According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, many more Americans express favorable than unfavorable views of Jews, mainline Protestants, and Catholics (Americans Feel More Positive Than Negative About Jews, Mainline Protestants, Catholics). At the same time, according to Pew, more Americans express negative than positive attitudes toward atheists, Muslims, and Mormons.
On the whole, 35% of Americans express very or somewhat favorable attitudes toward Jews, while 6% express unfavorable attitudes.
The survey authors pointed out that “Jews make up such a small portion of the U.S. population – about 2% – that excluding their own views makes little difference in overall public opinion toward Jews.
But the positive public attitude toward Jews may not tell the whole story: a 2020 survey of Jewish Americans found perceptions of rising antisemitism in the United States, and other organizations have reported an increase in antisemitic incidents.
These are among the key findings of a new Pew Research Center analysis based on a survey conducted Sept. 13-18, 2022. This is not the first time the Center has measured views of religious groups.
All the groups that were examined rated themselves favorably. For instance, 81% of US Jews rate Jews very or somewhat favorably, while only 2% express unfavorable views about their own population group.
Almost two-thirds of US adults know someone who is Jewish, evangelical Christian, or mainline Protestant (64% each). Americans are less likely to personally know a Muslim (50%) or a Mormon (43%).
About four-in-ten non-Jews who know a Jewish person (42%) express positive views of Jews, double the share among non-Jews who do not personally know someone in this religious group (21%). In contrast, the share of non-Jews who express a negative view toward Jews is similar regardless of whether they know someone who is Jewish or not (6% and 7%, respectively).