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.

COVID-19 amplified America’s devastating health gap. Can we bridge it?

The COVID-19 pandemic is making health disparities in the United States crystal clear. It is a clarion call for health care systems to double their efforts in vulnerable communities.

Willie Mae Daniels makes melted cheese sandwiches with her granddaughter, Karyah Davis, 6, after being laid off from her job as a food service cashier at the University of Miami on March 17, 2020.

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated America's health disparities, widening the divide between the haves and have nots.
  • Studies show disparities in wealth, race, and online access have disproportionately harmed underserved U.S. communities during the pandemic.
  • To begin curing this social aliment, health systems like Northwell Health are establishing relationships of trust in these communities so that the post-COVID world looks different than the pre-COVID one.
Keep reading Show less

Decades of data suggest parenthood makes people unhappy

Decades of studies have shown parents to be less happy than their childless peers. But are the kids to blame?

(Photo by Alex Hockett / Unsplash)
Sex & Relationships
  • Folk knowledge assumes having children is the key to living a happy, meaningful life; however, empirical evidence suggests nonparents are the more cheery bunch.
  • The difference is most pronounced in countries like the United States. In countries that support pro-family policies, parents can be just as happy as their child-free peers.
  • These findings suggest that we can't rely on folk knowledge to make decisions about parenting, on either the individual or societal levels.
Keep reading Show less

Lonely? Hungry? The same part of the brain worries about both

MRI scans show that hunger and loneliness cause cravings in the same area, which suggests socialization is a need.

Credit: Dương Nhân from Pexels
Mind & Brain
  • A new study demonstrates that our brains crave social interaction with the same areas used to crave food.
  • Hungry test subjects also reported a lack of desire to socialize, proving the existence of "hanger."
  • Other studies have suggested that failure to socialize can lead to stress eating in rodents.
Keep reading Show less

A Chinese plant has evolved to hide from humans

Researchers document the first example of evolutionary changes in a plant in response to humans.

Credit: MEDIAIMAG/Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • A plant coveted in China for its medicinal properties has developed camouflage that makes it less likely to be spotted and pulled up from the ground.
  • In areas where the plant isn't often picked, it's bright green. In harvested areas, it's now a gray that blends into its rocky surroundings.
  • Herbalists in China have been picking the Fritillaria dealvayi plant for 2,000 years.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast