June 3, 2014

Brazilian Discontent Ahead of World Cup

Chapter 3.  The World Cup and Brazil’s Place in the World

Fewer See Brazil as an Emerging PowerBrazilians are feeling far less positive about their country’s place in the world than they did four years ago, but most still believe Brazil is or will eventually be one of the world’s leading nations. When asked about Brazil’s image abroad, about three-quarters say their country should be more respected than it currently is, but opinions about whether hosting the World Cup will improve the way the country is seen abroad are mixed.

Domestically, most Brazilians say hosting the World Cup is a bad thing for Brazil because it takes money away from schools, health care and other public services. About a third believe hosting the international competition will benefit Brazil because it will create more jobs and help the economy.

Most Say Brazil Lacks Respect Abroad

Most Say Brazil Should Be More RespectedAbout six-in-ten Brazilians say their country is (20%) or will eventually be (39%) one of the world’s leading powers. This is down from 2010, when about a quarter (24%) said Brazil was already among the most powerful nations, with another 53% saying it would one day achieve this status. Currently, nearly four-in-ten (37%) say Brazil will never be one of the world’s leading powers, up from 20% four years ago.

Moreover, Brazilians feel their country lacks respect abroad. About three-quarters (76%) say their country should be more respected around the world than it currently is, a view that is shared by majorities across demographic groups, but especially among those with less education.

More than eight-in-ten (85%) respondents with a primary education or less say people around the world are not giving Brazil its due, compared with 75% of those with at least some secondary education and 68% of those with at least some post-secondary education.

Impact of Hosting the World Cup

World Cup and Brazil's ImageBrazilians are about evenly divided on whether the World Cup will improve the country’s image around the world: 35% say the World Cup will help Brazil’s image and 39% say it will hurt. About a quarter (23%) say the World Cup will not have an impact on the way Brazil is seen abroad.

Opinions about the domestic impact of hosting this major sporting event are decidedly negative. About six-in-ten Brazilians (61%) say hosting the World Cup is bad for the country because the money spent to stage the event should be used for schools, health care and other public services. Just 34% say hosting the World Cup will be good for Brazil because it will create more jobs and help the economy.