Is the most dangerous country in the world the United States of America? According to a new poll from WIN and Gallup International, the U.S. represents the largest threat to world peace today.
In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States “is the greatest threat to peace in the world today.” Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent.
Much of the animosity toward America comes from Muslim Middle Eastern and North African nations, all located in a region most likely to be affected by American military actions over the past decade. Forty-four percent of Pakistani respondents, for instance, voted America as the most dangerous nation, despite Pakistan’s acceptance of U.S. foreign aid. The Chinese and Russians rated the United States as dangerous even more than Pakistanis did, at 54 and 49 percent, respectively.
However, a plurality of people polled in several officially American-allied nations also rated the United States as dangerous. Thirty-seven percent of Mexicans and 17 percent of Canadians view their neighboring country with suspicion on the world stage. A surprising 13 percent of American respondents rated their own nation the biggest threat to world peace as well.
While poll respondents seem anxious about the United States’ role in world affairs, many of them would have no problems moving to America if they could. The United States topped WIN/Gallup’s list of top countries people would move to with 9 percent of the vote. Canada and Australia came in second with 7 percent apiece, while 38 percent said they were happy exactly where they are.
Overall, responders seemed remarkably optimistic about their own futures, despite any misgivings about the United States. Nearly 50 percent of responders say that 2014 will be better than 2013, the first time since 1990 that people thought a better year was on the way.
“Despite an unstable economic situation, our happiness index is extremely high all over the world except in Europe,” Jean-Marc Leger, President of WIN/Gallup International Association, said in a statement. “Moreover people think that 2014 will be better than 2013. Optimism is back in the world.”