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Most Mentioned Enemies of the USA

How did American citizens respond to this Gallup poll question: "What one country ... do you consider to be the United States' greatest enemy today".
The poll takes place in February
Last updated: April 02, 2018
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2018
51%
North Korea
19%
Russia
11%
China
7%
Iran
2%
Iraq
2%
United States
itself
2012
32%
Iran
23%
China
10%
North Korea
7%
Afghanistan
5%
Iraq
2%
Russia
2%
Pakistan
1%
Japan
1%
Saudi Arabia
1%
United States
itself
2008
25%
Iran
22%
Iraq
14%
China
9%
North Korea
3%
United States
itself
3%
Afghanistan
2%
Pakistan
2%
Russia
1%
Saudi Arabia
1%
Venezuela
2005
22%
Iraq
22%
North Korea
14%
Iran
10%
China
3%
Afghanistan
2%
United States
itself
2%
France
2%
Saudi Arabia
2%
Syria
2%
Russia
1%
(Middle East)
2001
38%
Iraq
14%
China
8%
Iran
6%
Russia
4%
Libya
4%
Saudi Arabia
2%
Cuba
2%
(Middle East)
2%
North Korea
1%
Japan
1%
(Palestine)
1%
United States
itself
+5
level 83
Oct 13, 2015
Huh, #7 in the 2001 list surprises me. Didn't think anyone really viewed them as a credible threat.
+5
level 71
Oct 14, 2015
Oi dudes, have another go at counting to 7!!!. #7 in 2001 was Cuba.
+17
level 62
Dec 19, 2015
That's exactly who plattitude was talking about.
+1
level 83
Dec 22, 2015
Yeah, it was.
+11
level 67
May 1, 2018
It remains threatening, if you're afraid of good rum.
+10
level 76
May 1, 2018
You can't handle the truth!
+1
level 83
Jun 19, 2018
Hehe. That said though, who was the antagonist there? Certainly not a Castro.
+1
level 75
Jun 2, 2019
No surprise necessary. It accurately reflects the intelligence of the average American redneck.
+39
level 75
Oct 14, 2015
France made the list. Wow.
+25
level 77
Oct 22, 2015
Some americans were angry after the French when they decided not to help for the Iraq invasion in 2003. I guess that's the reason why it appears in 2005... Anyway, I typed it as a joke and laughed when I saw it was a good answer.
+24
level 54
Dec 19, 2015
Which is surreal in retrospect. If only the USA and UK had felt the same way as France we might not have waded into a war on false premises costing thousands of lives. I mean, really? Freedom Fries? France as the number one enemy of the USA? People actually think these things are sensible at the time. *Sigh*
+8
level 65
Dec 21, 2015
As A French, I did the same and laughed so hard !
+22
level 76
May 1, 2018
In Americans' defense, you can see France was only mentioned by 2% of those polled even in 2005, and the Freedom Fries thing was done by Congress and affected only their cafeteria. (Congress being the large room where the United States keeps most of its stupidest people so that they can be monitored by C-SPAN)
+6
level 59
May 1, 2018
I was studying abroad in Spain in 2005, and I ran out of money at the end of the semester, but because we didn't know if I'd ever get back to Europe, my parents offered to buy me a ticket to one other country so I could visit a new place before I left...the only condition was that I couldn't go to France, because they hate America. My mom even cited Freedom Fries. It sounded stupid then, and it sounds even stupider now.
+4
level 43
May 7, 2018
I went to lunch with a friend, and she brought a friend along who was a French Horn player in the United States Air Force Band. I asked him if he ever got any pressure to rename his instrument the "Freedom Horn". LOL!
+2
level 56
Jun 13, 2018
@kalbahamut, 2% is a lot considering that there seems to be no plausible reason to think France was an enemy.
+3
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
France opposed the United States' efforts to build a coalition to invade Iraq. Some saw this as a betrayal by an ally and they also saw it as undermining American efforts to defend itself against terrorists. This isn't a good reason to think of France as an enemy, but it's a plausible one, and I still think 2% is an encouragingly low number given how much playtime the above narrative got on Fox News.
+2
level 56
Jul 13, 2018
I haven't seen that and don't know much about it but I would still argue 2% is a high enough percentage to show that the view gained some serious support.
+5
level 49
Dec 20, 2015
French are also known anti-semites... last year 50,000 jews left France alone out of fear
+14
level 54
Mar 7, 2016
I think a lot of that anti semetism in France comes from the Muslims Algerians, Moroccans, Syrians, Lebanese, etc.
+12
level 43
May 6, 2016
There is some big propaganda from Israel that also explains this number. They have an official program to make the european jewish population move from Europe. The antsemitism problem in france is quite relative if you considere the country is still home of one of the largest jewish community and for historic reasons given the fact that during the 19th century France was the only european country whith no antisemitic law nor citisenship restriction. That alone explains why the sionist movement's main birthplace was Paris : they simply could do it there. Of course antisemitism has always be around, like anywhere else, at variant levels. But i don't really think we hold any record of that sentiment currently.. there are good reasons why we still hold the biggest jewish community (with a large range of religious affiliations) in Europe, despite Vichy. Most of the french are simply not antisemistes and there is still a strong national sentiment among the french jewish community.
+3
level 67
Jun 4, 2016
Given that Arabs, like Jews (and most Ethiopians and Eritreans) speak a Semitic language; and given that "Semite" is a rare linguistically-based term that is the predominant way of describing a group of people... Given those things, it is without a doubt, gzx5, that your Muslim Algerians, Moroccans, et al. are by far the main victims of anti-Semitism in France. As they are elsewhere.
+3
level 70
Jun 4, 2016
Whether that's true or not, it's definitely *not* the reason France made the list.
+2
level 61
Mar 28, 2018
@Cedo: In the case of anti-Semitism in France, it doesn't matter what happened half a century ago. The truth is, anti-Semitism is on the rise in France, in large part due to the wave of Muslim immigration from the Middle East and North Africa. I'm writing this one day after another Holocaust survivor was murdered by Muslim men in Paris. @tshalla: I'm going to assume you're not joking. If you are, I'm sorry for misinterpreting your comment. The origin of the word Semite is so irrelevant. The word Anti-Semitism refers specifically to Judaism. And the idea that Muslim immigrants are the main victims of hate is absurd. Tell me, which group believes that the Jewish state should be destroyed? Which group believes that a woman's vote is worth half of a man's vote, and that spousal abuse and marital rape are permissible? Which group believes that homosexuals should be killed? Which group believes that people who leave their religion should be killed? I'll give you a hint: it's not Europeans.
+3
level 76
May 1, 2018
All of Europe is anti-semitic. They have to pass laws outlawing any expression of anti-semitic ideas and even then, under legitimate threat of incarceration, it's still always there, barely concealed, and frequently bubbles over.
+1
level 53
May 1, 2018
@Elan: The idea that Muslims are the main victims of hate is not absurd. I'm not saying Jews are not discriminated against, they are and it's terrible, and I sincerely hope it goes away. Fact is though that especially since the Refugee Crisis Muslims have been subject to discrimination throughout Europe, and what you are saying towards the end of your comment is evidence of that. All major religions have hateful messages in their holy texts, just like they have loving ones, it depends on how you want to interpret it. I am atheist myself, and just want all people to get along with each other, and I honestly don't get why people are so obsessed with what religion other people adhere to.
+3
level 66
May 1, 2018
In France there is a paranoia about our unfair reputation for anti-semitism. It's even against the law to promote sanctions against Israels murderous actions against the Palestinian people because it's considered anti- semitism!
+3
level 41
May 1, 2018
@Elan....u are clearly extremely ignorant about Muslims and their religion and should stop generalising a group of people that make up 25% of the world...u sound extremely bigoted towards them...Let me correct the answers to some of ur questions....do ALL Muslims want homosexuals dead? No, I know many Muslims who are homos, is a woman's vote half of a man's vote? No, u do realise some Islamic countries have female leaders? Yes some Muslims are extreme in their beliefs espec in countries like Saudi, but to generalise them all into that tiny bracket is pathetically stupid....Go out and speak to some Muslims around u and open ur narrow-minded head....also, it's Muslims not Jews who suffer the most from hate crimes in Europe and North America these days
+1
level 58
May 1, 2018
I just want to point out that the comment "it's not Europeans" is extremely discriminatory because it is implying that Muslims are not full Europeans regardless of where they were born and the fact that Muslims have lived in Europe for hundreds of years.
+2
level 76
May 3, 2018
Muslims and Christians both have a long history of racism and hostility toward Jews. It's one of the many things they have in common. Muslims didn't start the Holocaust. Though I did read in the English language daily newspaper of Saudi Arabia that Hitler was a great man and that his work should continue.
+1
level 56
Jun 14, 2018
@kalbahamut I usually agree with most of your comments but on this quiz they are very confusing. "All of Europe is anti-Semitic" - I really don't know how to interpret this. Europe is a geographical region and in itself cannot be said to have opinions. Not everyone in Europe is anti-Semitic. And if you mean that there are anti-Semitic people across all of Europe, that may be true, but it is also true of pretty much everywhere else in the world, and some places more extremely (as you mention, Saudi Arabia). Just because some European countries have passed laws against anti-Semitic beliefs being expressed, it does not necessarily follow that there is a higher level of anti-Semitism.
+1
level 56
Jun 20, 2018
It is nearly always not a good idea to characterise certain groups of people as believing a certain thing. Many people in this thread seem to be saying "Muslims believe this, Europeans believe that" completely ignoring both the fact that there is a crossover between both groups and that different people within those groups will have totally different beliefs. It is reasonable to define a Muslim as having certain beliefs but not every religious believer believes everything in their holy book literally. It also says in the bible that homosexuals should be killed; that doesn't mean all Christians believe it. The sort of fallacious thinking expressed in particularly Elan's comment is really not a good thing and should be avoided wherever possible.
+1
level 68
Jun 24, 2018
@FreedomFries Successful troll bait.
+1
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
Are you genuinely confused by my statement that all of Europe is anti-semitic? You think I'm talking about the dirt and the trees there? Of course I mean the people. I have a hard time believing that you didn't immediately understand what I meant.

No, not all Europeans are anti-semitic. Yes, there are some anti-semites in many places (I'd stop short of saying they're everywhere, you'd be hard pressed to find any in China). But European anti-semitism is the strongest and most prevalent flavor that you will find anywhere outside of the Middle East and possibly North Africa. This isn't fallacious it's true. Generally speaking, when generalizing about a large group of people, most of time the person making the generalization isn't saying that all of those people are the same. They're speaking to averages and trends.
+1
level 56
Jul 13, 2018
@kalbahamut, of course I did realise you meant something to do with the people. But as you have said not all Europeans are anti-Semitic and so my problem was with what your generalisation was quantified by. Often it is true that people do not mean something is true of all members of a group when making a generalisation, but that is how it can be interpreted. When you say "all of Europe is anti-Semitic" I think you mean it has higher rates of anti-Semitism than other parts of the world, but it should be made clear that if that is true (it will be compared to some other parts of the world) it doesn't necessarily imply that most of even many Europeans are anti-Semitic (which is how your comment reads).
+1
level 56
Jul 13, 2018
Of course, by your statement you may mean something that is entirely true. But I asked what it meant because it is not clear what it meant specifically (I know it meant the people in Europe).
+1
level 76
Jul 16, 2018
When I said "all of Europe" I meant every place in Europe from England to Greece and every place in between. I didn't mean every person. Maybe that's where the misunderstanding came from.
+1
level 56
Sep 2, 2018
Not really. There is more than one way for a place to be anti-Semitic. For example, for most of the last 1000 years pretty much all of Europe had anti-Semitic policies (for example expelling Jews). This is different to having anti-Semitic people. It is also different to anti-Semitic ideas being influential. It is also different to discrimination against Jewish people being common or even present at all. I don't know which one of these you mean.
+1
level 76
Apr 6, 2019
I'm not aware of any current anti-Jewish legislation in Europe. What I meant was that there are an awful lot of anti-semitic people who still harbor anti-semitic attitudes in every country of Europe, and with both the xenophobic populism trends on the right, and the SJW Islamophilic pro-immigration trends on the left, it's getting worse.
+2
level 42
Dec 26, 2015
We gotta see a list from the French perspective too
+1
level 43
May 6, 2016
Yep, I'd like that too ! :)
+1
level 67
May 8, 2018
There are 195 countries on the French list:
+12
level 56
Oct 14, 2015
japan ? really ?
+4
level 82
Dec 9, 2015
I guess old grudges die hard. Though it is only 1%, could be people who saw Japanese atrocities firsthand.
+4
level 76
Dec 10, 2015
In the 80s Japan's economy was booming and the US was busting. Japanese companies were buying shares in the US, and their car companies started crushing the poorly-made American models
+2
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
I suspect that Japan's appearance on the list is due to WWII vets and their immediate families (although shouldn't they all be mostly dead by now?). We don't really as a rule begrudge anyone's economic success, as long as we get favorable trade terms!
+3
level 75
May 2, 2018
I was in total agreement that it was all about WWII except that I don't see Vietnam on the list, and my generation would have listed that country if it was only about past wars. It's only 1% each time Japan is mentioned, and I believe trade must be a large part of it. For my part Japan deserves to be on there because of Pokemon, one of the banes of my Jetpunk existence. :)
+1
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
I just thought of something else that gives credence to Burtviile's comment that implies it may be broader than my WWII-generation theory. Nearly 3.8 million of Americans are of Chinese ancestry. I wonder if some of the original immigrants brought with them some anti-Japanese sentiments? Maybe there's some Chinese-American JetPunkers who can tell us if they ever got that vibe from their grandparents or other older relatives?
+1
level 44
Apr 3, 2018
Yes, this is indeed very true as younger people in China are taught to see the Japanese as the only true enemies and to shun anybody who disagrees with that fact. There is some logical backing to this as war crimes commited by the Japanese are still denied on a widespread level in Japan and most Japanese textbooks still avoid the horrific Nanking massacre at all costs.
+2
level 76
May 1, 2018
I'm guessing that the 1% who list Japan are all over 80 years old. There might be some who still see them as an economic threat but those fears peaked in the 80s and mostly went away by the 90s.
+10
level 70
Nov 16, 2015
Some Americans think the Middle East is one country?
+3
level 34
Nov 16, 2015
I think they were talking in general. Like all the nations of the middle east are equally the biggest enemies.
+17
level 61
Dec 19, 2015
You're giving them a lot of credit.
+7
level 58
Mar 3, 2016
McLerristarr, you're not giving them enough.
+7
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
Nah ~ I think McLarriStarr is right on the money, unfortunately.
+5
level 72
Mar 28, 2017
What about as an approximation symbol? "It will cost ~$50,000.00"
+6
level 40
May 24, 2017
Im just glad they didnt say africa or the ussr
+2
level 59
Jun 2, 2016
Those people clearly don't know much, as we are allies with Saudi Arabia, and countries like Qatar and the UAE pose no harmful threat,
+7
level 67
Jun 4, 2016
And yet your foreign policy ostensibly is based on fighting Salafi-jihadism - the main state sponsors of which are Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
+1
level 50
Jun 4, 2016
http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/03/politics/9-11-attacks-saudi-arabia-involvement/
+3
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
Actually, I'm _guessing_ that the reason Saudi Arabia made the list was because Osama bin Laden was Saudi. Americans are not exactly known for their abilities of subtle discrimination. I'm actually fairly certain that a fair proportion of the population (the Fox-News-watching segment) does not understand our strategic alliance w/Saudi Arabia, that we have military bases there, etc. They probably confuse it with Syria, or just (as you can see from other answers) group it in with, "Ewww! Middle East!"
+7
level 72
Jan 26, 2017
Also possibly because 15/19 of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudi citizens. And then there's the lawsuit alleging that Saudi Arabia directly financed al-Qaeda prior to the attacks. Not saying I agree, but there are plenty of reasons someone might answer Saudi Arabia, even if they have a basic understanding of our alliance.
+2
level 70
May 8, 2017
Strategic alliance? More like KSA sucks us dry.
+1
level 40
May 24, 2017
yeah but this america remember
+1
level 47
Jun 2, 2019
They were talking in general
+5
level 59
Dec 19, 2015
Having watched recent Republican debates (I'm in the UK), I would certainly consider the US to be a potential threat. Some of the things being said....wow.
+7
level 60
Dec 20, 2015
Ha! Yeah. I'm willing to bet whoever said "Japan" or "France" has a Trump 2016 bumper sticker on their car.
+2
level 43
Dec 19, 2015
I love how most of these countries are actually our allies, including some of our closest allies in Japan and France.
+8
level 67
Dec 19, 2015
Does anyone else think the picture given looks like Sean Connery in disguise?
+2
level 65
Dec 19, 2015
I did...
+2
level 38
Aug 24, 2017
Absolutely! - But looks are deceiving, my James Bond would, I'm sure detest Khomeini.
+1
level 41
Jan 22, 2018
This is why i love Last crusade. James Bond and Han Solo team up
+2
level 30
Dec 19, 2015
People were asked which countries and answered ISIS and Middle East....
+5
level 44
Dec 20, 2015
ISIS at least makes sense because it is functioning as a sort of pseudo-state right now, and it certainly has positioned itself as an enemy of the US. The Middle East answer though... that's just ignorance.
+2
level 59
May 1, 2018
I tried ISIS for exactly this reason. It holds itself out as an independent state (and it is intent on the destruction of non-Muslims) so I think it's a reasonable response.
+6
level 59
Dec 19, 2015
Now we just need a quiz to see which countries see the USA as a threat.
+3
level 57
Dec 19, 2015
ha ha. nice one
+34
level 65
Dec 19, 2015
There is one already. It's called "Countries of the World".
