What Worries the World – July 2022

Concern about inflation continues to rise and is the top worry for the fourth month in a row.

Worry about inflation has risen for the 12th consecutive month and it is the number one global concern in What Worries the World for the fourth month in a row. On average globally, almost one in four say inflation is a top issue facing their country (38%), up one point from last month.

Our monthly What Worries the World survey explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues across 27 countries today, drawing on ten years of data to place the latest scores in context. This wave was conducted between June 24th, 2022 – July 8th, 2022.

Key findings

  • Inflation remains the top global worry: 38% say it is one of the top issues facing their country today (+1 point vs. June 2022).
  • This month, 11 countries cite inflation as their greatest worry, one more than last month.
  • Worry about inflation is followed by worry about poverty & social inequality (33%), crime & violence (26%), unemployment (26%), and financial or political corruption (23%), which round out the top five global worries.
  • Concern about coronavirus has risen two points this month, but it remains tenth in our rankings in between education and immigration control.
  • For the second month in a row, Covid-19 is not a number one concern in any of the 27 countries surveyed. This is despite being the top global worry just five months ago in February 2022.
  • Concern about military conflict between countries is down one point this month, with one in ten choosing it as a major worry affecting their country.
  • Two in three people (65%) believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, rising to 91% in Peru. Eight in ten people also say their country is heading in the wrong direction in Argentina (85%), South Africa (81%), and Turkey (80%).

Inflation

Worry about inflation has risen for the 12th consecutive month and has now been the number one global concern for the last four months. July’s figure is one point higher than June with almost one in four (38%) choosing it as one of the top issues affecting their country.

There are now six countries where more than one in two people think inflation is one of the biggest issues affecting their market. It is the number one concern in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, South Korea, the US, and Turkey.

The biggest monthly increases are in South Korea (+12) and Spain (+11). All Latin American countries have seen a rise this month: Argentina (+3), Chile (+6), Peru (+3), Brazil (+4), Mexico (+3), and Colombia (+1).

Meanwhile, two countries in the top five have seen  a decline in concern this month. Second place is Poland which has seen worry fall five points in July and Turkey, in fourth, has seen their figure fall three points. The Netherlands is the country with the largest month-on-month decline in July, with worry down 11 points when compared with June.

Coronavirus

Worry about coronavirus has risen for the first time since December 2021, after seeing a two-point increase on June’s figure. However, Covid-19 remains in tenth in our rankings, between education and immigration control, with 14% saying it is a top worry affecting their country.

In July, 17 countries have seen an increase in their level of worry, with the biggest rises in Germany (+9), Spain and Netherlands (both +8), and Mexico (+7).

For the second month in a row, no country has Covid-19 as the top worry in the country. Back in January this year, when over a third (35%) globally had the pandemic as major worry, 11 nations had listed Covid-19 as their top concern.

Military conflict between nations

Concern for military conflict between nations has fallen slightly this month, down one point to 10%. It is 12th in our index between immigration control and moral decline.

Four of the top five countries this month have all seen a fall in worry compared to June. One in three in Poland are worried (-2 on June), Germany 29% (-2), Japan 20% (no change) and Italy and Netherlands are both on 16% (-4 and -3 respectively).

This has been a continuing trend particularly for Germany and Poland who have seen large falls in recent months. Back in May, Germany’s figure was 41% and was the nation’s top worry. In April, the first month the issue was added to the survey, the Polish figure was 38%.

Other countries that have seen a large decline in worry this month include Israel and Hungary (both -5).

Focus on the economy

Across the 27 countries surveyed, one in three (32%) say that the current economic situation in their country is good, down two points in July. A majority (68%) say the economic situation is bad.

Hungary and South Korea are the countries with the biggest declines in saying the economic situation in their country is good (both -10). South Korea’s figure for July is its lowest since September 2020, when it was 12%. While this month figure for Hungary is its lowest since July 2017, when it was 19%.

Other countries to see falls in their good economic figure this month include Chile (-8), Turkey (-7), and Israel, France and Great Britain (all -6). Only 14% in Turkey saying the current economic situation is good is the lowest score the country has recorded since we started tracking sentiment back in November 2012.

Peru has the second lowest level of economic confidence (Argentina is bottom of our rankings) and this month its figure of 9% is its lowest recorded score since they were added in December 2015.


About this study

Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey is conducted in 27 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. 

20,002 online interviews were conducted between June 24th 2022 - July 8th 2022 among adults aged 18-74 in the US, South Africa, Turkey, Israel and Canada and age 16-74 in all other countries. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

Download