Asian Americans Hold Favourable Views of Ancestral Homelands

A major share of the Asian Americans holds favourable views of their homeland, except for the Chinese, according to a recent survey from PEW Research Centre.

Around 78% of Asian Americans view the United Statesfavourably, with 44% reporting very favourable opinions. Additionally, a majority of Asian Americans also hold positive views of Japan (68%), South Korea (62%), and Taiwan (56%). However, opinions of Vietnam, the Philippines, and India are more mixed, with around 37% of Asian adults expressing positive views of Vietnam and the Philippines. For India, 33% of Asian Americans have favourable views, 41% have a neutral stance, and 23% view it unfavourably.


Significantly, Asian Americans generally hold predominantly negative views of China, with only 20% expressing a favourable opinion, 52% an unfavourable one, and 26% being neutral. Interestingly, amid escalating tensions between mainland China and Taiwan, 62% of Chinese Americans have a favourable view of Taiwan, higher than the 41% who have a favourable view of China.

Chinese Americans’ views of China and Taiwan vary based on their birthplace and, for immigrants, their length of stay in the United States. Chinese immigrant adults are more likely to have a favourable view of China (45% vs. 25%) but somewhat less likely to view Taiwan favourably compared to those born in the U.S. (60% vs. 70%).

Asian origin groups differ in their perceptions of certain countries. While Asian Americans overall have a majority favourable view of Japan, Korean Americans stand out with only 36% holding positive views. Japanese Americans, on the other hand, view South Korea more favourably at 53%, while Japanese and Chinese Americans’ evaluations of South Korea are slightly less favourable than those of other origin groups, particularly Filipino adults.


Notably, Indian adults in the U.S. are significantly more likely than any other Asian origin group to have favourable views of India (76%), while Chinese and Korean adults hold more negative views of the country. Chinese Americans’ opinions of China are particularly unfavourable, with only 19% expressing a favourable view, contrasting with 47% of Filipino adults.

Foreign-born Asian adults generally express more positive views of their ancestral homelands compared to U.S.-born Asian adults. They are also more likely to have favourable views of the United States (83% vs. 64%), India, and China. However, there are no significant differences between foreign-born and U.S.-born Asian Americans regarding other countries asked about in the survey.


Asian Americans with higher levels of educational attainment tend to have more positive views of the places they were asked about than those with lower levels of formal schooling. For example, those with a postgraduate degree have more favourable views of India (42%) compared to those with a bachelor’s degree (35%) or less formal education (27%). However, the pattern is reversed for China, as Asian Americans with lower levels of education tend to feel more positively about the country.


Surprisingly, there is little variation in attitudes by party identification, particularly on views toward China. Both Republicans and Democrats among Asian Americans have almost identical shares of favourable (20% and 18%, respectively) and unfavourable (55% and 52%) opinions of China.


While Asian adults generally hold favourable views of their ancestral homelands, most say they would not move back if given the chance (73%). Asian immigrants are twice as likely as U.S.-born individuals to express willingness to move back to their heritage countries (30% vs. 14%). Among the 26% who would consider moving, reasons include proximity to friends or family (36%), lower cost of living (22%), greater familiarity with the culture, better support for older people, and feeling safer.

Regarding the world’s leading economic power in the next decade, roughly half of Asian Americans (53%) believe the United States will hold this position, while 36% see China as the leading economic power. Asian immigrants are more likely to see the U.S. as the top economy (57%) compared to those born in the U.S. (43%). The views on the next decade’s leading economic power vary across Asian origin groups, with Chinese Americans being more divided on this issue than other groups.

Overall, the survey highlights the varied perspectives and opinions of Asian Americans towards different countries, including their ancestral homelands, China, and the United States’ economic standing.


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