American Impression of Germany Found Stronger than Ever
Enlarge image How do Americans feel about Germany? (© dpa) Americans’ perspective of modern Germany continues to grow in a positive direction: nearly 60 percent of Americans have an excellent or good impression of Germany, especially in view of economics, education and technology, according to a survey of Americans released on Jan. 30 in a roundtable discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Americans’ positive impressions of Germany have been steadily rising over the years and are now the highest they have been since polling began in 2002.
The study, which was conducted on behalf of the German Embassy in Washington by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. in late 2013, took a nationally representative sample to determine how Americans perceive Germany and the Germans. The survey included a vast set of questions covering every aspect from bilateral relations to Germany’s role in Europe. The results show that Germany continues to be hailed as one of the most important partners of the United States and is being regarded as a leader in Europe.
People's personal ties to Germany make a positive difference and reinforce the outstanding results: 88 percent (that’s twenty-nine percent up from the national sample), of Americans who once lived in Germany for more than 6 months, have a positive impression of the country. The same applies to those with a higher level of education: 69 percent of college students see Germany in a favorable light.
Enlarge image Americans perceive Germany as a stable, constructive and collaborative leader in Europe. (© picture alliance/chromorange) Overall, 60 percent of American respondents characterized Germany as a modern and forward-thinking society. Germany was also praised for its exceptional levels of scientific research, innovation and technology, and the majority of Americans commended its educational system. Politically, Germany was applauded for its importance in global politics, as well as its efforts to promote peace and democracy on an international scale. Fifty-seven percent of Americans called Germany an important player in international politics and believe Germany holds an important role in the United Nations.
In today’s multipolar world with many interests and changing alliances Germany stands out as the top non-English-speaking country that shares common values with the US. It steadily continues to be regarded as the third-most important international partner of the US.
Germany’s presence in Europe was highlighted as being particularly successful, and only growing in importance: Americans describe Germany’s presence as stable, constructive and collaborative.
Additionally, 53 percent believe Germany’s role in Europe has strengthened over the past few years and 51 percent are expecting Germany to assume a leading role. Out of all countries, Germany was also chosen as the best suited to lead Europe out of its debt crisis, followed by Great Britain and the US. A question on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) brought encouraging results: Though the negotiations between the EU and the US are still in their early phases, informed Americans overwhelmingly support a deal. Forty-two percent of respondents believe a TTIP partnership is in the best interest of the US (only 6 percent disagreed, and the remainder chose not to answer the question or picked a neutral stance).
The numbers reinforce the feelings expressed by US and German political leaders over the past few years: "[Germany] is unquestionably one of our strongest most vibrant alliances in the world," Secretary of State John Kerry said in 2013.
The results also point to a growing trend in which Americans are picking up interest in German life, culture, history and research: 51 percent of American survey respondents believe the U.S. media does not provide enough information about Germany, and more than half of all Americans would like to learn more about modern life in Germany, science and history. Overall, the study reinforced the fact that most Americans view Germany in a positive light, and US interest in Germany – whether in tourism or history – remains particularly high.
- 59 percent of Americans have an excellent or good impression of Germany (only 6 percent have a negative impression).
- 60 percent of Americans believe Germany is a modern and forward-thinking society (5 percent disagree).
- 57 percent consider Germany a major economic power (5 percent disagree).
- 54 percent believe Germany has an excellent educational system (3 percent disagree).
- 26 percent of Americans have visited Germany.
- 52 percent of Americans believe Germany has a thriving culture and performing arts scene.
- 60 percent consider Germany a high-tech country.
- Americans are most interested in modern life in Germany (52 percent), scientific research in Germany (51 percent) and German history (50 percent).
- 57 percent say Germany plays an important role in international politics.
- Germany is viewed as the best-suited country to lead Europe out of its debt crisis.
By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany