Canada’s Reputation Shines Internationally and at Home

Ipsos poll for Halifax International Security Forum shows citizens of 28 countries surveyed believe Canada will have the most positive influence on the world in the next decade

The author(s)
  • Sanyam Sethi Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, December 3, 2021 – Over the course of the 2021 Federal Election, Canadians heard from various party leaders about the potential leadership Canada could show on the world stage if they elected the right leader. While the occupants of Rideau Cottage have not changed in the wake of the election, Ipsos data shows that Canada is considered the country that will have the most positive influence on world affairs in the next decade.

Canada, Germany, France Positively Influencing the World, while Iran and Afghanistan Predominantly Negative

A recent poll conducted on Ipsos’ Global Advisor platform found that across 28 countries surveyed, 80% feel that Canada will have a positive influence on world affairs in the next decade, consistent with the previous year (81% positive) and with 2015 (81% positive) when Justin Trudeau was first elected, suggesting that attitudes towards Canada have remained high and stable for the past 6 years of the Liberal administration.

Canada is not the only country perceived to be a positive effect on international affairs: Germany (77%) and France (72%) both have images of being positive change-makers. While the United States sees softer perceptions of positivity (62% positive) this is a marked 12-point improvement from the year previous, returning the image of the United States to levels last seen during the Obama administration. 

Chart showing Perceptions of Positive Influence

While the international community believes Canada will have a positive role on the world stage, the same cannot be said for countries including Saudi Arabia (40% positive, 60% negative), Iran (24% positive, 76% negative), or Afghanistan (19% positive, 81% negative), where attitudes are that their international impact will be more negative than positive in the coming decade.

Canadian Image Strongest in Latin America, Weakest in China

While the data show Canada is, in general, considered likely to positively influence world affairs, this does not necessarily mean that all countries provided a resoundingly positive impression of the country. A closer look at the data shows that Latin American countries including Columbia (91%), Mexico (90%), and Peru (89%) provided the strongest positive impressions of Canada, even more so than Canadians themselves: 86% of whom believe their country will have a positive impact on the world stage.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, countries that fall at the opposite end of the political spectrum to Canada are less likely to believe the country will have a positive influence: Turkey (70%), Saudi Arabia (63%), Russia (60%), and China (53%) provide comparatively lower scores when asked whether Canada will positively or negatively impact international affairs.

Canadians on Par with Average Perceptions of International Organizations

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and new variants emerge, the role of international institutions in global affairs remains significant. But do Canadians perceive these institutions any differently than other nations? Canadians’ views of NATO, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund fall largely in line with the Global Average:

Positive Perceptions (Strongly/Somewhat Positive)

Global Average (% Positive)

Canadian Perceptions (% Positive)

The United Nations



The World Bank






The International Monetary Fund (IMF)




Canadians are aligned with average attitudes towards the United Nations and the World Bank, while showing stronger positivity ratings of NATO and comparatively lower positivity ratings for the IMF.  

About the Study

These are the results of a 28-market survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 22,016 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and adults aged 16-74 in 23 other markets between Friday, September 24 and Friday, October 8, 2021.

The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.

The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. can be taken as representative of their general adult population under the age of 75.

The samples in Brazil, Chile, mainland China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.

The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.

“The Global Country Average” reflects the average result for all the countries and markets where the survey was conducted. It has not been adjusted to the population size of each country or market and is not intended to suggest a total result.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don't know” or not stated responses.

The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on Ipsos' use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website. The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sanyam Sethi
Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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The author(s)
  • Sanyam Sethi Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs