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.

  • 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.

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan: The gender paradox and the importance of competition

The Canadian professor has been on the Joe Rogan Experience six times. There's a lot of material to discuss.

Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson has constantly been in the headlines for his ideas on gender over the last three years.
  • While on Joe Rogan's podcast, he explains his thoughts on the gender differences in society.
  • On another episode, Peterson discusses the development of character through competition.
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less