I recently came across this survey and it caught my attention. It attempts to answer the question “What is the most racist, intolerant, anti-Semitic, homophobic country in the Western world?”
The results would make people, who are not Caucasians, probably want to avoid Italy, Muslims to avoid Greece, Jews to avoid Spain, and immigrants as well as homosexuals to stay clear of Northern Ireland. These countries were rated as the least tolerant in the Western world.
Human Beliefs and Values Survey experts went about conducting the survey by making people in Western countries answer yes/no to the following statements:
- I wouldn’t want my neighbors to be of “different race” (Least tolerant: 1.Italy 16%, 2. Greece 14%, 3. Belgium 13%)
- I wouldn’t want my neighbors to be “Muslim” (Least tolerant: 1. Greece 21%, 2.Belgium 20%, Norway 19%)
- I wouldn’t want my neighbors to be “Jewish” (Least tolerant: 1. Spain 22%, 2. Greece 18%, 3. Italy 13%)
- I wouldn’t want my neighbors to be “immigrants” (Least tolerant: 1.Northern Ireland 19%, 2. Italy 17%, 3. Belgium 16%)
- I wouldn’t want my neighbors to be “homosexuals” (Least tolerant: 1. Northern Ireland 37%, 2. Italy 28%, 3. Ireland 27%)
The US, mercifully, ranked average or below average for all questions. Still, a surprisingly high number of Americans are not comfortable living around people who are not “just like them.”
The least racist and homophobic country was Sweden.
The country least concerned about having Muslim neighbors was Canada.
The least anti-Semitic country was The Netherlands.
The country least worried about having immigrants as neighbors was Portugal.
(The survey was conducted in 2000. I wonder how different the results would be now.)