FAQs on the ADL Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitism

November 21, 2019

Why did ADL conduct this poll?

  • ADL is the world’s leading organization monitoring, analyzing and combatting anti-Semitism. Through various methods, we track anti-Semitic trends and incidents around the world.  ADL has long conducted surveys of anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States (since 1964) and Europe (since 2002), but we lacked data on the rest of the world – particularly in countries where there are none to limited Jewish communities. 
  • In 2014, ADL conducted the landmark ADL Global 100 survey, the most extensive poll ever conducted on this subject, involving 102 countries and territories and interviews with over 53,000 people.  This comprehensive study of the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment around the world established an authoritative baseline for understanding global attitudes towards Jews, the levels of acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes, and knowledge of the Holocaust.  
  • To continue to provide insights into trends in attitudes towards Jews, ADL conducted follow up Global 100 surveys in nineteen countries in 2015, five in 2017 and eighteen in 2019. 
  • The Global 100 polls enable ADL, governments, Jewish communities, and others to assess how national populations view Jews and which stereotypes are most prevalent.   The data enables policymakers and other stakeholders, like ADL, to better target educational programs and other means to address intolerance.

What are the headlines from the survey results? 

  • The 2019 survey demonstrates the continuing pervasiveness of anti-Semitic attitudes around the world, including long-held tropes about Jewish control of business and finance and of “dual loyalty.”
  • “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” was agreed to by large segments of the populations of many of the European countries polled, even in Germany, where 42 percent of the population agreed. 
  • In our 2014 baseline survey of over 100 countries, we found that more than one-quarter of those surveyed -- 26 percent, representing an estimated 1.09 billion adults around the world -- harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Now, of the 14 European countries polled in 2018, about one in four Europeans polled harbor pernicious and pervasive attitudes toward Jews, according to our G100 index.
  • For more major findings and headlines from previous polls, please consult the press release on the 2014 poll and analyses from 2015 and 2017

How did ADL gauge anti-Semitic attitudes among survey respondents? 

  • The survey is framed by an “index of anti-Semitism,” first developed five decades ago by a group of scholars at the University of California at Berkeley in conjunction with ADL.  The index is composed of 11 classical stereotypes about Jews. In consultation with scholars, ADL set a standard in which respondents had to agree with six or more of these stereotypes in order to be described as harboring anti-Semitic attitudes. While any one question may be subject to different interpretations, agreeing with at least six of these statements makes clear bias against Jews.
  • Additional questions cover knowledge of the Holocaust, attitudes towards Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as other geopolitical and socio-economic issues.
  • For questions on methodology, please refer to the methodology section of the Global 100 website.

Does a high index score indicate a high level of anti-Semitism? 

  • Negative attitudes towards Jews are one part of ADL’s overall assessment of levels of anti-Semitism in a country.  This survey is one measure in assessing the levels of anti-Semitic beliefs and attitudes.  ADL also considers the number and nature of anti-Semitic incidents annually, polls of Jewish communities about their experiences of anti-Semitism in their communities, government policies, and other factors.  The Global 100 does not tabulate anti-Semitic violence or incidents, nor does it take into account intense anti-Israel hostility, which, at its most virulent, can be considered anti-Semitic.

 How did you decide which countries to poll?

  • In 2014, ADL wanted to assess how populations around the world view Jews. We identified countries with significant Jewish populations, countries which once had Jewish populations, and countries which never had or do not now have significant Jewish populations. We made a conscious attempt to include leading countries in the international community, regional leaders, as well as countries where anecdotal reports indicated problematic environments for Jews or negative attitudes towards Jews. ADL strove to include as much of the world’s population as was practical. The Index breaks down the countries surveyed into the following regions: The Americas, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Oceania.  The poll surveyed countries representing 85.9% of the world’s total population, accounting for 96.9% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 9 of the 10 most populous countries in the world. 
  • In our follow up surveys in 2015, 2017 and 2019, ADL chose to survey countries in Eastern and Western Europe where anti-Semitism has been an ongoing concern for the Jewish community and governments, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Africa because of their significant Jewish populations. 

What link did you find between views on Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes? 

  • Analysis of the 2014 data did not generally show statistical correlation between attitudes towards Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes towards Jews, except in the MENA region, where there was a strong correlation between hostility towards Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes. In other countries, even where ADL has noted widespread expressions of hostility towards Israel, the data showed little overlap with anti-Semitic attitudes.

Why did ADL oversample Muslim populations in certain countries in 2015 and 2019?

  • In 2015, following anti-Semitic terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Germany perpetrated by self-identified radical Muslims, ADL decided to measure Muslim attitudes toward Jews in six countries in Western Europe.  In 2019 we followed up to compare the levels of anti-Semitism among Muslims. Both in 2015 and 2019, ADL found that acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K was substantially higher than among the general population in each country, but that the levels of anti-Semitism were significantly lower than among Muslims in Middle East and North African countries, which were polled in the 2014 baseline survey. 

So now that ADL has all this data, what comes next?  What are you doing with it?

  • We are sharing this data widely, as we have previously, and are reaching out to governments, our partners in Jewish communities, NGOs and academia around the world to join us in analyzing these results and in considering how best to use this information in the ongoing effort to counteract anti-Semitism and promote Holocaust awareness. 
  • Given the breadth and diversity of the results, we have no “single answer” solution to battling the complex phenomenon of anti-Semitism. However, ADL has expertise and resources which have been utilized to combat anti-Semitism in the United States and internationally, and we encourage governments, communities and individuals to consider adopting these and other action steps.