Perception vs Reality: Singaporeans Most Accurate in APAC

Singapore, 06 December 2017 – Ipsos’ latest “Perils of Perception” survey highlights how wrong the online public across 38 countries are about key global issues in their country.

Perception vs Reality: Singaporeans Most Accurate in APAC

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Perception vs Reality: Ipsos study revelas Singaporeans most accurate in Asia Pacific

Singapore, 06 December 2017 - Ipsos' latest "Perils of Perception" survey highlights how wrong the online public across 38 countries are about key global issues in their country.

In Asia Pacific, countries included in the survey were Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Joseph Chua, Managing Director of Ipsos in Singapore comments, "On many subjects - murder rates terrorist deaths, teenage pregnany diabetes and how healthy people feel - things are NOT as bad as they seem!"

Some of the key patterns in Asia Pacific are:

  • Only 17% of people think the murder rate is lower in their country than it was in 2000 - but it is significantly down in most Asia Pacific countries, and, across the countries overall, it is down 49%.
  • Only 19% think deaths from terrorist attacks are lower in the last 15 years than they were in the 15 years before that - when they have actually reduced by about 15% across the 11 APAC countries surveyed.
  • Most overestimated the percentage of prisoners who are foreigners in their countries, with the average guess at 22%, when it is actually 9%.
  • Teen pregnancy is overestimated across the region, often by a staggering amount. Overall, the average guess is that 21% of teenage girls give birth each year when the reality is below 2%. The Philippines recorded the highest teenage pregnancies among the 11 markets surveyed. Filipinos guessed that 40% of teenage girls give birth each year, when the actual figure is only 6.3%
  • Six in ten people across Asia Pacific countries are unsure or believe that there is a link between some vaccines and autism in healthy children, despite the claim being widely discredited - only 36% think it is false.
  • Among APAC citizens, the USA is seen as the booziest nation in the world, when it actually only ranks 13th. Very few correctly picked Belgium as the country with the highest alcohol consumption in the study. Australia and South Korea both have strong self-images as boozy nations, with nearly 6 in 10 in each picking their own country as one of the top three alcohol consumers.
  • But the USA is correctly seen as having the sweetest tooth, a clear winner, picked well ahead of any other country.
  • People generally overestimate how connected by technology we are, with the average guess across Asia Pacific countries that 71% have a Facebook account when only 42% do (excludes China).
  • People in every country overestimate the extent of diabetes in their country. Asia Pacific respondents thinks 35% of their population have the condition when only 8% do.
  • Hong Kong and south Korea hugely underestimate the significance of suicide among young adults in their country.

Among individual Asia Pacific countries, we get something very wrong and other guesses are quite accurate...

  1. Good health: In Singapore we think other people report their health as worse than they actually are, and in fact, we are among the least accurate in our beliefs. Our average guess is that only 55% of people say their health is good or very good, when actually 81% say their health is good or very good. The Asia Pacific region average guess is 55% for people saying their health is good or very good, while 9% guessed their health was poor.
  2. Foreign-born prisoners: We think that immigrants make up a much greater proportion of the Singapore prison population than they actually do. We guessed an average of 30% of all prisoners share of the overall population at about 30%. In Asia Pacific, the average guess was 22%.
  3. Murder rate: The large majority of people in Singapore think the murder rate is higher now  or the same as 2000, when it is actually around 78% lower. About 3 in 10 (34%) think that it's higher, 31% think it's about the same, and only 28% correctly guess that it is lower. Across the Asia Pacific, 74% think the murder rate is higher or the same.
  4. Teenage pregnancy: We hugely overestimate the proportion of 15-19 year old women and girls giving birth each year across the Asia Pacific region. Singapore thinks 11% of Singaporean teenage girls give birth each year (about one in ten), when the actual figure is only 0.4%. The Asia Pacific average guess is 21%.
  5. Diabetes: People in every country significantly overestimate the prevalence of diabetes, including those in Asia Pacific. We think that 35% of people in Singapore have diabetes, when the actual figure is around 11%. The Asia Pacific average guess was 35%.
  6. Facebook membership: All countries also overestimate Facebook membership, with an average guess that 83% of Singapore aged 13+ have a Facebook account, when the actual figure is 67%. The Asia Pacific average guess was 71%.
  7. Vehicles: Most countries overestimate the number of registered vehicles per 100 people with the Asia Pacific average guess being 84%. Singapore estimated the number of registered vehicles per 100 people at 53 (approximately 1 vehicle for every 2 persons) when the actual number is just 18 (approximately 1 vehicle for every 5 persons).
  8. Suicide: There is a real split in accuracy on the proportion of deaths by suicide among young people. Singapore estimated the proportion of deaths of women aged 15-24 due to suicide was 18% when the actual figure was 34%. Estimates for the deaths of young men due to suicide was 18% when the actual number was 27%.
  9. Vaccines: There are a wide variety of views among Asia Pacific countries when it comes to beliefs around the link between some vaccines and autism in healthy children despite the claim being widely discredited. In Singapore 20% believe the statement to be true and 48% say they don't know, with 32% saying it is false. Across the Asia Pacific region, 22% said the claim was true while 36% said it was false.
  10. Terrorism: Most countries in the Asia Pacific do not believe deaths from terrorist attacks are lower in the recent years, despite that being the case in many. In Singapore, 22% say that deaths from terrorist attacks were lower between 2002 and 2016 than they were between 1985 and 2000, a further 40% said about the same, while 24% think deaths from terrorism were higher over the last 15 years. In reality, deaths from terrorist attacks dropped from 5 to 0 over that time period. In the Asia Pacific region as a whole, one third (33%) believed there were more terror related deaths, 35% said about the same and 19% said there were less deaths.

To find out more, view the full release attached or visit http://www.perils.ipsos.com/