What worries the world - September 2022

Inflation is the top global concern for the sixth month in a row with four in ten choosing it as a worry.

The author(s)

  • Teodros Gebrekal Public Affairs
Get in touch

Four in ten (40%) globally say inflation is one of the biggest issues affecting their country, double the level of worry at the beginning of the year. Rising prices is the number one concern in our What Worries the World survey, and the level of concern has now risen for 14 consecutive months.

Our monthly What Worries the World survey explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues across 29 countries today, drawing on ten years of data to place the latest scores in context. This wave was conducted between August 26th, 2022 – September 9th, 2022.

Key findings

  • Inflation is the top global worry for the sixth month in a row: 40% say it is one of the top issues facing their country today (+1pp vs. August 2022). 12 countries cite inflation as their top worry.
  • Worry about inflation is followed by poverty & social inequality (31%), financial or political corruption (26%), unemployment (26%), and crime & violence (26%), which make up the top five global worries.
  • Climate change remains seventh with a global average of 18% having it as a worry (+1pp).
  • One in eight (12%) globally choose coronavirus as a worry, the joint lowest month since it was added as an issue in 2020.
  • France is now the most concerned country globally about climate change, with over a third (34%) choosing it as an issue.
  • Two in three people (64%) believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, rising to 90% in Argentina and Peru.

Inflation

Inflation is the number one concern globally with four in ten (40%) choosing it as one of the biggest worries affecting their country. With a 1pp increase in September, the figure for inflation has now risen for the 14th consecutive month.

Worry about rising prices has now doubled since the beginning of the year, when 20% considered it a problem. This time last year only 14% picked inflation as a worry. Now seven countries have more than one in two people choosing inflation and this rises to two-thirds in Argentina and Poland.

Great Britain (+12pp) and Germany (+10pp) are the countries with the biggest rise in concern this month. In September, 12 countries have inflation as the number one worry - Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, GB, Hungary, Poland, South Korea, the US, and Turkey.

Climate change

Almost one in five (18%) say climate change is one of the biggest issues affecting their country, up +1pp on last month.

France is now the most concerned country globally about climate change, with over a third (34%) choosing it as an issue. Last month France recorded its highest ever score on climate change and this has increased again in September. It is up 2pp on August and up 12pp on July’s figure. In France, only inflation has a higher level of concern (39%). 34% is the highest level of concern for climate change we’ve seen for any country in 2022. It is the first time a country other than Australia or Germany has been the most concerned about climate change since October 2021.

Netherlands is up to third in concern for climate change after a 3pp rise in worry this month.

Coronavirus

One in eight (12%) globally feel coronavirus is one of the biggest concerns affecting their country, the equal lowest figure recorded for the pandemic since it was added in 2020.

September has seen a 4pp decline in worry about the virus, with the global figure now at the same level it was in May 2022. The level of concern for covid-19 is down 23pp since the beginning of the year. Japan remains the most concerned country about the pandemic with four in ten (40%) choosing it as a worry, down 10pp, Japan is the only country where the pandemic is the number one concern.

Great Britain and France have recorded their lowest ever scores for concern about the virus (both 7%). GB’s figure is down 8pp on August and down 40pp on January. France is down 6pp and 28pp since the start of 2022.

Crime & violence

One in four globally (26%) have crime & violence as one of the biggest concerns affecting their country: no change on last month’s figure.

Five countries have more than one in two choosing it as an issue. Chile remains the most concerned country, with 61% considering it a top issue. This is down 4pp on August, but 20pp higher than September 2021.

Peru is second most concerned with 53% picking it as a worry. This is up 3pp on last month and an increase of 27pp on September last year.

Sweden and Mexico have seen the biggest declines in worry compared to last month (both -7pp). Sweden’s figure is down 16pp on this time last year, while Mexico’s level of worry is 2pp higher.

Focus on the economy

On average globally, the public’s perception of the economic situation in their country remains unchanged from last month, with 33% describing it as “good” and 67% describing it as bad.

A majority describe their country’s current economy as good in three countries: Saudi Arabia (95%), India (79%) and Indonesia (64%).

The largest month-on-month increases in the “good” economy score are in Mexico (+8pp), Hungary (+7pp), Colombia and South Africa (both +6pp).

Meanwhile, Netherlands has seen the largest decrease from last month, down 7pp. They are followed by Great Britain (-6pp) and Spain (-5pp).

Although Germany remains in the top half of the table with 45% describing its current economy as good, this is its lowest score recorded since June 2010.


About this study

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

19,524 online interviews were conducted between August 26th 2022- September 9th 2022 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.  

The author(s)

  • Teodros Gebrekal Public Affairs

More insights about Public Sector

Society