WASHINGTON, D.C. — As President Donald Trump sets his sights on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans have a more favorable view of Mexico than they have in over a decade. Sixty-four percent of Americans say they have “very” or “mostly” favorable views of the country, up from 59% in 2016 and the highest since 2006.
Mexico’s latest favorable rating, recorded in Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 1-5, is not the highest in Gallup’s trend. Higher percentages of Americans, ranging from 67% to 74%, looked favorably on their southern neighbor from 2001 to 2005, when President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox enjoyed a warm relationship.
After peaking at 74% in 2003 and 2005, Americans’ positive views of Mexico fell to 64% in 2006 amid heightened publicity about drug and gang wars and issues related to near-record-high illegal immigration from Mexico into the U.S. Favorable views of the country continued to wane for another five years, bottoming out at 45% in 2011 — the lowest rating for Mexico since 1993, just before Californians passed a high-profile anti-immigrant ballot measure. Since 2011, Mexico’s image has gradually improved, rising 19 percentage points.