China Ties Russia, Ethiopia on List of World's Most Tolerant Countries

By Rachel Deason, February 27, 2017

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Data from a global social attitudes survey shows that China is one of the world’s more racially tolerant countries. 

The study, which was originally published in 2013, was conducted over three decades by World Value Survey and asked participants what types of people they would refuse to live next to. Every answer of ‘people of a different race’ negatively impacted a country’s score.

Max Fisher of the Washington Post points out one major flaw with the research method used: racism is so taboo in western countries that many individuals who harbor these opinions may be unwilling to share them in a public poll.

Thus, much of the west came out on top, with Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and others scoring between 0-4.9 percent racist.

Of course, given China’s largely homogenous population, racism is hardly on the minds of most citizens. The country scored in the 15-19.9 percent category, along with countries like Russia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Hungary and Venezuela.

According to the methodology of the survey, the world’s most racist country is Jordan, with 51.4 percent of the population expressing a refusal to live next to someone of a different race. Jordan is followed closely by India at 43.5 percent.

Compare the World Value Survey’s map to one showing ethnic diversity from the Harvard Institute for Economic Research. 

Racial Tolerance Map

Ethnic Diversity Map

Another major issue with the poll: the answers from Hong Kong appear to have been mistranslated, according to Reddit user cf18:

"[It] looks like 78.1 percent of people in Hong Kong dislike other races, as you say 'astonishingly high.' But don't you find it more unbelievable that the next two questions say 80 percent people don't mind having drunks or emotionally unstable peoples as neighbors? Or even more crazy stuff on the next page, which say 90 percent people think it's fine to have drug addicts as neighbors?...

"The correct result should be: In Hong Kong 78.1 percent found it acceptable to have different race neighbors, while less than 20 percent found it acceptable to have drunks, emotionally unstable and drug addicts as neighbours...

"It is obvious that the survey result for those questions was inverted by mistranslation."'

According to the Washington Post, the University of Hong Kong professor who was the key investigator of the survey there, confirmed the error.

[Images via Foreign Affairs, Washington Post]

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