What Worries the World – June 2022

Concern about inflation continues to rise, now worrying almost four in ten people globally.

Worry about inflation has risen for the 11th consecutive month and it is the number one global concern in What Worries the World for the third month in a row.

On average globally, almost one in four say inflation is a top issue facing their country (37%), up three points 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 May 27th, 2022 – June 6th, 2022.

Key findings

  • Inflation remains the top global worry: 37% say it is one of the top issues facing their country today (+3 points vs. May 2022).
  • This month, 10 countries cite inflation as their greatest worry, three more than last month.
  • Worry about inflation is followed by worry about poverty & social inequality (31%), unemployment (28%), crime & violence (27%), and financial or political corruption (24%), which round out the top five global worries.
  • Concern about Coronavirus has fallen even further this month, down four points to 12% and 10th position: the lowest score recorded since it entered the survey.
  • For the first time since its introduction into What Worries the World, Covid-19 is not a number one concern in any of the 27 countries surveyed. This is despite being the top global worry just four months ago in February 2022.
  • Concern about military conflict has fallen three points, down to 11%.
  • Two in three people (64%) believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, rising to 92% in Peru. Eight in ten people also say their country is heading in the wrong direction in Argentina (85%) and South Africa (81%).

Inflation

June marks the third month that inflation has occupied the top spot in the list of the world’s worries. Worry has risen a further three points this month and now almost one in four say that it is one of the top issues facing their country (37%).

This month inflation is the number one concern in ten countries, as it becomes the top worry in Belgium, France and Germany. The full list of countries where it is the top concern is now: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, the US and Turkey.

There have been month-on-month increases in the level of concern in 20 out of the 27 countries surveyed, with the largest increases in Malaysia (+15 points) and South Africa (+9).

Concern has fallen (marginally) in only five countries since last month: the Netherlands (-1), Brazil (-2), Colombia (-3), Chile (-3) and Argentina (-4). 

Coronavirus

Concern about coronavirus has fallen for the 11th consecutive month, down a further four points this time, to 12%. It now occupies tenth place, between concern about education (15%) and immigration control (11%).

This month’s score is the lowest ever recorded level of concern about Coronavirus, since it entered What Worries the World in April 2020 with a score of 63%.

For the first time since it was introduced into the survey, Coronavirus is not the number one concern in any of the 27 countries surveyed. This marks a steep decline in concern from when it was the top concern globally four months ago in February 2022, and the number one concern in 11 countries in January 2022.

Concern is highest in Japan, where one in three people still believe it is a top issue facing their country (33%), but fewer than one in ten are concerned in 13 of the countries surveyed.

The largest month-on-month decreases in worry about Covid-19 are in Spain (-15), Malaysia (-9) and Canada (-9). Meanwhile, concern has crept back up in the US and Saudi Arabia (both +3).

Issue focus: Climate change

Across 27 countries, on average 16% of people say climate change is a top issue facing their country, up one point from last month. This ranges from 33% of people in Australia to just 3% in Argentina.

After Australia, worry about climate change is highest in Germany (28%), Canada (24%), Belgium (23%), India (23%) and the Netherlands (23%).

Concern has increased most since May 2022 in Spain (+6), South Korea and Italy (both +5). Meanwhile, the largest decreases in concern are seen in the US and Great Britain (both -3).

Heading in the right direction?

Across 27 nations, 64% on average say that things in their country are on the wrong track while 36% think they are heading in the right direction.

Peru and Argentina have the largest proportion saying that their country is heading in the wrong direction (92% and 85%). This month, the largest increases in the “wrong-track” score are in the US (+9), Israel and Malaysia (both +6).

Meanwhile, there is a 9-point increase on the “right direction” score in Australia and an 8-point increase in South Korea.

Saudi Arabia remains the country where the largest proportion of people say the country is heading in the right direction.

Focus on the economy

Across the 27 countries surveyed, one in three people say that the current economic situation in their country is good (33%), while a majority say that it is bad (66%).

Saudi Arabia remains the country where the highest proportion of people describe the current economic situation as good (97%).

India sees the largest increase in the proportion saying that the current economic situation is good, up six points from last month to 80%. This marks India’s highest score since March 2019 (also 80%).

Only four other countries see increases from last month in their “good economic situation” score: Saudi Arabia (+5), Spain (+3), Italy (+3) and Turkey (+3).

The largest decrease is in Malaysia which has fallen by 11 points from last month. The Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia also see a five-point decrease in the proportion describing the current economic situation as good.

Argentina continues to be at the bottom of the table, with 7% of people rating the country’s economy as good.


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. 

19,00 online interviews were conducted between May 27th 2022 - June 6th 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. 

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