Acceptance level of evolution in twenty countries

Satellite image of earth at night

Photo by NASA on Unsplash.

A new multinational survey from the Pew Research Center examining public opinion about science, its place in society, and a number of science-related issues included the question "Thinking about evolution, which comes closer to your view? Humans and other living things have evolved over time [or] Humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time?"

The proportion of respondents in the United States who answered "Evolved over time," 64%, was below the median, 74%. Acceptance of evolution was lower only in Poland (59%), Singapore (59%), India (56%), Brazil (54%), and Malaysia (43%), while it was higher in South Korea (70%), Russia (71%), Australia (72%), the United Kingdom (73%), Taiwan (74%), Italy (75%), Canada (77%), the Netherlands (77%), France (81%), Germany (81%), the Czech Republic (82%), Sweden (85%), Spain (87%), and Japan (88%).

Religious affiliation and educational attainment were identified as factors relevant to the acceptance of evolution. Christians (especially Christians who said that religion was very important to them) and Muslims were generally more likely to reject evolution, while Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, and the religiously unaffiliated were generally more likely to accept evolution. In eighteen of the twenty countries, those with more education were significantly more likely to accept evolution than those with less education.

The survey, according to the Pew Research Center, was "conducted across 20 publics from October 2019 to March 2020 across Europe, Russia, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. The surveys were conducted by face-to-face interviews in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, India and Brazil. In all other places, the surveys were conducted by telephone. All surveys were conducted with representative samples of adults ages 18 and older in each survey public."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.