+3
level 46
Dec 19, 2015
Thank you for that! You just made my day, and another reason to ask for a like button.
+1
level 23
Dec 20, 2015
Bae
+2
level 59
Dec 21, 2015
I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I was merely suggesting a new quiz. I'm not the kind of guy saying "The annexation of Crimea was legal" or "All of NATO are fascists".
+8
level 43
May 6, 2016
or "I can take a joke" ;)
+1
level 38
Aug 24, 2017
LOL, LOL and still LOL!!! You are so right.
+1
level 46
Dec 19, 2015
Nato should be on top
+1
level 57
Dec 19, 2015
Surely USA itself. Vast majority of mass shootings only happen in the USA, much more of a threat than islamic terrorism
+1
level 67
Dec 19, 2015
Missed Venezuela. Very interesting quiz.
+1
level 43
Dec 19, 2015
Really interesting and original quiz!
+1
level 76
Dec 19, 2015
Japan? Were they polling 90 year olds?
+3
level 76
Dec 19, 2015
Gallup may claim their methodology is scientifically accurate, but these general polls have severe problems 99.99% of the time. One being that mean and median age of respondents is much higher than that of the general population. So yes, probably they were.
+1
level 49
Jul 7, 2017
A lot of Americans in the tech and auto industries (among others) would consider Japan their biggest economic enemy, it's probably not what the question meant but that doesn't stop them answering that way.
+3
level 59
May 1, 2018
I remember a guy in a bar telling me that the 2011 tsunami was God punishing the Japanese for Pearl Harbor. Obliterating two cities with the atomic bomb wasn't good enough, so God decided to wait 70 years until anyone old enough to have any say in the decision to ally with Germany was dead or close to it, and then strike.
+2
level 76
May 1, 2018
He works in mysterious ways
+1
level 29
Jun 9, 2019
I mean...
+1
level 65
Dec 19, 2015
Kinda reminds me of the classic "Why Americans are stupid" video. "How many sides does triangle have?" "There's no sides..."; "Name the country that begins with "U"" "Utah", "Utopia"; ""Star Wars" is based on a true story. True or false?" "True".
+8
level 75
Mar 28, 2017
When people are making a film to show the stupidity of a certain group I'm guessing they disregard any people who answer intelligently. We have plenty of people here in the US who don't know the answers, but we also have many who are intelligent. My guess is that one could make a similar film in any country and find people just as clueless. On a line where 50 is normal intelligence, 49% are above average intelligence, and 49% are below average intelligence. One can always find people in the lower 49%.
+7
level 66
Mar 28, 2017
^^^ THIS! I loved watching those videos because they were funny, but you are absolutely correct that a similar video could be made in almost any country
+1
level 49
Mar 28, 2017
Clueless people exist in every country, true. But still, if you just pick random people off the streets, you are more likely to end up with these clueless dudes in USA than in Northern Europe. It's shameful because USA is almost like a civilized western country, yet majority of its inhabitants - who have unlimited internet access and tons of free time - choose not to care.
+7
level 65
May 1, 2018
Not really. You are taking a small minority of the population - probably less than 5% - and assuming it is representative of most people in the country. There are several reasons Americans are often portrayed as stupid: people want to find things wrong with the United States (it is people's favorite country to hate on) and emphasize the few stupid ones, and there are more stupid ones because the United States has a higher population. You also make a point of people in Europe being more educated about their surroundings than those in the Unites States; however, it only appears that way because Europe interacts more with its neighboring countries, while people in the Unites States often view their neighboring states as "countries." If you ask a European what the capital of Utah is, they most likely will not know, but if you ask an American, they most likely will.
+6
level 65
May 1, 2018
To a further extent, if you ask an average European and an average American from off the street what the capital of Bangladesh is, they will have the same likelihood of knowing, as it is not in a region of the world they are familiar with an hear about every day. The United States is almost like a continent in itself; it is almost as large as Europe, and most Europeans won't know much outside the areas surrounding or dealing directly with Europe, and will have about the same amount of knowledge as Americans. Further, the United States is a country that tends to isolate itself from the rest of the world; our news hardly ever covers anything outside of our own country, and most people aren't taught to care about what happens outside of it. This makes it even more impressive that Americans have the knowledge they do, because out society tells us to focus on the United States and not anyone else.
+1
level 65
May 1, 2018
Of course, this is just what I have observed in the small progressive areas of the country I have lived (Seattle/Northern Colorado), so it may be different in other regions.
+6
level 69
May 1, 2018
We have the same kind of shows in Germany ("Who is our chancellor?" - "Angelo Merte". / "Where does George Bush come from?" - "He speaks American, so... Great Britain?"). CringeDragon makes excellent points.
+3
level 76
May 1, 2018
Ander: totally right.
lapio: totally wrong.

Americans, on average, are pretty stupid and very ignorant.

But, relatively speaking, they are also probably the smartest, most educated, most informed people who have ever lived.

I'm not exaggerating either statement. There are stupid, ignorant people everywhere. Including northern Europe. Being the most informed, relatively speaking, isn't a great accomplishment.
+4
level 76
May 1, 2018
Cringe: you're also totally right. I have lived in several different parts of the United States. I've also lived all over Europe and Asia. I've worked as an educator in many of those places. The average European knows a bit about his or her own country and some about neighboring countries. This is very much the same as how Americans know a lot about their own states and a bit about surrounding states. (cue some arrogant chauvinistic European coming along to say that it somehow isn't the same.... but they're wrong) When it comes to world geography both are similarly ignorant and indifferent. Europeans complain that Americans don't know about "the world." What they really mean and what they are upset by is that Americans don't know about whatever little hamlet they are from. Their feelings of inadequacy and anxiety about their country's growing obsolescence exacerbates this inferiority complex which manifests as an obnoxious superiority complex. But no place has a monopoly on stupid.
+1
level 56
Jun 13, 2018
@kalbahamut do you have any evidence to back up your claim about Americans being the smartest people ever? Because people are educated in other countries as well.
