Global predictions for 2019

Global predictions for the world economy are less optimistic than in 2018 • Many countries also expect public unrest in the coming year • After a hot 2018, most expect global temperatures to continue to rise

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs, UK
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The latest Ipsos Global Advisor poll was carried out in 31 countries around the world at the end of 2018. It asked over 21,000 online adults aged under 64 their predictions for 2019, and covered a range of topics on the economy, world affairs, technological advancements, society and culture, and more improbable events…

Please find below some key insights.

For the full reports, please download the PDF at the end of the article.

The economy

  • Two in five (37%) expect major stock markets around the world to crash in 2019, which has risen from around a quarter who expected a crash in 2018 (28%).

World affairs

  • Around the world, people are most confident in predicting that average global temperatures will increase this year, with nearly four in five (78%) thinking so (up from 71% last year).
  • Attitudes to President Trump’s future remain relatively unchanged since last year, with a third (32%) predicting his impending impeachment.
  • Western Europe remains the most concerned about a terrorist attack this year, with nearly two in three (63%) in France thinking it is likely, closely followed by Great Britain (57%), Israel and Russia (both 52%).


  • Half the global population (50%) think that their personal data will be leaked on the internet this year, but only around a quarter say they will be using social media less (28%).
  • Two in five (38%) on average predict that doctors in their country will use artificial intelligence to decide on treatment for their patients in 2019.
  • People also expect technology to have an impact on their leisure patterns. Eight in ten on average (80%) think it’s likely that people around the world will spend more time online than watching TV in 2019.

Society and culture

  • Over half (56%) expect large scale public unrest (such as protests or riots) in their countries.
  • Two in five (42%) think that women will be paid the same as men for the same work, but women are much less optimistic than men (by 36% to 48%).
  • People do not expect social divisions to heal very much in 2019, as just a quarter (26% on average) think people in their country will become more tolerant of each other.
  • Three in ten (31%) think they will feel lonely for most of 2019.


  • Nearly two in five (38%) think it likely that a cure for the common cold will be discovered this year.
  • While no nations were very convinced that any will happen, still over one in ten globally think there is a likely chance of discovering the existence of ghosts (16%) and time travel (15%), or Earth being visited by aliens (13%).

Reflecting back and looking ahead

  • People are more likely to say that 2018 was a bad year for their country (62%), than it was for their them and their family (46%).
  • Three in four (75%) are optimistic that 2019 will be better than last year.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs, UK