In the age of coronavirus, everyone worries about the same things

Covid-19, healthcare, and unemployment are top concerns in the U.S. and globally

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, April 28, 2020 — In the latest installment of What Worries the World, 69% of adults surveyed in the United States cite coronavirus/Covid-19 among the three topics they find most worrying in their country. This compares to an average of 61% across the 28 countries where the Ipsos survey was conducted. The next two concerns, both in the U.S. and globally, are healthcare (cited by 40% in the U.S. and 28% globally) and unemployment (cited by 24% in the U.S. and 35% globally).

US Top Three Worries

Given the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, Ipsos has now included coronavirus/Covid-19 in the list of issues covered in its monthly What Worries the World survey. The latest wave was conducted between March 20 and April 3, 2020 among over 19,500 adults aged under 74 from 28 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (mainland), France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. 

In the April 2020 survey, coronavirus/Covid-19 ranks as the top concern in 24 of the 28 countries surveyed. In the 10-year history of What Worries the World, no issue was ever cited as a major concern by such a large segment of the U.S. or global public.

The percentage of those citing healthcare is up 3 points vs. last month in the U.S. and steady globally; the percentage of those citing unemployment is up significantly both in the U.S. (up 10 points) and globally (up 3 points).

Other issues that worry Americans and people across the world have taken a back seat:

  • In the U.S., all three concerns most cited after coronavirus, unemployment and healthcare register a drop in mentions vs. March: immigration control (21%) is down 5 points, financial and political corruption (19%) is down 11 points, and climate change (18%) is down 3 points.
  • Globally, poverty and social inequality (27%) is down 5 points, financial and political corruption (22%) is down 9 points, and crime and violence (20%) is down 11 points.
28 Country Avg Top Worries

The study shows great variations in levels of optimism across the globe: 41% in the U.S. and 46% on average across all 28 countries surveyed say things in their country are heading in the right direction.

  • The countries where anxiety is most prevalent are: Chile (with 80% saying things are off on the wrong track), France (74%), South Africa (71%), Poland (70%), and Spain (68%).
  • Countries with the largest percentages of those surveyed expressing optimism are China (with 99% saying things are going in the right direction), Saudi Arabia (90%), and Peru (75%).
Right Direction/Wrong Track

 

About the Study

The survey was conducted in 28 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. These include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, 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.

19,505 interviews were conducted between March 20 and April 3, 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 28 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 11 countries surveyed: Brazil, Chile, China, 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

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