+2
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
@TWM: nothing very concrete. Mostly my experience working as educator around the world and traveling extensively. In general I find Americans I interact with have a broader range of knowledge about most things than most other people. Not to say that Swedes are stupid. The differences there would be negligible.
If you want something more objective, you could look at things like scientific output by country, the quality of scientific research done, the number of patents and copyrights held, the number of top universities in international rankings, the percentage of college graduates and tertiary degree holders, or the number of Nobel laureates. And no I don't think it makes sense to measure per capita in most of those categories.
And in a historical sense, people are just much more informed and educated now than they used to be. Not everyone today is Jefferson or Voltaire, but neither were they in 1776.
Anyway I said "probably." They might be 1st or 20th. ::shrug::
+1
level 56
Jul 13, 2018
Per capita rankings tend to favour very small countries with more statistical anomalies, but surely you can't think it makes sense to say Americans are smarter than people from Luxembourg because the USA has more scientific output? However is good to see that you actually were exaggerating that statement.
+1
level 76
Apr 6, 2019
I did say "probably" but the level of certainty I would attach to that statement is barely 51%. And if you are going to include micronations like Luxembourg or Singapore, then, yeah, you have a point.
+4
level 58
May 1, 2018
@kalbahamut I mostly agree with your points. However, one reason Europeans might be more aware of American geography than vice versa is the ubiquity of American media. I saw a map recently of top-grossing movies in European countries in all but a few countries they were American films [I think this was on reddit but I haven't been able to find it again, sorry]. The reverse, (Americans watching European films), is much less prevalent. So I would expect the average European to pick up some knowledge of American geography that way. Okay, most of those films are probably superhero battles in New York, which everyone already knows about, but on the margin (and when you consider books and TV shows) I would expect this to have a small effect in Europeans' favor. Not enough to account for the stereotype, but as you said, no place has a monopoly on stupid (or cultural anxiety). :)
+2
level 76
May 1, 2018
I agree with your expectation but through experience have found that reality doesn't very well match this expectation. I have met and conversed with very large numbers of people all over Europe and America; Europeans are definitely not any better at geography.
+2
level 75
May 2, 2018
Not sure what it says about me, but much of the knowledge about the world I've gained in the last couple of years has come from this site. When I was working and raising a family I had other things on my mind and only briefly watched the news each day, but now that I have the time to expand my knowledge I'm appalled at how little I really know or have forgotten since school - I think what I learn here isn't so trivial. The comments here are sometimes more educational than the quizzes. To citizens of other countries, don't believe all Americans are like the stereotypes you see on TV. Most of us are just normal people trying to make a living and have a little fun when possible. Yes, some of us are loud, opinionated, egotistical, or crooked, but show me a country in the world where those people do not exist. If those people were the norm, they wouldn't be in the news every day.
+2
level 76
May 3, 2018
This site has helped me, too. Seven years ago I wouldn't have been able to name all the countries of Oceania or all the largest cities in China. Now, it's easy.


In defense of those prejudiced against Americans (yes, you read that right)... American tourists do tend to be incredibly obnoxious, loud, opinionated, and almost proudly ignorant and culturally insensitive. I don't know why they all have to be like this. (not all, but a large percentage) I am often embarrassed by them when I am near a few. They don't usually act this way when they're back in the States. It's like we are programmed to act a certain way when on vacation. If a person's only exposure to Americans is encounters that they've had with international tourists I can understand some of the negative stereotypes. But the stereotype about Americans being bad at geography doesn't seem to be borne out and I think is based mostly on bigotry.
+1
level 76
May 3, 2018
... also, tourists from some other countries can be just as bad but I won't call anyone out here.
+5
level 57
Dec 19, 2015
Alas, a featured quiz where the US stands the least-guessed!
+3
level 34
May 9, 2016
Hallelujah
+1
level 62
May 3, 2018
I mean, it's got to be one of the only ones out there, right? Are there any other ones where the USA is a correct answer and so few people guessed it? Great point you've made. Now I'll be looking out for this.
+1
level 29
Jun 9, 2019
Side note: does anyone really type in "united states" instead of "usa"? Just me? Ok
+4
level 61
Dec 19, 2015
Obviously, they're not an enemy, but I was really surprised that nobody said Mexico regarding the immigration issue.
+3
level 57
Jun 4, 2016
I guessed Mexico
+2
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
Yeah, but people don't blame *Mexico* for that, because it's not like people think their government is *sending* them here – it's just that lots of Mexicans want to come here for a better life, yadda yadda yadda. Americans blame our *own* government for not deporting them all pronto, and not building a giant wall to keep them out. Specifically, they blame President Obama. Thanks, Obama!
+2
level 69
Aug 30, 2016
Pretty sure Trump suggested that was precisely what the Mexican government were doing.
+2
level 43
Dec 20, 2015
I'm an American with a degree in history, and am mostly optimistic about other Americans, but I was able to get all but one (I feel like 'US itself,' is a trick question) just by saying "Americans can be stupid, so which nations do stupid people just plain dislike?" I'm honestly surprised Germany and the UK aren't on it. In a Donald Trump America, Mexico would move up in the rankings quickly.
+1
level 35
Dec 20, 2015
why is Venezuela on here?
+2
level 71
Dec 21, 2015
Because of the constant denunciations of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, by the Bush and Obama administration, echoed in large sections of the media. Chavez not only used Venezuela's oil wealth to create a form of socialism, but vigorously opposed U.S. meddling in Venezuela's affairs (including the failed coup during Chavez' first term that the Bush Administration cheered on) and tried to organize a regional alliance, with Bolivia, Cuba and sometimes Ecuador, of left-leaning states opposed to U.S. policies. Chavez and Maduro have also attempted to repress domestic opposition (with mixed results), which U.S. governments have historically ignored when friendly regimes engage in it but denounce when done by opponents.
+1
level 68
Mar 28, 2017
Thanks for the explanation, I was wondering about Venezuela as well.
