Countries that Have a Younger Population Are More Optimistic About 2018 Than Countries with an Aging Population

The majority of adults are optimist about what the new year will bring, especially those in countries who have a lower median age, according to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos in 28 different countries.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Julia Clark Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Washington, DC - People around the world are optimistic about personal prospects for 2018, with 76% of respondents stating that 2018 will be better than 2017. The levels of optimism vary across regions of the globe, with countries that have a younger population reporting higher levels of optimism than countries with an aging population. Latin America is the most optimistic region of the world: 93% of Peruvians, 93% of Colombians, 88% of Chileans, and 87% of Mexicans believe that 2018 will be better than 2017. On the other hand, four out of five of the least optimistic countries were located in Europe, with France (55%), Italy (60%), Belgium (65%), and Great Britain (66%) occupying the lowest spots. These regional differences can be partially explained by the age of the population: younger countries tend to be more optimistic about the prospects for 2018. In South Africa, which has a median age of 27.1, 85% report being optimistic about 2018, which is 10% higher than the world average. On the other hand, countries with an aging population are more pessimistic about the future. In Japan, which has the oldest median age at 47.3, 44% report being optimistic about 2018, the lowest number of all countries surveyed.

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted from November 27 to December 8, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 18,940 adults in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America were interviewed online.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the country Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus .8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=18,940, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=2.3). For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For information about this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs

Julia Clark
Senior Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs

Clifford Young
President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.


The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Julia Clark Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs

More insights about Culture