Sweden is seen by Northern Europeans as the most honest nation and Romania the least, including by Britons – but France is the most self-deprecating
As part of YouGov’s Eurotrack series, which measures public opinion in Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, new research measures the perceptions of European nations on other Europeans' honesty.
As an average of the nations surveyed, Sweden stands out as the most honest, with 28% picking the Swedes when asked which country of all the 27 EU members is “generally most honest” and only 1% saying they’re “generally least honest”.
By the same method, Romania is voted substantially as the least honest: on average Romania gets no positive honesty ratings while 28% call them dishonest. Britons also rate Romanians as least honest, with 20% calling them untruthful; that compares to 13% saying Italians are least honest and 10% who say the same about Bulgarians. Among the seven Northern European nations polled, there is a trend against Eastern and Southern European nations, whose honesty is generally seen in a negative light.
Of the six nations that were given the option to self-rate their honesty levels, France is the most self-deprecating: while the other five nations all give themselves the highest truthfulness rating and a low dishonesty rating, France ranks four other nations as more honest that itself, and self-reports the highest level of dishonesty (17% of the French call their own nation “generally least honest”).
French apologies for dishonesty are consistent with the way they report their own work ethic. In YouGov’s previous EuroTrack study all nations ranked Germany and then themselves as most hard working except France - who ranked four other countries as more hardworking than themselves. The French also gave themselves the highest laziness rating with over a quarter (27%) saying they were the least hardworking European country.
*This article was updated on 28/06/2013