Coronavirus remains top concern in the U.S. and globally but continuing to wane

What Worries the World report finds the number citing coronavirus as their top concern has declined for the second straight month.

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Washington, DC, June 25, 2020

The latest installment of What Worries the World shows that the level of concern with coronavirus/COVID-19 has decreased over the last two months, both in the U.S. and globally. Despite this, coronavirus remains the top concern for adults in the United States and around the world. In the U.S., 52% cite the pandemic as one of their top three worries (down from 61% in May and 69% in April). Across all 27 countries surveyed, an average of 47% feels the same (down from 55% last month and 61% in April).

The next most prevalent concerns in the U.S. are unemployment and healthcare (34% and 29% respectively), consistent with last month’s survey.

Chart

This is the third month that Ipsos has included Coronavirus/COVID-19 in the list of issues covered in its monthly What Worries the World survey. The latest wave was conducted between May 22 and June 5, 2020, among 18,497 adults aged under 74 from 27 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.

Among the 27 countries surveyed, the coronavirus ranks as the top concern in 13 countries, down from 18 last month. Concern is now highest in Great Britain (69%), followed closely by Chile, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia (65% each). Across nearly all countries, there has been a decrease in COVID-19 concerns; notably, however, there has been a 16 percentage point increase in concerns in South Korea.

The top worries globally are currently (in the following order): COVID-19, unemployment, poverty and social inequality, financial/political corruption, and healthcare. This month, financial/political corruption is ranked slightly higher than healthcare.

  • Unemployment has remained the second highest concern. Though there has been no change globally since last month (42%), there was a 6-point decrease in concerns in the U.S since last month.
  • The U.S. is more worried than the global average concerning moral decline (19% vs. 10%), immigration control (17% vs. 10%), healthcare (29% vs. 23%), and crime and violence (26% vs. 21%).
  • Russia (61%) and Chile (50%) are the only countries where majorities worry most about poverty and social inequality. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are least likely to worry about this (19% and 15%, respectively).
Chart

Globally, 42% think their country is heading in the right direction while 58% say things are on the wrong track. At 35%, the proportion of Americans saying their country is heading in the right direction is 7 percentage points below the global average,  and down 3 points since last month (38%).

Chart

About the Study

The survey was conducted in 27 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. These include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.

18,497 interviews were conducted between May 22 and June 5, 2020 among adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Israel, South Africa and Turkey and 16-74 in all other countries. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

Approximately 1000+ individuals were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. Approximately 500+ individuals were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.

In 17 of the 27 countries surveyed internet penetration is sufficiently high to think of the samples as representative of the wider population within the age ranges covered: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain and United States. The remaining 10 countries surveyed: Brazil, Chile, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey have lower levels of internet penetration and so these samples should instead be considered to represent a more affluent, connected population. These are still a vital social group to understand in these countries, representing an important and emerging middle class.

The data is weighted so that each market’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data. Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.

The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420 2025
chris.jackson@ipsos.com

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755 8829
kate.silverstein@ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

www.ipsos.com

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs

Society