Survey respondents were read a list of six traits, and for each one, were asked whether this is something they associate with Americans. On the positive side, half or more in 15 of 16 nations say Americans are optimistic, and majorities in 14 countries think Americans are hardworking (although relatively few in China or Japan say this).
Americans overwhelmingly think of themselves as optimistic and hardworking.
Nearly two-thirds in the U.S. (65%) also say Americans are tolerant, but international publics are less convinced. While half or more hold this view in Poland, Japan, Germany and Italy, most in China, Sweden, Australia, the UK, France and Canada believe Americans are not tolerant.
Moreover, many around the world also associate negative characteristics with the American people. Half or more in 10 countries think Americans are arrogant and many say they are greedy. Interestingly, most in the U.S. say Americans are arrogant (55%) and greedy (57%).
Fewer describe Americans as violent, although half or more express this opinion in Australia (68%), Greece (63%), the UK (57%), Spain (55%), Canada (53%) and China (52%). A sizable share in the U.S. – 42% – also says Americans are violent. Public opinion in the U.S. divides sharply along partisan lines: 50% of Democrats and 44% of independents characterize Americans as violent, compared with just 29% of Republicans.