+1
level 67
Jul 2, 2017
And they don't have extradition agreements with USA. (ask Harry Pfarrer in Burn After Reading)
+2
level 76
May 1, 2018
Several Latin American countries have politics and leaders that are openly hostile to the United States. Venezuela and Cuba might be the most well known but Bolivia and Colombia are similarly vocal in their anti-Americanism. I don't think any of them have actually been a threat to the United States, though, at least not since Cuba was accepting shipments of nuclear missiles from the Soviet Union.
+1
level 57
Dec 20, 2015
After taking this quiz, I gave up all hope in humanity
+1
level 52
Nov 27, 2017
Well, there's still all the other countries. I hear the UK is very nice at all times of year.
+2
level 38
Mar 11, 2018
As long as you don't eat the food!
+1
level 75
May 2, 2018
As long as you stay away from Midsomer - murder capital of the UK. ;)
+1
level 39
Dec 21, 2015
Japan, France, WTF?
+1
level 43
Dec 23, 2015
I thought that France is one of the USA's strongest allies!
+1
level 34
Jan 4, 2016
American were angry at the time cause France wasn't supporting us in a war.
+2
level 67
Feb 15, 2016
France has one ally an one ally only ........... France.
+2
level 60
Dec 26, 2016
'Allo 'allo
+2
level 66
Sep 8, 2017
Freedom fries!
+1
level 37
Dec 23, 2015
Didn't know Venezuela was a threat but was surprised Mexico want on there. Typed France and Cuba randomly and got them :p
+1
level 7
Dec 23, 2015
Donald Trump-"We will build a huge wall"
+1
level 57
Dec 23, 2015
Ha missed US
+2
level 70
Dec 25, 2015
as an iranian: whith honor and pride; the number one enemy of us is united states who has toppled over a dozen of popular and independent governments and is backing enemies of democracy (mostly arab tyrannical regimes).
+2
level 34
Jan 4, 2016
Unfortunately true.
+4
level 67
Feb 15, 2016
I'll bet you don't live in Iran though.
+2
level 21
Dec 8, 2016
Ha USA USA
+1
level 45
Mar 30, 2016
Guess this goes to show how dumb Americans are. I mean the 8% who said Iraq in 2015, Jesus Christ. Do they not know Saddam is dead, or do they assume that Iraq and ISIS are synonymous?
+1
level ∞
Jun 2, 2019
People from every country are ignorant. In fact, the belief that Americans are uniquely ignorant is itself a manifestation of ignorance.
+1
level 71
May 26, 2016
Who are these people who are saying France and Japan? Also, are there people that uneducated to think that the Middle East is one country?
+2
level 57
Jun 4, 2016
They didn't. They're talking generally. And they're not wrong either.
+1
level 59
Apr 7, 2019
The question does say "name ONE country".
+1
level 39
Jun 4, 2016
Japan??
+1
level 70
Jun 5, 2016
Likely residual icky feelings about WWII. See my and others' comments, above.
+2
level 75
May 2, 2018
When one of my daughters was a teenager, she and her boyfriend were playing Trivial Pursuit with us. One of the questions was about dropping the bomb on Japan and her boyfriend looked incredulous as he asked, "We fought a war with Japan?" It made me realize what a difference a generation can make. (And it also made me wonder what is being taught in history class these days.)
+1
level 36
Jun 16, 2016
I never would have guessed the US itself
+1
level 65
Jul 4, 2016
Same here... Theres something wrong when you think your own country is your worst ennemy...
+2
level 68
Mar 28, 2017
I didn't think to guess it, but once I saw the US was an answer, I was immediately like "yeah, that makes sense." It's true in more than one sense of the word - hardly anyone trusts the government (and with good reason), we're sharply divided against each other politically and getting worse all the time, and gang violence and public shootings are still a major problem that kills more US citizens than any other nation does.
+1
level 38
Aug 24, 2017
Absolutely! - Add to that third-world wages and health care, the lack of truly affordable housing and the onslaught of taxes, fines, duties, tolls, value-added taxes ad infinitum and you can certainly understand why many Americans consider our own country our greatest enemy. We are always the first in line to send aid to other countries (even when we're not asked to) while our own people are underpaid, under employed and under attack. What would YOU call that!
+1
level 65
Jul 4, 2016
and what about Al-Quaida in these lists???
+3
level 45
Aug 19, 2016
Are you typing that 'answer' in when you do the countries of the world quiz!?
+1
level 39
Aug 19, 2016
France and Japan? Seriously?
+2
level 69
Aug 30, 2016
France in the era of Freedom Fires.... Japan because, I dunno, Pearl Habor's still living on in infamy?
+2
level 69
Aug 30, 2016
Japan was probably kept alive in these results by the phase of economic anxiety when it seemed Japan was threatening to surpass the US economically, though even that's 20-30 years back now.
+2
level 58
Nov 17, 2016
quoting USA itself as it's potential own enemy seemed self deprecation at the time. Today, in light of the presidential election, some might find it cruelly prophetic.
+1
level 59
Jan 18, 2017
It will be interesting to see a 2017 version about halfway through the year.
+1
level 43
Dec 8, 2016
Odd. People think that they are their own enemy...
+1
level 55
Jan 14, 2017
Japan ??
+1
level 28
Jan 29, 2017
Now Trump's doing twitter diplomacy, the question is, which countries see America as an enemy?
+1
level 69
Mar 3, 2017
Not only is Japan not an enemy, they are one of our best allies. Go figure!
+1
level 40
Mar 28, 2017
of course no americans thought that us would be an enemy of itself
+2
level 66
Mar 28, 2017
I would love to see the answers for this poll if it were taken today. I would imagine russia, north korea, and U.S. itself would all get big bumps based on recent events.
+4
level 70
Mar 28, 2017
Liechtenstein is our biggest threat.
+1
level 65
Jun 21, 2018
Nah, it's Belgium.
+1
level 42
Mar 28, 2017
I hate us
+1
level 46
Apr 23, 2017
USA!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?
+1
level 32
May 9, 2017
Strange how people thought Russia was more of a threat than ISIS.
