median of 17% said they trusted Trump last year. And while only a median of 34% had a favorable opinion of the United States in 2020, favorability has jumped to 62% this year.
In Germany, the share of the public that trusts the US president to “do the right thing in world affairs” has increased from 10% last year to 78% this year. The change is just as striking in other major allies of the United States. In France, confidence in the American president has increased from 11% to 74%, in Italy from 16% to 75%, in Canada from 20% to 77% and in the United Kingdom from 19% to 52%.
Confidence in Biden was tied to both his personal characteristics – he is seen as significantly more “well qualified” and less “dangerous” and “arrogant” than Trump – and his policies.
Biden made two major foreign policy decisions with overwhelming popularity abroad: joining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Agreement. In Pew’s spring 2021 survey of 16 advanced economies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, 89% supported the return of the United States to the WHO and 85% endorsed the re-engagement of the United States in the international fight against climate change.
“The election of Joe Biden to the presidency has brought about a radical change in the international image of America,” Pew concluded in his report.
Seventy-four percent of the public in the 16 countries polled said they had confidence in Biden’s decision-making on world affairs, placing him behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel among the top world leaders.
Over the past two decades, Republican presidents of the United States have received much lower ratings from the global public than Democratic presidents. Former President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq lowered his global approval, while the world widely embraced former President Barack Obama.
But the reputation of the United States is still struggling in many countries around the world. Only 42% of the New Zealand public has a favorable opinion of the United States. About half feel the same in Singapore and Australia. And confidence in American democracy is quite low. Only 17% of the public in the 16 countries believe that American democracy provides a “good example for other countries to follow.”
In a Washington Post editorial this week, Biden presented his first overseas trip as an effort to re-engage the United States with 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 have shaped much of the last century prove their capacity against the threats and adversaries of modern times? 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 across 16 countries: Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK, Australia, Japan, New -Zeeland, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.