Coronavirus remains top concern in the U.S. and globally

What Worries the World report finds majority in the U.S. believe the country is on the wrong track

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Jinhee Yi Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Washington, DC, June 11, 2020 — The latest installment of What Worries the World shows that coronavirus/COVID-19 remains the topic adults in the United States and throughout the world find most worrying. However, the level of concern with coronavirus has decreased slightly since last month, both in the U.S. and globally. In the U.S., 61% cite the pandemic as one of their top three worries (down from 69% last month). Across all 27 countries surveyed, an average of 55% do the same (down from 63% last month).

The next most prevalent concerns in the U.S. are unemployment and healthcare (40% and 32% respectively).

Chart

This is the second 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 April 24 and May 8, 2020, among 18,505 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 18 countries, down from 24 last month. Once again, concern is highest in Malaysia (74%), followed closely by Japan (73%) and Great Britain (71%). The U.S. falls toward the middle with 61% of American respondents citing coronavirus/COVID-19 among their leading worries.

The top worries globally remain unchanged from April. They are: COVID-19, unemployment, poverty and social inequality, healthcare, and financial/political corruption.

  • Unemployment has remained the second top concern and shows a 7-point increase globally and a 16-point increase in the U.S. over last month. Concern for unemployment has increased in all countries with the exception of Israel, Brazil, and Hungary.
  • Russia (61%) and Chile (50%) are the only countries where majorities worry about poverty and social inequality. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia show the lowest levels of concern about poverty and social inequality (14% for both).
  • The U.S. (32%) is above the global average of 25% in concern about healthcare and, at 23%, statistically tied with the global average of 24% for financial/political corruption.
Chart

Globally, 45% think their country is heading in the right direction while 55% say things are on the wrong track. At 38%, 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 from last month.

  • Optimism is highest in Saudi Arabia (91%) and India (72%) where large majorities say things are heading in the right direction.
  • Citizens of Chile (76%) and France (75%) are those who tend to be most worried their country is on the wrong track. It is the case of about six in ten Americans (62%).
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.

18,505 interviews were conducted between April 24 and May 8, 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, 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 +/- 3.1 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.5 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
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755 8829
[email protected]

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
  • Jinhee Yi Account Manager, US, Public Affairs

Society