Mapping Acceptance

We like a good infographic here at The Brev. This is a nice one:

WaPo racial tolerance

In the bluer countries, fewer people said they would not want neighbors of a different race; in red countries, more people did.

A question on the World Values Survey asks if respondents (in 81 countries) would not want people of a different race living nearby.

The more accepting countries are Anglo and Latin (except Venezuela and the Dominican Republic [next door to Haiti?]). Scandinavian countries also scored high, as did Pakistan.

The less accepting: India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong head the pack. Also low tolerance are the Middle East, much of Asia and Africa (though most of Africa was not surveyed), plus South Korea.

A major proviso to all this is that answers probably reflect social desirability bias. Still, if it is valid, then one thing is clear: the West — commonly accused of all manner of evils such as orientalism, eurocentrism, racism, bigotry and the like — turns out to be comparatively innocent.

Another major proviso, though, is that wanting to live in a cohesive, united community, with similar neighbours, is not in itself an evil. It can be a key source of social capital.


Max Fisher, A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries Washington Post May 15, 2013.



1 Comment

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One response to “Mapping Acceptance

  1. I posted this map on my facebook earlier today with the following off-the-cuff comments (perhaps I will clean them up into a real post soon):

    A few notes of interest: 1) On a whole lot fo personality/culture mesaures Scandinavians and Anglos rank very similar. (Most notable are individuality/group-think measures – Anglo and Scandinavians emphasize individuality over group identity.) This might account for their openess to other races.

    2) But they are joined by Latin America! I am not sure what explains this – though some Latin American countries (Brazil in particular) are about as multi-racial as the U.S.

    3) So moving on to Asia – not suprised. A little surprised that Hong Kong ranks so poor in relation to other Asian states; probably reflects a long history of other Asian ethnic groups trying to make a new life on the islands (similar reasoning might explain things in France). They have a lot of anti-immigrant fevor even against ethnically similar mainland Chinese.

    4) India – so what is up with this? Any Indian friends ( maybe —-edit name out — ?) want to take a stab? This surprises me a bit b/c India is one fo the most diverse countries on the planet – perhaps there is a disconnect between the way they construct race and the way they view the many Desi ethnic groups on the subcontinent? Are tribals seen as another race? A lot of questions here. (And notice the difference between Pakistan and India/Bangladesh!)

    6) I would have liked to see the geographic breakdowns of several of these countries.. I suspect that India, the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and China may very greatly from region to region.

    7) Final point – this is really obvious to anybody who associates with foreigners, ecspecially from those red countries…. America really is one of the most tolerant, open societies on the planet. You can call American culture racist and bigoted; perhaps it is. But we do so much better than so many others. On the broad historical scale American socieity is such an outstanding outlyer. How blessed am I to be a part of its culture – where I can have friends from so many countries and cultures, races and beliefs without punishment for doing so. I am truly grateful for this. So many don’t have this opportunity.

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