Results of a Pew Research Center survey highlight language and customs as key components of national identity, while views on the importance of birthplace and religion are more divided.
Across more than 20 countries surveyed, a median of 91% say being able to speak their country’s most common language is important for being considered a true national, and 81% say sharing their country’s customs and traditions is important for true belonging. Views on the importance of birthplace and religion to national identity are mixed.
The United States stands out for having the lowest share who say speaking the country’s most common language is important for being a true national (78%). A relatively low share of Americans say the same about participating in the country’s traditions (71%). On the other hand, those in the U.S. place more emphasis on being a member of the country’s primary religion than people in most other high-income countries surveyed (37%). U.S. views on birthplace fall around the middle of the high-income countries (50%).