What Worries the World – November 2023: Worry over terrorism and military conflict between nations on the rise

Inflation has now been the top global concern in our What Worries the World survey for the last 20 months.

As the conflict continues in Gaza, terrorism (mentioned by 12% as a worry) and military conflict (10%) are up five points and three points, respectively, with notable levels in Israel and some European countries.

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 October 20th –November 3rd, 2023.

Key findings

  • Inflation (38%) has been the top concern for 20 consecutive months.
  • The global “right direction monitor” has remained relatively unchanged this month, with just over two-thirds (37%) saying their country is on the right track.
  • In the wake of the election on 15th October, Poland’s right direction score (37%) has improved by ten points.
  • Concern over terrorism and military conflict between nations have both risen this month (by five points and three points, respectively).
  • Israel’s level of worry about terrorism has reached the highest level for any country since December 2015 – up 24pp since last month to 63% currently.
  • Similarly, Israelis are also very concerned about military conflict – over four in ten (43%) mention it, an increase of 27pp.


Almost four in ten (38%) across 29 countries choose inflation as one of the biggest concerns facing their country.

Worry around inflation globally peaked at 43% in February. Since then, it has remained at an elevated level with around four in ten picking it as an issue in each of this year’s monthly waves.

Malaysia (where 37% are concerned about prices) has experienced the sharpest fall of any nation this month, with a 9pp reduction in worry, which marks the lowest level since March 2023.

Meanwhile, three countries have all shown increases in concern levels of 5pp – Chile (now on 43%), Thailand (35%) and Mexico (32%).

Nine countries this November have inflation as their highest worry – Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, India, Poland, Singapore, the US, and Türkiye.

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


Terrorism now ranks 11th out of 18 worries in our What Worries the World survey. Last month it was in 14th place. Since October, mentions have increased by five percentage points to 12%.

After the latest conflict in Gaza, terrorism has become Israel’s biggest concern by a considerable margin. After a month-on- month hike of 24pp, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Israelis are currently worried. This is the highest it’s been in the country since December 2015.

The biggest month-on-month jump, however, has been from France (where 33% single out terrorism as a worry), and who now place second overall after an increase of 26pp. Belgium is also significantly concerned, with a quarter (24%) listing terrorism – an 18pp spike.

Sweden is also showing an increase in mentions after a fall in October – rising 7pp to nearly a quarter (23%).

Military conflict between nations

Mentions of military conflict between nations have increased by three percentage points this month. It now sits 12th on our list, moving up four places since October. This is the highest level since October 2022.

Much like their concern over terrorism, military conflict worry has now significantly increased for Israelis (to 43%) – a rise of 27pp. It’s the nation’s second biggest worry and the highest level since we started recording this category in April 2022.

The Israel-Hamas war seems to have spread anxiety over conflict to other nations. Since the war in Ukraine began, Poland (where 27% single it out as one of the main worries) has remained high on this list and remains elevated after a 5pp rise. Meanwhile, mentions in the US (16%) have risen 7pp, the highest level since May 2022.

Crime & violence

Three in ten (30%) across 29 countries choose crime & violence as a worry in their country.

Sweden still has around seven in ten (67%) people worried about crime & violence, only dipping 1pp from last month. After the spike recorded in September, this issue remains at record levels.

Last month Israel had this as their biggest concern. This November, however, it has fallen 15pp to just over a third concerned (35%). This is due to large increases in mentions of terrorism and military conflict between nations.

This month still has five nations putting crime & violence as their top concern. The list primarily comprises Latin American countries, with Sweden as the exception. It includes Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Brazil.

Immigration control

Immigration control remains at 15%, globally, choosing it as a worry. However, because of shifts in other worries, it has moved up a rank to 8th this month.

When it comes to worrying about immigration, European countries tend to rank higher than other regions. Despite a drop of 3pp, Germany still puts immigration control as their top concern with two-fifths (41%) worried. Belgium also now places this as their biggest issue, rising two points to 29%. Türkiye (43%) have it as their second highest concern, up 2pp from October.

Great Britain was fourth last month but now records a 5pp fall, with just a quarter (24%) of Brits concerned.

Satisfaction with the economy

India remains top of the rankings this month, with more than eight in ten people describing the country’s current economic situation as good.

Positive economic perceptions have risen most since last month in Israel (+7), followed by Malaysia (+6). A 3-point rise in Mexico’s score sees it record a new all-time high (53%).

At the other end of the table, Argentina remains in bottom place. Argentina’s good economy score has been below 10% for over a quarter of the past 10 years (32 of 120 months). Fieldwork took place ahead of the general election on 19th November. Spain, Brazil, and Colombia have all seen a 7-point month-on-month decrease. A 1-point decrease in economic positivity in Sweden marks a new all-time low for the fifth time this year.

About this study

This 29-country Global Advisor survey was conducted between October 22th 2023 and November 3rd 2023 via the Ipsos Online Panel system among 20,570 adults aged 18-74 in Canada, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, 20-74 in Indonesia and Thailand, 21-74 in Singapore, and 16-74 in all other nations.