‘Infrastructure part of the solution’; new global survey shows strong public backing for investment to aid recovery

Around the world, 79% of people believe that investment in infrastructure will create new jobs and boost their countries’ economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic according to a recent survey.

The author(s)
  • Ben Marshall Public Affairs, UK
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The 2020 Global Infrastructure Index - undertaken in partnership by GIIA and Ipsos and the largest global survey of its kind looking at public attitudes towards infrastructure and investment - has revealed people across the globe believe investment in infrastructure should form a key part of their Government’s plan to secure economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Undertaken this summer, the survey revealed a sharp rise in public support for private investment if it helps their country get the infrastructure it needs.

Key takeaways from the 2020 Global Infrastructure Index include:

  • 79% agree that investment in infrastructure will create new jobs and boost the economy; 4% disagree.
  • 68% believe Government should prioritise infrastructure investment as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery; just 8% disagree.
  • There has been an increase in support for private investment among people if it helps their country get the infrastructure it needs with 68% in favour (up 4 percentage points from 2019) and only 8% opposed (down from 13% in 2019).
  • Globally, satisfaction levels with infrastructure have improved; 37% were satisfied last year (36% the year before), now it is 43%...
  • …but 59% say their country is not doing enough to meet infrastructure needs (it was 60% last year).
  • The Netherlands was the European country with highest levels of satisfaction with infrastructure (77%) ahead of Sweden (49%), Germany (48%) and France 45% among others. The United States ranked 20th of 27 nations (30%) behind Canada (39%) and Mexico (38%).
  • Globally, water supply/sewerage and solar energy infrastructure are the top two investment priorities (chosen by 42% and 41% respectively). This is also the case in G8 countries (both chosen by 35%).

GIIA CEO Lawrence Slade said that the impact of Covid-19 appears to have shifted public opinion in terms of who is best placed to deliver the infrastructure their country needs.

“These results indicate strong support for private sector investment in economic infrastructure which then allows Government to focus on the provision of social infrastructure such as healthcare and education in the wake of the global pandemic.”

“The private sector and Governments around the world must work together to tackle our existing infrastructure gap and deliver the innovative and socially responsible infrastructure needed for future generations.”

Research Director Ben Marshall, Ipsos Transport and Infrastructure, said:

“Our annual survey shows a sharp improvement in global publics’ ratings of infrastructure across the world but also continues to underline peoples’ strongly held conviction that governments need to do more. We’re seeing continued interest in investment in renewable energy among infrastructure sectors and an expectation that infrastructure will be a key part of any economic stimulus plans.”

The fifth GIIA / Ipsos Global Infrastructure Index surveyed 19,516 people across 27 countries from 24 July – 7 August, 2020.
The survey used an online methodology, sampled via Ipsos’ Global @dvisor. Participants were adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries. Countries were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA.

The 2019 study included the same countries except the Netherlands and additionally Colombia and Serbia.

The author(s)
  • Ben Marshall Public Affairs, UK