Tolerance, Racism and Xenophobia in the United States


Where does the American Public Stand on Racism?

The World Values Survey is an association of social scientists from around the world that gather data on human values, political and social life, as well as a host of other social statistics.  Using the WVS data, I present here a brief analysis of tolerance, racism and xenophobia in the Western World, and show that when it comes to the above the, U.S. is 'middle of the road'.   

The below figure shows the number of respondents, by country that affirm the following positions.  All questions began with, 'Would not like to have as neighbors:' and ends with the y-axis category.  For example the first survey question was, 'Would not like to have as neighbors: Different Race' and 5.6% of American affirmed with this statement.


- jsFiddle demo


The survey data were also used to create a ranking system and determine the Western Nation with the most tolerance and least xenophobia and racism.  The ranking, in order of most tolerant, is as follows:

  1. Sweden 
  2. Spain
  3. Netherlands
  4. United States
  5. Poland
  6. Germany
  7. Romania
  8. Russia
  9. Estonia

Homosexuality Tolerance in the US

As we can see in the below figures, which again uses WVS data, the United States ranks among the most tolerant countries of homosexuality.   Still, more than 24% of American believe homosexuality is never justifiable and only 21.5% believe homosexuality is always justifiable. 


Percent of respondents that believe homosexuality is never justifiable.


Sixty-percent of Swedes believe homosexuality is always justifiable, compared to just 21% of Americans.