Although the U.S. still remains the leading economic power, the gap with China is narrowing, the survey found.
According to the survey, in 24 of the 38 countries surveyed, most see the U.S. as the global economic leader, while 12 countries named China as the world's top economy, double the number of nations who saw China in the economic lead between 2014 and 2016.
In Western Europe, people tend to list China, instead of U.S., as the global economic leader. Australia, Canada and Russia also tend to hold the same view.
Although U.S. remained as the economic leader, the view has become less strong as in previous years, the survey found.
Over the past few years, the steepest drops in views of the U.S. as the economic leader were in Africa and Latin America, said Pew. For example, in Senegal, from 2014 to 2016, 68 percent said the U.S. was the economic leader, but the ratio has fallen to 48 percent in 2017. In Mexico, the ratio also fell from 60 percent in the 2014-2016 period to 47 percent in 2017.
Global publics also tend to express positive views about China. A median of 47 percent across the 38 countries surveyed have a favorable opinion of China, while 37 percent have an unfavorable view, the survey found.
China received the most positive ratings in sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries, such as Britain, Australia and Russia, the younger generation is more favorable toward China than their elders, said Pew.
The survey was conducted among over 40,000 respondents in 38 countries, including U.S. Canada, UK, France, and India, from February to May in 2017.