India ranks sixth in image rating by Americans

February 19th, 2010 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, Feb 19 (IANS) India ranked sixth among 20 nations favourably viewed by Americans that figured prominently in the news or US foreign policy in the first year of the Obama administration, according to a new poll.

With 67 percent of Americans viewing it favourably and 25 percent unfavourably, India finished behind Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan and Israel in Gallup’s annual country ratings.

Canada retained its top position, with 90 percent of Americans viewing it favourably, unchanged from 2009. Iran continues to rank last, with 10 percent.

Eight of the countries rated in this year’s World Affairs survey are viewed favourably by a majority of Americans.

Britain nearly matches Canada in favourability, while smaller majorities hold positive views of Germany, Japan, Israel, India, France, and Egypt.

Mexico and Russia are both about as likely to be viewed unfavourably as favourably, while 10 countries are generally viewed unfavourably.

With only 23 percent of Americans viewing it favourably and 71 percent unfavourably, Pakistan ranked 14th in the image index behind China in the 11th place with 53 percent having a negative image of the country and 42 percent viewing it positively.

Most of the countries rated this year are viewed more favourably by young adults (aged 18 to 34) than by those 55 and older. Additionally, some are viewed differently by Republicans and Democrats.

As a result of the generational differences, India is viewed favourably by three in four young adults, but only 60 percent of adults 55 and older. Two in three (67 percent) among the middle aged (35 to 54) rate India favourably. India is viewed more favourably by Democrats (69 percent) than by Republicans (64 percent).

Significant age gaps exist in favourability toward Cuba, Yemen, Pakistan, North Korea, the Palestinian Authority, and Iran, although most members of all age groups still view these countries negatively.

Results are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,025 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb 1-3. The results have a maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

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