The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests.

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests.
Image: Pew Research Center
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.

Do you think your culture is superior to that of people elsewhere? Across Europe, that question is answered with a remarkable degree of variation.

Hotbeds of chauvinisim

Greek protesters brandishing the national flag. Image source: Getty

In eight of the 33 countries recently surveyed by the Pew Research Center, at least two thirds of the respondents said they believe their culture is superior to those of other nations. All eight are in Eastern Europe.

  • Greece (89%)
  • Georgia (85%)
  • Armenia (84%)
  • Russia (69%)
  • Bulgaria (69%)
  • Bosnia (68%)
  • Romania (66%)
  • Serbia (65%)

Cultural chauvinism is about equally strong in a string of Balkan countries (Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania) and Russia. Caucasian neighbours Georgia and Armenia take it up a notch to well over 80 percent, but nobody touches the Greeks — nine out of ten think theirs is a superior culture.

Not related to economic performance

The Norwegian capital Oslo by night. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Oil-rich Norway is the first Western European country on the list. But feelings of cultural superiority are not necessarily related to a country's economic performance, as both Europe's richest and poorest country produce the same result: exactly half of all respondents in Switzerland and Moldova agreed with Pew Research proposition.

  • Norway (58%)
  • Czech Republic (55%)
  • Poland (55%)
  • Switzerland (50%)
  • Moldova (50%)

A more 'western' middle

A ceremonial uniform, British military medals, and a memorial poppy. Image source: Getty

A plurality of the countries surveyed —13 out of 33 — score in the 40s. This far down the list, a preponderance of them is Western (8) rather than Eastern (5), if we follow the Cold War definition (i.e. Finland 'Western', Croatia 'Eastern').

  • Finland (49%)
  • Italy (47%)
  • Austria (47%)
  • Portugal (47%)
  • UK (46%)
  • Hungary (46%)
  • Germany (45%)
  • Denmark (44%)
  • Slovakia (44%)
  • Croatia (44%)
  • Ireland (42%)
  • Belarus (42%)
  • Ukraine (41%)

Low-energy chauvinism

Spanish fan watching a soccer game. Image source: Getty


There is a remarkable geographical consistency at the lower end of the scale, with the three Baltic states notably underperforming versus their more chauvinistic neighbours.

Another region characterised by low-energy chauvinism stretches from the Netherlands over Belgium and France into Spain

  • Latvia (38%)
  • Lithuania (37%)
  • France (36%)
  • Netherlands (31%)
  • Sweden (26%)
  • Belgium (23%)
  • Estonia (23%)
  • Spain (20%)

Some neighbouring countries have a remarkable degree of variation. Last-placed Spain is less than half as chauvinistic as Portugal. The gap is even wider between Sweden and its much more confident neighbour Norway.

Map found in this recent report by the Pew Research Center

Strange Maps #946

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

Malcolm Gladwell live | How to re-examine everything you know

Join Radiolab's Latif Nasser at 1pm ET on Monday as he chats with Malcolm Gladwell live on Big Think.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

There are 5 eras in the universe's lifecycle. Right now, we're in the second era.

Astronomers find these five chapters to be a handy way of conceiving the universe's incredibly long lifespan.

Image based on logarithmic maps of the Universe put together by Princeton University researchers, and images produced by NASA based on observations made by their telescopes and roving spacecraft

Image source: Pablo Carlos Budassi
Surprising Science
  • We're in the middle, or thereabouts, of the universe's Stelliferous era.
  • If you think there's a lot going on out there now, the first era's drama makes things these days look pretty calm.
  • Scientists attempt to understand the past and present by bringing together the last couple of centuries' major schools of thought.
Keep reading Show less

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Innovators don't ignore risk; they are just better able to analyze it in uncertain situations.

David McNew/Getty Images
Personal Growth
Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America's first female self-made millionaire.
Keep reading Show less

All of Jimi Hendrix’s gigs in one beautiful flash

Remarkable 'fan art' commemorates 50th anniversary of legendary guitar player's passing.

In four short years, Jimi Hendrix performed more than 400 times, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Image: Owen Powell, reproduced with kind permission.
Strange Maps
  • Legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix died exactly 50 years ago today.
  • From September 1966 to his death, he performed over 450 times.
  • This spectacular 'gigograph' shows the geographic dimension of his short but busy career.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast