Countries that Have a Younger Population Are More Optimistic About 2018 Than Countries with an Aging Population

The majority of adults are optimist about what the new year will bring, especially those in countries who have a lower median age, according to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos in 28 different countries.

People around the world are optimistic about personal prospects for 2018, with 76% of respondents stating that 2018 will be better than 2017.

The levels of optimism vary across regions of the globe, with countries that have a younger population reporting higher levels of optimism than countries with an aging population.

  • Latin America is the most optimistic region of the world: 93% of Peruvians, 93% of Colombians, 88% of Chileans, and 87% of Mexicans believe that 2018 will be better than 2017.
  • On the other hand, four out of five of the least optimistic countries were located in Europe, with France (55%), Italy (60%), Belgium (65%), and Great Britain (66%) occupying the lowest spots.

These regional differences can be partially explained by the age of the population: younger countries tend to be more optimistic about the prospects for 2018. In South Africa, which has a median age of 27.1, 85% report being optimistic about 2018, which is 10% higher than the world average. On the other hand, countries with an aging population are more pessimistic about the future. In Japan, which has the oldest median age at 47.3, 44% report being optimistic about 2018, the lowest number of all countries surveyed.

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted from November 27 to December 8, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 18,940 adults in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America were interviewed online.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the country Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

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