+4
level 40
May 24, 2017
I would say that greenland (Denmark)is a far bigger threat to america than russia or china because thats were all the land ice is melting causing sea rising
+1
level 60
Jul 3, 2017
Soooo, people don't seem to know that Nixon normalized relations with China, that we've been staunch allies with Japan since 1945, that neither ISIS or Palestine are official states and that the "Middle East" is one country. Dear God we're all screwed!
+1
level 65
May 1, 2018
Depends on how you look at Palestine, but you do make a good point
+2
level 57
Jul 3, 2017
Constantly having perceived enemies to keep the populace afraid, not only makes people easily manipulable, but it helps keep lots of people in the military industrial industries rich and happy. The whole 'weapons of mass destruction' thing was a classic beat beat up just to instill fear in people and so many people learnt nothing from it or forget all about it after a couple of years. The USA itself should probably be top of the lists.
+1
level 57
Jul 3, 2017
haha tricky, i liked it!
+1
level 44
Jul 3, 2017
Who would've gotten the 'United States itself'!?
+1
level 65
May 1, 2018
Me.
+1
level 66
Jul 20, 2017
japan makes zero sense? I have lived in phoenix Arizona my whole life and have never once heard a single person say anything bad about japan. In fact many Americans consider japan to be our 2nd closest ally after the UK
+1
level 38
Aug 25, 2017
I thought Israel was our closest ally after the UK.
+1
level 65
May 1, 2018
Canada?
+2
level 55
Sep 17, 2017
The only one I missed was Japan. Who the heck sees Japan as a threat? Are they stuck in the '40s? The war is over; friends now. ;) I'm not saying that I agree on all the others being a threat; I just know where the idea came from. But Japan I am completely baffled by.
+1
level 44
Feb 10, 2018
I thought of Aliens but not about USA :D
+1
level 38
Mar 3, 2018
I can only hope that in seventy years or so, many of those who commented here about Japan are as ready to forgive the terrorists who flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as they are forgiving of Japan today. I wasn't born in 1941, but I still remember the horror with which my parents referred to that day (and they were barely teenagers at the time). We must NEVER forget assaults on our country, regardless of when they happened.
+5
level 56
Apr 1, 2018
Japan and terrorists are different in multiple ways. In 1941 it was much more clear who we were fighting, an actual country. Since 2001 it's harder to tell who we are fighting, terrorists are dressed in civilian clothing making it much more difficult to tell. And we don't forgive Japan for attacking the US, but that was a different Japan than what Japan is today. After we won in the Pacific we helped Japan rewrite a new constitution as well as we gave them capitalistic ideology allowing them to become one of the most tech advanced countries in the world along with South Korea where us Americans get most of are tech from. So, no we won't forgive anyone who attacked are great nation.
+2
level 61
May 1, 2018
What about Canada? In 1814 our side burned down your Whitehouse, I would think that would have put us on the "A" list of unforgiveness.
+3
level 59
May 1, 2018
We took our revenge on Canada by coaxing all the best Canadian hockey players to play for American cities in the NHL.
+1
level 75
May 2, 2018
Watch "Canadian Bacon" if you want to know what we're capable of - "Surrender pronto, or we'll level Toronto!" We're watching you up there, and "we have ways of making you speak the letter O, pal."
+3
level 76
May 1, 2018
Who said anything about forgiving terrorists? If all terrorists were from the country of Terrorististan and 70 years from now that country was as secular and peaceful as Japan is today, I don't think anyone would have any problem not bearing any animus toward this imaginary country's citizens. At the same time that doesn't mean we're going to be okay with the 9/11 hijackers any more than today we're going to forgive the soldiers who oversaw the rape of Nanjing or the surgeons who did unspeakable things in Unit 731. But not all terrorists are from the same place and they don't represent any national entity.
Then you go on to say we should NEVER forget assaults on "our country." So... does that mean that you were being sarcastic? And that you think we are wrong to not hate the people of Japan today for something that their government did in the 1940s?
Confusing comment...
+3
level ∞
Apr 2, 2018
My list:
    6. Venezuela
    5. China
    4. North Korea
    3. Russia
    2. United States itself
    1. Belgium
+2
level 35
Apr 18, 2018
You've got a bit of thing about Belgium haven't you?
+5
level 76
May 1, 2018
What are they hiding in all those little pockets they put in their pancakes? Definitely suspicious.
+2
level 76
May 1, 2018
Right now the greatest threat to the country is coming from the executive branch, followed closely by the legislative and then the judicial. I'd put Russia as #2, though of course they had a lot to do with undermining American democracy they would not have succeeded if not for the groundwork laid for them by the Republican party and conservative media and their oligarch masters, assisted as always by the liberals who have their heads so firmly up their own rears they can't see how to win and unloseable election and devote at least half their attention to worrying about the wrong things.

After #1 and #2 I don't think anyone out there is a genuine threat to the United States. If forced to pick somebody I guess China might be #3 but that's mostly because they have an effective government while the US does not and while their power grows America's necessarily wanes; not because of any nefarious intent.
+1
level 59
May 1, 2018
Why the Belgium hate?
+1
level 45
May 1, 2018
Surprised about USA itself
+3
level 76
May 1, 2018
All the people who are expressing some sense of despair at this: did you notice that the list of perceived enemies is shrinking smaller and smaller year by year? And none of the odd or surprising answers are above 2%. Don't get so excited.
+1
level 56
Jun 13, 2018
The reason the list was so short in 2018 was because so many people agreed that North Korea was the biggest enemy. A long list doesn't indicate the perception of many enemies: just that people are in disagreement.
+2
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
Right. But it makes sense to be worried about North Korea. (though it would make more sense to worry about Russia) The fact that more people are getting a "correct" answer and fewer are throwing out answers like France, Japan, or Cuba is good news, right?
+1
level 56
Jul 13, 2018
If people stop thinking France is more of a threat than North Korea that could be down to either decreased stupidity or more worry about North Korea or both. (I would guess it was mainly due to the incidents with the ICBMs). But it isn't really good news if in someone's mind North Korea just overtakes France as #1 enemy (admittedly there were a few years inbetween, but it is a simplification).
+1
level 76
Apr 6, 2019
I'm still going to take it as good news. It's rare that I can feel optimistic about the intelligence of the average citizen, so I take what I can get.
+1
level 56
Jun 13, 2018
But I agree that there is little reason for despair in these statistics. It is just a list of countries that people either don't like or feel worried about. There are always going to be some stupid answers and a wide range of plausible ones.
+2
level 56
May 1, 2018
France! HAHAHA!!!!
+2
level 58
May 1, 2018
France and Japan cracked me up too. Also the people who answered "the Middle East". Aside from thinking "the Middle East" is a single country, the most plausible reason I can think of is that people think all/most of the countries in the ME act collectively with aligned goals, which is also an amusing level of ignorance.
+6
level 53
May 1, 2018
Too bad you can't include other enemies - like Fox News.
+1
level 71
Aug 8, 2018
One of the best comments I‘ve read so far!
+2
level 61
May 1, 2018
Japan? The Yanks still upset over Pearl Harbor or something?
+1
level 58
May 1, 2018
That was my first thought, but Vietnam isn't on there, so I don't think its people thinking about decades-old wars. I have other weak guesses that people view Japan as an economic threat (was a big thing in the 1980s but not so plausible recently) or some political news we've now forgotten that had people's attention at the time (e.g., talking of revising their constitution to allow broader use of their military -- although that is more recent than the survey results).
+1
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
I actually do think that it's Pearl Harbor. My grandmother's generation (rapidly dying off now, might be why it's no longer an answer in 2018) is still very mad at Japan. But my father's generation (who fought in Vietnam)? I don't think they're holding a grudge at all. Those are the people more likely to answer that America is it's own greatest enemy. They never really understood why we were fighting Vietnam in the first place.
+1
level 53
May 1, 2018
Obviously the topic is subjective, but I think the U.S. and Russia should be tied for first. While you could argue politics and economy, let's remember that between the two countries, the world has almost ended multiple times simply from nuclear threat. Will the two countries get along? I don't know, and that's the scary part.
+1
level 59
May 1, 2018
Based on some comments I've heard while traveling through the South, I'm surprised the Confederacy isn't on here.
+3
level 59
May 1, 2018
I once saw a bumper sticker that said "North: 1, South: 0. Halftime." I have to admit, it was pretty funny.
+1
level 75
May 2, 2018
I also see one that says, "He** no, we ain't forgettin'!" My favorite is, "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God." Regarding the US being on the enemy list, Walt Kelly's 'possum Pogo said it best, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
+3
level 82
May 1, 2018
This is a great quiz. It's also sad. I'm from the USA, and a lot of the people I talk to say North Korea is a huge threat ... and surprise, surprise, they don't even know where it is, or anything about it's population, size of its military, or the estimates of the types of weapons N.Korea might have. Most of these answers are based on ignorance t and "American" arrogance and bigotry and not on any real knowledge of the global landscape. ...and I'm in the 1% that put USA as its own #1 enemy. The whole thing about Russia messing with the election, however much Russia did troll US social media, ultimately, it is/was the ignorance of Americans who believed it. Most 'fake news' is easy to spot if you have even half an education and falling for it requires a special kind of stupid.
+1
level 55
May 1, 2018
Love this quiz
+1
level 63
May 1, 2018
This is a quiz website. The only thing jetpunk cares about are numbers. Not politics. And even when it's about politics, it's about the numbers. You will never see a quiz that says, How do you feel about........on jetpunk. Your feelings are insignificant........jetpunk data rulz. All your base are belong to us!!!!!!!!
+1
level 32
May 1, 2018
we all know japan is the biggest threat to world peace . THE ANIME APOCALYPSE IS COMING!!!
+2
level 66
May 2, 2018
Where is Israel?
+4
level 59
May 2, 2018
At the east end of the Mediterranean, just west of Jordan.
+4
level 76
May 3, 2018
While it's ridiculous to consider Israel a threat to the United States, I was also mildly surprised to see that there weren't at least 1% of people who said that it was. Particularly among liberal Millennials, college students, and Muslim-Americans I think this would be a popular answer. This might be another clue that the polling data skews toward older respondents.
+1
level 49
May 2, 2018
Surprised not to see Giedi Prime on this list.
+1
level 42
May 7, 2018
ha united states as it's own enemy
+1
level 4
May 8, 2018
America has too many enemies but making more with Trump's help.'Make America Great Again'!!
+1
level 22
Jun 2, 2018
The fact the US itself is on there makes me dislike America even more... And I'm American...
+4
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
Start disliking it enough and maybe you'll be one of the people answering that way.
+1
level 47
Jun 26, 2018
Wow, only one I didn't get was USA itself...
+2
level 38
Jul 22, 2018
WELL, at least the numbers are shrinking (only 6 enemies in 2018). But please don't tell Trump that his "pet" Russia remains on the list! -
+2
level 59
Apr 7, 2019
Also don't tell Trump that Mexico isn't on the list.
+2
level 50
Nov 12, 2018
Why is Japan here?
+3
level 48
Jan 16, 2019
US is so hated it hates itself
+2
level 76
Apr 6, 2019
Americans are more capable of self-reflection and accepting of honest criticism (and, ironically given the false stereotypes, less given to mindless blind patriotism) than most people around the world, that's why.
+1
level 29
Mar 10, 2019
I'm german and I wonder why Germany isn't in there
+1
level 66
Apr 6, 2019
Boy, I sure hope those who think Russia is the #1 enemy of the US don't go straight into McCarthyism. I hope even more that they don't double down harder now that the Mueller report has concluded with no indictments. Too late.
+3
level 53
Apr 7, 2019
There were many indictments. 34 so far. I also hope we can end Russian influence and crime without going into McCarthyism.
+1
level 27
May 14, 2019
How in the world are France and Japan on here?
+1
level 76
Jun 2, 2019
There are a bunch of comments above answering this.
+1
level 54
Jun 2, 2019
How is the US a threat to itself?