Whom Would You Tolerate As Your Neighbor? Global Edition

The Globe and Mail has an intriguing survey of levels of tolerance in countries around the world. Specifically, people in various nations were polled on whether they would dislike having neighbors who were of a different race, a different religion, spoke another language, were gay, etc. In most categories, the United States falls into the middle region between very tolerant and intolerant locales, suggesting we’re not as open-minded and live-and-let-live as one would expect of a “nation of immigrants.”

Below, places where the most citizens say they would object to having a neighbor of another race:

chart

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  • gemmarama

    … and just to the left of your computer screen, right off the scale is the UK… probably the most xenophobic bastard race in the world.

    • emperorreagan

      Least accepting is to the right on that chart, most accepting is to the left.The US actually falls to the left side of the chart for the majority of the categories, excluding drug users and heavy drinkers.Not surprisingly, Sweden seems to win the most accepting country award.

      • gemmarama

        oh yeah, i meant the OTHER right…

        recovering from a tooth extraction… apologies!

        • Liam_McGonagle

          OH–when you said the “right hand side of the chart” I thought you meant from the point of view of someone standing behind your computer monitor looking towards you, i.e., the correct designation.

          Just kidding.

          But I think Emporerreagan made an excellent point in his earlier comment—the U.S. is an incredibly segregated, low population density per square mile country. I really wonder if our results skew us as more tolerant than we actually are because, relatively speaking, we have little contact with folks from other races.

          Did this study control for segregation, population density and percentage of population comprised by immigrants? Might it be significant that excluding the ethnically similar neighboring Scandinavian countries that Sweden was actually united with in political union for several centuries, their total immigration population seems to be only 9%.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden#Immigration

          Although the U.S. has only about 10% immigrant population, that is actually the result of a DECLINE from higher rates typical in the 19th and 20th centuries, when it hit an all-time high* of 20% in 1900.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_in_the_United_States#Demography

          Apparently Sweden’s experienced significant non-Scandinavian immigration only since the end of WWII, so their total population of non-Swedish or Scandinavian ethnic origins must be much, much lower ideed.

          * admittedly that’s only based on projections from surviving relevant federal census data. I’m sure that at some point shortly after the Bering Strait crossing it was somewhere nearer 100%.

          • gemmarama

            yeah that’s one thing that’s really obvious to a visitor to the US – the fact that you can cross a street and find yourself in a completely different neighbourhood. i’ve only ever been to new york where it’s probably more exaggerated due to the huge number of people crammed into a relatively small (for a major city) space. places like williamsburg in brooklyn, where one second you’re in a hassidic jewish area where nobody speaks english, and the next, pow! hipsterville, and greenwich village, which seems to be exclusively populated by rich gay men, are striking to the outsider.

            there are still areas like these in the UK but on the whole it’s much more integrated. you are far likely to find several households of differing ethnicity (and in some areas social class) living in the same apartment block. this – like the xenophobia – is probably attributable to the smaller concentration of different races living in the UK than in the US.

            in saying this i don’t think you could really say we are in a better situation than you guys; more that here racism is just different. it’s more subtle and insiduous than in the US, but no less real. there’s still a tendency here to treat “foreigners” as some kind of exotic “other”; a throw-back to the colonial days when we viewed them as a different species. a lot of the people who end every friday night with a curry would be complaining about the smell of spices if a pakistani family moved in next door. it’s similar to the way homos are tolerated as long as they’re camp as a row of tents and work in the entertainment industry.

            ah, the UK. our deep-rooted fucked-up-ness has shades of infinite subtlety and nuance.

    • Zeeniachalla

      ^^^
      Funny. I’m sure some people were honest, but not most answering the survey. Everyone is tolerant of another race or religion until they start moving where you live in large numbers. I’ve been to many American cities, and noticed on MLK street, there are not many Angleos. Why?

      • emperorreagan

        One possible reason: Many American cities are not particularly racially integrated. Streets selected to be named in commemoration of MLK are in historically black neighborhoods.

        I live in Baltimore. MLK Blvd in Baltimore is sort of a dividing line between West Baltimore (home of much of the Wire) and the central business areas. It’s a prominent highway, which is probably why they named it for him…but it’s kind of funny that until the latest rounds of gentrification began creeping across the highway, it separated poverty on the west side from the greater wealth and privilege on the east.

  • gemmarama

    … and just to the left of your computer screen, right off the scale is the UK… probably the most xenophobic bastard race in the world.

  • emperorreagan

    Least accepting is to the right on that chart, most accepting is to the left.The US actually falls to the left side of the chart for the majority of the categories, excluding drug users and heavy drinkers.Not surprisingly, Sweden seems to win the most accepting country award.

  • Zeeniachalla

    ^^^
    Funny. I’m sure some people were honest, but not most answering the survey. Everyone is tolerant of another race or religion until they start moving where you live in large numbers. I’ve been to many American cities, and noticed on MLK street, there are not many Angleos. Why?

  • gemmarama

    oh yeah, i meant the OTHER right…

    recovering from a tooth extraction… apologies!

  • emperorreagan

    One possible reason: Many American cities are not particularly racially integrated. Streets selected to be named in commemoration of MLK are in historically black neighborhoods.

    I live in Baltimore. MLK Blvd in Baltimore is sort of a dividing line between West Baltimore (home of much of the Wire) and the central business areas. It’s a prominent highway, which is probably why they named it for him…but it’s kind of funny that until the latest rounds of gentrification began creeping across the highway, it separated poverty on the west side from the greater wealth and privilege on the east.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    OH–when you said the “right hand side of the chart” I thought you meant from the point of view of someone standing behind your computer monitor looking towards you, i.e., the correct designation.

    Just kidding.

