In Sight

Are You a Global Citizen?

More people around the world are saying, “Yes.”

Photo: iStockphoto / Raw Pixel LTD


“Which country are you from?” According to a recent poll of over 20,000 people surveyed in over a dozen countries, approximately half identified themselves as global citizens, a sentiment being driven mostly by people from large emerging economies.

It’s the first time since the exhaustive poll began in 2001 that global identity outweighs national identity.

The results are drawn from a telephone and in-person survey of 20,823 adult citizens across 21 participating countries.

The poll was conducted for the BBC World Service between Dec. 2, 2015, and April 15, 2016, by the international opinion research and consultancy firm GlobeScan and its national research partners.

Among all 18 countries where this question was asked in 2016, the poll suggests more than half (51 percent) see themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country, against 43 percent who identify nationally.

The poll showed that a number of trends shaping global society also met with more approval than before, including intermarriage between different races or ethnic groups, immigration from other countries and accepting refugees.

BBC World Service and bbc.com are hosting a range of programs, short videos and live events to share people’s experiences and intimate accounts of everyday life. The season, called “Identity” and broadcast in 28 languages worldwide, unravels a complex portrait of global living, and how everything from our technology to our music, our looks, language and gender are being influenced by the changing world.

Said GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller: “The poll’s finding that growing majorities of people in emerging economies identify as global citizens will challenge many people’s—and organizations’—ideas of what the future might look like.”