Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presently in the United States, on a visit that is expected to be a crucial milestone in Indo-US ties under his government.
To coincide with his visit, Pew Research released data of its latest survey on Indo-US ties on 21 June. Conducted among US citizens in March 2023, the survey focuses on Americans' view of India and specifically Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.
51 Percent Americans View India Favourably
According to the survey, 51 percent of the respondents have a favourable view of India while 44 percent have an unfavourable view of India. These are further subdivided into those who are very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable and not favourable at all.
It is significant to note that the overall favourability of India among Americans has reduced marginally from 63 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2023. The increase in unfavourability, however, is much more stark.
In 2008, only 14 percent Americans surveyed had an unfavourable view of India. This increased to 44 percent in 2023.
However, India is still seen much more favourably than countries like China. According to the same survey, 83 percent Americans have a negative view of China.
According to the 2023 survey, 55 percent of Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher view India positively, while 50 percent of those with some college or less education say the same.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are also somewhat more likely than their Republican and Republican-leaning counterparts to see India favourably (56 percent vs. 48 percent).
Less Americans Confident About PM Modi
In the survey, respondents were asked 'Tell me how much confidence you have in each leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs – a lot of confidence, some confidence, not too much confidence, or no confidence at all. - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi'. This question was asked regarding other world leaders as well.
According to the March 2023 survey, 40 percent of the Americans surveyed said that they haven't heard of PM Modi. Among those who said they have heard of him, a greater proportion said they do not have confidence in him.
We couldn't make a direct comparison with past surveys on this question. The press release by Pew gives data from 2018 and 2019 on this question, but those surveys didn't have the 'haven't heard of him' option.
However, for the sake of comparison we have removed those who answered 'haven't heard of him', 'don't know' and 'don't want to answer' and considered only those who voiced their opinion. This revealed an increase in the proportion of people who don't have much confidence or have no confidence in him.
Just for the sake of accuracy we have provided the 2018 and 2019 data separately as well, factoring in those who answered 'Don't Know or Can't Say'.