    But I think Emporerreagan made an excellent point in his earlier comment—the U.S. is an incredibly segregated, low population density per square mile country. I really wonder if our results skew us as more tolerant than we actually are because, relatively speaking, we have little contact with folks from other races.

    Did this study control for segregation, population density and percentage of population comprised by immigrants? Might it be significant that excluding the ethnically similar neighboring Scandinavian countries that Sweden was actually united with in political union for several centuries, their total immigration population seems to be only 9%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden#Immigration

    Although the U.S. has only about 10% immigrant population, that is actually the result of a DECLINE from higher rates typical in the 19th and 20th centuries, when it hit an all-time high* of 20% in 1900.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_in_the_United_States#Demography

    Apparently Sweden’s experienced significant non-Scandinavian immigration only since the end of WWII, so their total population of non-Swedish or Scandinavian ethnic origins must be much, much lower ideed.

    * admittedly that’s only based on projections from surviving relevant federal census data. I’m sure that at some point shortly after the Bering Strait crossing it was somewhere nearer 100%.

  • gemmarama

    yeah that’s one thing that’s really obvious to a visitor to the US – the fact that you can cross a street and find yourself in a completely different neighbourhood. i’ve only ever been to new york where it’s probably more exaggerated due to the huge number of people crammed into a relatively small (for a major city) space. places like williamsburg in brooklyn, where one second you’re in a hassidic jewish area where nobody speaks english, and the next, pow! hipsterville, and greenwich village, which seems to be exclusively populated by rich gay men, are striking to the outsider.

    there are still areas like these in the UK but on the whole it’s much more integrated. you are far likely to find several households of differing ethnicity (and in some areas social class) living in the same apartment block. this – like the xenophobia – is probably attributable to the smaller concentration of different races living in the UK than in the US.

    in saying this i don’t think you could really say we are in a better situation than you guys; more that here racism is just different. it’s more subtle and insiduous than in the US, but no less real. there’s still a tendency here to treat “foreigners” as some kind of exotic “other”; a throw-back to the colonial days when we viewed them as a different species. a lot of the people who end every friday night with a curry would be complaining about the smell of spices if a pakistani family moved in next door. it’s similar to the way homos are tolerated as long as they’re camp as a row of tents and work in the entertainment industry.

    ah, the UK. our deep-rooted fucked-up-ness has shades of infinite subtlety and nuance.

  • Resi

    I guess you don’t see too many “Anglos” (at least middle class and above of any race) in areas with MLK Blvd./St./Ave. etc. because that’s where you find crime significantly higher.

    I’m not Anglo, but Jewish, and where I live in Georgia, there are plenty of areas I avoid. Some I have to go to when working, but avoid after dark. To be honest, though, there are low class white areas I don’t care for, either, not because I fear for my safety, but because I don’t care for the environment. One area I have to go to for work has people with bumper stickers on their trucks celebrating Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, and that doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable than the excesses of ‘hood culture.

    Take for instance an incident that happened a couple of years ago. A very accomplished member of our symphony went to one of these areas to buy drugs, and they found him dead. Apparently they had an argument over something in the transaction. I don’t know what he was trying to buy, but I think if he’d gone to someone in a better part of town to buy the drugs, he would be alive today.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah, the history of ethnic relationships is complicated by class issues.

      But oftentimes we fail to own up to the complexity of our own ethnicity’s history. Sure, everyone knows about Father Coughlin’s rabid antisemitism on his infamous broadcasts. But few think back to the enlightened stance that Daniel “The Liberator” O’Connell took over the length of his entire career, writing a considerable number of attacks on American slavery as well as British colonial imperialism.

      While the likes of Forrest’s KKK are today thought of as equally antisemetic as they are prejudiced against American blacks, this is kind of ironic, given the notoriety of Judah Benjamin as the Confederacy’s Attorney General, Secretary for War, and Secretary of State.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Benjamin

      Complicated for sure.

  • Resi

    I guess you don’t see too many “Anglos” (at least middle class and above of any race) in areas with MLK Blvd./St./Ave. etc. because that’s where you find crime significantly higher.

    I’m not Anglo, but Jewish, and where I live in Georgia, there are plenty of areas I avoid. Some I have to go to when working, but avoid after dark. To be honest, though, there are low class white areas I don’t care for, either, not because I fear for my safety, but because I don’t care for the environment. One area I have to go to for work has people with bumper stickers on their trucks celebrating Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, and that doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable than the excesses of ‘hood culture.

    Take for instance an incident that happened a couple of years ago. A very accomplished member of our symphony went to one of these areas to buy drugs, and they found him dead. Apparently they had an argument over something in the transaction. I don’t know what he was trying to buy, but I think if he’d gone to someone in a better part of town to buy the drugs, he would be alive today.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, the history of ethnic relationships is complicated by class issues.

    But oftentimes we fail to own up to the complexity of our own ethnicity’s history. Sure, everyone knows about Father Coughlin’s rabid antisemitism on his infamous broadcasts. But few think back to the enlightened stance that Daniel “The Liberator” O’Connell took over the length of his entire career, writing a considerable number of attacks on American slavery as well as British colonial imperialism.

    While the likes of Forrest’s KKK are today thought of as equally antisemetic as they are prejudiced against American blacks, this is kind of ironic, given the notoriety of Judah Benjamin as the Confederacy’s Attorney General, Secretary for War, and Secretary of State.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Benjamin

    Complicated for sure.

  • Synapse

    Interesting that Jordan seems to be 1st or 2nd of every list. Perhaps it would have been quicker to ask who’s the one person they do want to live next door?

  • Synapse

    Interesting that Jordan seems to be 1st or 2nd of every list. Perhaps it would have been quicker to ask who’s the one person they do want to live next door?

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