Patriotism is the feeling of love, loyalty, devotion, support and/or pride directed toward one’s country. Patroitism relates to one’s own homeland, including its historical, political, cultural, or ethnic qualities. Patriotism is similar to and can be confused with nationalism, a sort of extreme, antagonistic patriotism; and Chauvinism, an even more extreme variation in which a person becomes unrealistically prejudiced and treats all other countries disrespectfully. Anti-patriotism is the ideology opposite patriotism, which posits that patriotism is wrong because it encourages people to blindly love and sacrifice themselves for their birth country regardless of how they have been treated there.
Several factors affect the level of patriotism in a country. The first of these is the like-mindedness of the people with regard to the principles that shape their lives. People who agree with the prevailing public sentiment and the way the government is performing are more likely to feel patriotic. Security is another factor, as people take pride in their nation’s ability to protect them from harm. A third factor is wealth, as nations are popular with their citizens if they can provide for and allow the enjoyment of wealth. When security and wealth are inadequate or non-existent, we often see refugees seeking better conditions in other countries. Some believe that multi-cultural areas are a threat to patriotism, including colleges and universities.
What country is the most patriotic?
Patriotism can be a difficult thing to measure and quantify, but social scientists and other interested parties continue to create statistical models and surveys with the goal of determining the world's most patriotic country. YouGov conducted an international survey on globalization, surveying groups of people from 19 countries around the world. Respondents were asked whether they believe they live “in the best country in the world,” and their answer determined which were the most patriotic. Based on the YouGov survey, the United States is the most patriotic country, with 41% of its respondents answering “yes” to “My country is the best country in the world,” and 32% believe that the US is “better than most countries.”
Top 10 Most Patriotic Countries (YouGov):
Percentage of respondents who believed their country was the best in the world.
- The United States — 41%
- India — 35%
- Australia — 34%
- The United Arab Emirates — 27%
- Saudi Arabia — 25%
- Thailand — 25%
- Philippines — 15%
- Indonesia — 14%
- The United Kingdom — 13%
- Denmark — 13%
Another study, this time conducted by WIN/Gallup International, asked respondents in 64 countries if they would be willing to fight and possibly die for their country—arguably the ultimate test of one's patriotism. The results for this survey gave notably different results. Interestingly, in every country survey by both polls, the percentage of respondents who thought their country was the best in the world was lower than the percentage of people willing to fight for that same country.
Gallup also noted that the willingness to fight was greater in countries that had experienced civil unrest more recently, such as the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries. Finally, it is worth noting that the survey took place during the time when Afghanistan was ruled by a democratic government and occupied by peacekeeping troops, as opposed to the Taliban-led government currently in power.
Top 10 Most Patriotic Countries (Win/Gallup):
Percentage of respondents willing to fight for their countries:
- Morocco — 94%
- Fiji — 94%
- Pakistan — 89%
- Vietnam — 89%
- Bangladesh — 86%
- Azerbaijan — 85%
- Papua New Guinea — 84%
- Afghanistan — 76%
- Georgia — 76%
- India — 75%
One of the most interesting measures of patriotism came from the International Social Survey Program, which measured patriotism in two complementary surveys. One measured general national pride, but included several edgier questions that bordered on nationalism. The other measured domain-specific national pride, which focused upon the nation's accomplishments and qualities.
Top 10 Countries with Highest National Pride 2003-04 (ISSP):
|Rank||Country||General Pride||Domain-Specific Pride|
|1 (tie)||United States||17.7||4.0|