Remember New Year’s Eve 2021?
Many of us held our coupes filled with champagne (or, given that inflation was already rearing its ugly head, prosecco or sparkling wine) aloft with a toast hoping next year would be significantly better than the last.
That didn’t happen.
2022 was one for the history books — the historic pandemic dragged on, heat waves hit new highs as did inflation and history repeated itself when Russia once again invaded Ukraine. This year, to borrow a phrase made famous by the late Queen Elizabeth II, turned out to be an annus horribilis for many.
Here’s a look, month by month, at Ipsos Global Advisor polls that show how people were feeling in a year that started with lingering anxiety about COVID-19 as the Omicron variant spread and ended with persistent fears about the cost of living.
- January: COVID-19 concern still dominated as inflation worry lagged behind
At the beginning of 2022, the coronavirus pandemic was still considered the No. 1 worry (35%) around the world. But, cost-of-living concern was starting to rise substantially and was already up, on average globally, from 9% in January 2021 to 20% by January 2022.
- February: The show must go on?
Ipsos polling done in the lead-up to the second pandemic-era Olympic Games found people were split over whether the Beijing Winter Games should go ahead even if the pandemic wasn’t over. When the opening ceremonies kicked off in China in early February the pandemic definitely wasn’t over. The Games went ahead anyway with extremely strict protocols in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- March: The road to equality
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Ipsos’ annual polling for International Women’s Day revealed some eyebrow-raising results, including that while slightly more than half (55%) agree sexism is real, almost 2 in 10 think gender inequality doesn’t exist and 27% said they didn’t know.
- April: Support for sanctions
Ipsos polled 19,000 people across 27 countries soon after the invasion of Ukraine and found while there was strong support for sanctions, the majority either weren’t sure or were opposed to using economic penalties to punish Russia.
- May: Feeling the pinch
This spring, Ipsos released polling that found many people were struggling to get by and expected the financial pain to continue.
- June: Right to seek refuge
As the invasion of Ukraine sadly dragged on, annual global polling released for World Refugee Day found support for people’s right to take refuge from war/persecution rose 8 percentage points year over year.
- July: Concern about costs rises
During the 3rd(?!) pandemic-era summer people were excited to travel well beyond their couches, but red-hot prices cooled excitement as prices continued their ascent in several countries.
- August: The right to choose?
On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Ipsos polled people around the world about their attitudes on abortion. This summer, support for abortion to be legal in all/most cases across 27 countries ranged from a low of 31% in Peru to a high of 86% in Sweden.
- September: Sweating climate change
Brutal heat waves and wildfires this spring and summer had people on edge about what’s to come. Polling across 34 countries released in mid-September found Generation Zers and younger Millennials are the most concerned that they/their family will be displaced from their home as a result of climate change at some point in the next 25 years.
- October: Young and not carefree
There’s a lot to be anxious about these days, from scary weather events to the increased fear of a nuclear attack. Amid all this tumult, Gen Zers and younger Millennials are struggling significantly more with stress and mental health issues than older Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to polling results released for World Mental Health Day 2022.
- November: GOOOAAALLL!
Of course, the year wasn’t all doom and gloom as most soccer (or *ahem* football) fans cheered on their country at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar from afar. Our Global Advisor polling found fans were making it a social event, with the vast majority planning on watching the World Cup with friends and/or family.
- December: Inflation concern up, COVID-19 worry down
By the end of 2022, COVID-19 dropped from the No. 1 concern (35%) in January to the No. 10 spot with a mere 11% saying it was a top worry in their country in December. The cost of living passed the pandemic as the No. 1 concern, on average globally, this March (26%) and holds the top spot for the tenth month in a row (40% in December) as we bid adieu to 2022.