skip to main content
Snapshot: A Third in U.S. Say United Nations Doing a Good Job

Snapshot: A Third in U.S. Say United Nations Doing a Good Job

Chart: data points are described in article

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About one in three Americans (34%) say the United Nations is doing a good job of trying to solve the problems it has had to face, matching the average for this measure since 2010. Six in 10 Americans currently say the U.N. is doing a poor job.

United Nations Job Approval, 1953-2018

These data are based on a Gallup poll conducted Feb. 1-10.

Background: Less than half of Americans have said the U.N. is doing a good job for the past 15 years, beginning in 2003 when the international body disagreed with the United States' decision to go to war with Iraq.

The U.N. has not generally received high marks from Americans in Gallup's polling on the question, which began in 1953. However, the international body has received majority approval on select occasions -- in 1953, when it was about a decade old; in two polls that bookended the Gulf War in the early 1990s; and in three polls in the early 2000s. Americans' approval of the U.N. was at its highest in February 2002 (58%), months after the 9/11 attacks.

Democrats are consistently more approving than Republicans of the U.N.'s performance. Currently, Democrats are nearly three times as likely as Republicans to say the U.N. is doing a good job, 54% to 19%. Independents' views, at 32%, fall in between.

Americans' views of the U.N.'s job performance also vary depending on their opinions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Americans who are sympathetic to the Palestinians are much more likely to approve of the U.N.'s performance (52% "good job") than adults who are sympathetic to the Israelis (28%). Though this split isn't new, the latest figures come just months after the U.N. Security Council passed and the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. These differences may be related to the fact that the U.S. has often acted in Israel's defense at the U.N., frequently vetoing resolutions perceived as targeting that country. Americans who are sympathetic to Israel may view these resolutions as hostile, and therefore the resolutions may have played a role in pro-Israeli Americans' views of the U.N.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 1-10, 2018, with a random sample of 1,044 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030