What Worries the World - January 2024

Conducted monthly in 29 countries among a panel of over 20,000 adults for more than a decade, What Worries the World survey offers an exceptional snapshot of world opinion on pressing global issues.

Our monthly What Worries the World survey explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues, drawing on more than ten years of data to place the latest scores in context.

Inflation is the number one concern for the 22nd consecutive month.

Despite concern falling for the third month in a row, inflation remains the number one issue across 29 countries in our survey tracking global concerns.

Key findings

  • Inflation is the number one global concern in our What Worries the World survey for 22 consecutive months. This is the third month in a row it has fallen in worry.
  • Thirty-six percent across 29 countries choose rising prices as a worry.
  • Health care is now Great Britain’s highest concern, with just over two-fifths (43%) mentioning it.
  • Argentina and Poland are still riding their post-election wave which is reflected in their right direction scores.
  • Argentina has now hit its second-highest right direction score in ten years, up to two-thirds (66%).
  • Poland has reached its highest right direction score in ten years, with 57% expressing optimism.
  • Military conflict between nations is now tied with terrorism in the number of people mentioning it (9%). Israel’s score (41%) is up five points from last month, nearly reaching November’s score of 43%.

Inflation

Less than four in ten (36%) choose inflation as a top concern in their country. It has been decreasing for the previous three consecutive months to 36%, reaching its lowest point since May 2022 (34%). While this figure is 4pp lower than the recorded score from this time last year, it remains 16% higher than January 2022’s score.

Four of the top five most concerned countries have seen a fall in worry this month. Only Poland (52%) has seen an increase in the proportion of people mentioning it – up 4pp.

Argentina (where 68% are worried) reached record levels of concern last month. The nation has been the most concerned country about inflation for the last 15 months.

Crime & violence

Just under three in ten (29%) across 29 countries choose crime & violence as a worry in their country.

Four out of the five countries expressing crime and violence as their primary concern hail from Latin America – Chile (65%), Peru (62%), Mexico (55%), and Brazil (41%). Sweden is the fifth country in the list.

Sweden (53%) had the second-highest score last month but has since dropped 10pp. This is now the lowest recorded score for Sweden since May 2023.

Conversely, this is Chile’s highest level of worry since May 2023.

Health care

Health care sits at number six on our list of worries where a fifth (21%) on a global country average mention it. The proportion listing health care as an issue tends to remain steady – in January 2023 it was also at 21%.

Health care is Hungary’s primary issue, with half (51%) of Hungarians mentioning it. This tends to be the biggest concern, with it being top for 10 of the last 12 months.

Great Britain also has health care as their number one concern with just over two-fifths (43%) mentioning it. It has been the Brits’ highest worry since September 2023, when previously inflation had been top. The highest recorded level for Great Britain was 49% in February 2018.

Climate change

Climate change is mentioned as a worry by 16%, with no change from last month.

Germany is now the equal most worried country, alongside Australia and the Netherlands, after rising 5pp from last month to 28%. This makes climate change Germany’s third highest issue, behind inflation/immigration control and inequality.

With the country at the peak of its summer, Australia’s score of 28% is its lowest climate change figure in January since 2021, when 27% chose it as a worry.

Singapore (23%) was the most worried nation last month, but its level of concern has fallen 10pp, pushing it out of the top five most concerned countries.

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