Over the past 12 months, our pollsters tracked public attitudes on everything from the war in Ukraine to conflict in the Middle East.
How do Americans and other global publics understand the key issues facing our world today? Throughout 2023, the Council’s survey team crunched the numbers to find out. Explore the links below for a look at what we learned.
In collaboration with the Levada Center in Moscow, we tracked public sentiment toward the war in both the United States and Russia through a series of surveys and focus groups. Although American support for US aid to Ukraine has declined slightly, our data show a majority continue to believe such assistance has been worth the cost.
- A Year in, Americans Still Support Ukraine
- American Public Support for Assistance to Ukraine Has Waned, But Still Considerable
Meanwhile, Russian support for the “military operation” remains stable, but the public is divided over its effects.
- Russians Are Split over Benefits of Military Action in Ukraine
- Majority of Russians Still Unwilling to Return Occupied Parts of Ukraine
- Do Russians Fear the West?
- Western Sanctions Have Largely Spared Ordinary Russians
- Russian Public Support for Military Action in Ukraine Holds Steady
Even before Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, our survey team was monitoring public attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the situation continues to escalate, we’ve been paying close attention to how American views are shifting and what role they think the United States should play moving forward.
- How Israeli-Palestinian Peace Continues to Elude Us 75 Years Later
- Prior to Attack on Israel, Majority of Americans Supported Talks with Hamas
- Most Americans Say Israel’s Military Response Is Justified but Sympathize with Both Sides
- Most Americans Supported Talks with Iran Prior to Hamas Attacks
- Plurality of Americans Say US Should Be Neutral Mediator in Israel-Hamas War
Critical Threats to the United States
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer biopic put nuclear weapons—and the threat they pose—back in the spotlight this summer. To find out where Americans stand today, the Council teamed up with the Carnegie Corporation of New York to gauge public awareness and interest in US nuclear policies. A panel of emerging nuclear experts then joined us to unpack the results in a live-streamed webinar.
- Majority in US Want to Learn More about Nuclear Policy
- Most Americans Are Uncomfortable with the Policy of Nuclear Sole Authority
- Do Nukes Make the US Safer? Americans Are Unsure
- Generational Attitudes in a New Nuclear Age
Between spy balloons and tensions in the Taiwan Strait, public concern over China’s development as a world power continues to rise. Our 2023 survey finds Americans feel more threat from China now than at any time since the Cold War and see allies like South Korea and Japan as valuable in balancing Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.
- US Opinion Leaders Support Aid to Taiwan
- Americans Say US Has Not Gone Far Enough on China Trade Issues
- Americans Feel More Threat from China Now Than in past Three Decades
- Two-Thirds of Americans Think US-Taiwan Relations Bolster US Security
- Americans See South Korea's Influence at All-Time High
- American Views of Japanese Influence on the Rise
Another threat top of mind for many Americans is climate change, though Council polling shows Democrats are far more concerned than Republicans. However, our latest survey reveals the public is mostly on the same page when it comes to aiding countries more vulnerable to severe environmental threats.
- Republicans and Democrats Continue to Clash over Climate Change
- Millennials and Gen Z Sound the Alarm on Climate Change
America’s Global Role
Each year, Council asks Americans to weigh in on a core component of US identity: Is it better for the United States to play an active role in world affairs or stay out? For the first time in 2023, a majority of Republicans said stay out, though Americans across the political spectrum largely report they continue to see benefits from global engagement through alliances, international agreements, and trade.
- Americans Grow Less Enthusiastic about Active US Engagement Abroad
- Americans Continue to See Benefits from US Alliances
- Majorities Support US Bases in Key Allied Nations
- Most Americans See Value in International Trade
- Americans Broadly Favorable to Participating in International Agreements
Race and Ethnicity
Speaking of identity, we spent some time this year breaking down our data to analyze results by race and ethnicity. With our partners at New America, we dug deeper into how different communities feel about the key foreign policy issues of the day, including climate change, immigration, and use of military force.
- Race, Ethnicity, and American Views on US Foreign Policy
- Black Americans' Views on the War in Ukraine
- Asian Americans Are True Internationalists
We also sliced the data by age group to see how different generations view America’s role in the world. The data show that while younger Americans are more skeptical than their elders when it comes to using military force abroad, they back other forms of US leadership overseas.
- Young Americans Question US Global Engagement
- Does Older Mean Wiser? US Views on Gerontocracy
- Pan-African Attitudes on Gerontocracy
Next year is a big one for us: 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Council Survey. Stay tuned for deep dives on immigration, Asia policy, and so much more.