Fewer Americans Think the U.S. the Greatest

The percentage of Americans that think the U.S. 'stands above all other countries in the world' has fallen, particularly among young people and Republicans.

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Most Americans think the United States is one of the greatest countries in the world. Fewer of them, however, think the U.S. is superior, according to Pew Research Center. 

Since 2011, there has been a 26 percent decrease in the number of Americans willing to call the USA the greatest -- now about one-fourth of Americans. 

The change was greatest among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of Republicans said the U.S. "stands above all other countries" in 2011. In 2014, 37 percent of Republicans agreed with that  statement. In both years, Republicans agreed America was greatest more than Democrats or Independents, but the view decreased more from 2011 to 2014 in Republicans than in other groups.

Young people are the least likely to call the U.S. the greatest country in the world. The older someone is, the more likely they are to hold that view. All populations, regardless of age, believed the statement less in 2014 than in 2011.

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Before dismissing those darn Millennials as unpatriotic, you should know that MTV reads the data differently. In its new research study "Millennials & #Merica," MTV said young people aren't less patriotic, they just have different ideas about patriotism. The study claims young people have a more balanced attitude toward patriotism that isn't as unquestioning as the traditional definition. The "Millennials & #Merica" study found 86 percent of young people are "proud to be American" and 8 in 10 agreed they are "inspired by America."

“Millennials are as loyal to America as any generation. But they are redefining patriotism as an active commitment, rather than an unquestioned obligation,” said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV, in its release of the study. “In our global era where young people have witnessed peers around the world face oppression for speaking out, American Millennials are asserting their beliefs through the fundamentally American acts of questioning, challenging and, ultimately, trying to make this country better.”