What Worries the World – June 2023

Inflation has now been the top global concern in our What Worries the World survey for the last 15 months.

Rising prices are a concern for two-fifths (40%) of people, on average across 29 countries, down 1pp from last month. 

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. This wave was conducted between May 26th – June 9th, 2023.

Key findings

  • Inflation is still the highest concern this month. This month sees a slight easing of 1pp to 40%.
  • Eleven nations – Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Poland, Singapore, the US, and Turkey – have rising prices as their biggest concern. Colombia has inflation joint first with unemployment.
  • Across all countries, worry about inflation is followed by poverty & social inequality (31%), crime & violence (29%), unemployment (27%), and financial & political corruption (25%) which together make up the top five global worries.
  • In South Africa, worries about unemployment has reached the highest level for any nation in our survey during recent years; with seven in ten (70%) South Africans concerned.
  • Climate change is still the seventh biggest concern globally, with 17% worried, up 1pp from last month. Italy has moved up the list of countries after a 5pp increase in concern; 28% now mention it as one of their top issues.
  • Coronavirus worry remains the same since last month, sitting at 17th out of 18, with less than one in 10 (6%) picking it.
  • The “Right vs wrong direction” monitor is unchanged this month. Almost two-fifths (38%), on a global country average, think their country is heading in the ‘right’ direction.
Ipsos | What worries the world | the top five worries


Two-fifths (40%) say inflation is one of the top issues affecting their country, down 1pp. February 2023 was the highest recorded level of worry at 43%. Since then, it has been declining, albeit only very gradually.

Last month Argentina experienced the highest inflation concern for any country, ever, in our survey. Worry has now dropped 5pp to 71%. Chile (40%) also sees a 5pp fall, whereas in Colombia the level of concern (now 42%) has jumped 5pp since last month.

Inflation is the number one concern in 11 countries – Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Poland, Singapore, the US, and Turkey. This is the same as last month – Colombia has inflation joint first with unemployment.

For more on public attitudes towards inflation, see our new 29-country Global Inflation Monitor

Satisfaction with the economy

Across 29 countries, 36% of people describe the current economic situation in their country as “good”, 1pp higher than in May 2023.

A 9pp increase in Indonesia’s “good” economy score sees it rise from third to joint-first position in our country rankings, tying with Singapore and India at 72%.

Brazil also sees a 9pp rise from last month, with 44% of Brazilians now describing the country’s current economic situation as “good”.

Two countries record all-time high “good economy” scores this month: Spain (34%) and Italy (33%).

Meanwhile, the story is less positive in Israel (-8 from last month), the US, and Singapore (both -7).


Unemployment is now the fourth biggest concern in our What Worries the World survey, with 27% picking it as an issue in their country. This is the result of a decrease in worry about corruption.

South Africa remains the most concerned country, where it has been since April 2021. Seven in ten (70%) now pick it as a worry, up 2pp from May 2023. This is the highest we’ve seen on our survey, for any nation.

Among the other more worried countries, concern has fallen. Colombia (42%) has dipped 7pp, moving from second to fourth. India (43%) has dropped 3pp and Spain (41%) is unchanged.

Concern in Singapore (42%) has risen sharply by 7pp, putting it third.


Coronavirus remains ranked 17th out of 18 worries between maintaining social programmes and access to credit.

One in 20 (6%) across 29 countries choose the pandemic as an issue in their country.

June 2023’s global score is the same as last month but is 7pp lower than the start of the year and down 6pp on this time in 2022.

Singapore (12%) has declined significantly by 14pp from May’s score. This is now closer to what it was back in March (10%).

Indonesia (18%) on the other hand has moved to first after a sharp rise of 9pp, putting it at the top of our list.

The top six countries concerned are all Asia Pacific nations, something that we’ve seen twice this year.

Poverty & social inequality

Poverty & social inequality is second on our list of 18 worries with 31% saying it is an issue in their country.

Last month concern for inequality fell to its lowest level since February 2022. This month it has risen slightly, up 1pp.

Thailand was the most worried country about inequality in May. This month the nation’s worry fell 6pp to 39%. Thailand has switched places with Indonesia (44%), who were fourth last month, after its score rose by 6pp.

Brazil (40%), Japan (35%), and the Netherlands (33%) all have inequality as their top concern.

Singapore is the least concerned about inequality. That said, their worry level has increased 8pp from May to 20%.

Crime & violence

Almost three in ten (29%) choose crime & violence as one of the biggest issues affecting their country. Concern about crime remains the same as last month.

In June 2023, Chile (62%) still has crime as its top concern, but this is 6pp lower than last month.

South Africa (56%) is no longer second, after a 4pp fall. Instead, Peru (60%) has taken second after a 2pp increase. We’ve also seen Sweden (55%) move up the list from May by climbing 3pp. They, like Chile, have it as their top worry.

Israelis (46%) now place it as the biggest worry for their country, rising 8pp from May 2023.

About this study

Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey tracks public opinion on the most important social and political issues across 29 countries today, drawing on over 10 years of data to place the latest scores in context.

20,570 online interviews were conducted between 22 December 2022 and 6 January 2023 among adults aged 18-74 in Canada, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, 20-74 in Indonesia and Thailand, and 16-74 in all 21 other countries.