What worries the world - November 2022

Inflation remains the top global concern for the eighth month in a row with 42% choosing it as a worry.

The author(s)

  • Teodros Gebrekal Public Affairs, UK
Get in touch

The cost of living remains the biggest concern globally, however for the first time in 16 months, worry has not risen and still affects around four in ten globally (42%).

Our monthly What Worries the World survey explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues, drawing on more than ten years of data to place the latest scores in context. This wave was conducted between October 21st, 2022 – November 4th, 2022.

Key findings 

  • Inflation is the top global worry for the eighth month in a row: 42% say it is one of the top issues facing their country today (no change from October 2022).
  • 13 countries - Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, GB, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the US, and Turkey - cite inflation as their top worry.
  • Worry for inflation in Poland (65%) has dipped from its peak in October, falling 5pp.
  • Across all countries, worry about inflation is followed by poverty & social inequality (31%), unemployment (27%), and crime & violence (27%), and financial & political corruption (25%) which together make up the top five global worries.
  • Climate change is now joint seventh with worry about taxes in our list of 18 worries with a global average of 17% choosing it as a concern.
  • Concern for coronavirus remains at its lowest level since it was added to What Worries the World in April 2020. In November, only one in ten (10%) globally chose coronavirus as a worry, down 25pp from January this year.
  • The pandemic is tied 12th with military conflict between nations on our list of global worries. Only nine months ago in February, it was the top concern globally.
  • Just under two in three people (64%) believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, rising to 88% in Peru and 90% in Argentina.

Inflation

Inflation is the number one concern globally with over four in ten (42%) choosing it as one of the biggest worries affecting their country. This month, however, it seems to have levelled out with no change from October. This is the first time month-on-month worry has not risen in a year and a half. It has been topping our list of 18 worries for the last eight months.

Worry about rising prices has now more than doubled since the beginning of the year, when 20% considered it a problem. This time last year only 18% picked inflation as a worry and eighteen months ago, in April 2021, that figure was just 10%. Eight countries have more than or equal to one in two people choosing inflation and this rises to over two-thirds in Argentina (68%). Poland was top of our list last month but has experienced a 5pp drop and is now second at 65%.

Great Britain (with 54% worried in this wave) over the last two months has fluctuated recently; after dropping 13 pp in October, concerns have rebounded – up 11pp this month. In October, 13 countries have inflation as the number one worry - Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, GB, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the US, and Turkey. With the Dutch replacing Hungary.

Climate change

16% say climate change is one of the biggest issues affecting their country, a 1pp drop bringing it level with concern about taxes in seventh spot.

Germany is now joint first at 31% with Australia and France. This is after a slight fall in the Germany figure (-2pp) and an increase from Australia (+4pp) and France (+4pp).

In France and Australia, it is the second biggest concern behind inflation. It is Germany’s third biggest concern, behind poverty and inflation.

After a rise in Canada’s level of worry in September to October, its figure fell 4pp in November to 25%. The Netherlands has remained unchanged from last month, holding at 28%.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus remains at its lowest level since it was added to our list of 18 worries in April 2020. One in ten (10%) choose it as an issue affecting their country, equal to October.

Japan (28%) is still most concerned; their level of worry has declined by just 1pp and it is the country’s third biggest issue. Thailand’s worry (14%) has continued to decrease, down by 4pp. Australia (11%) has also seen a slight decline by 3pp.

Saudi Arabia (26%) is now second after jumping from October by 12pp, the highest it’s been since June of this year. Covid is considered more of an issue in Saudi Arabia than climate change. After reaching its lowest recorded level in October, worry in Sweden (8%) has gone back up by 5pp.

Military conflict between nations

Worry about military conflict between nations (10%) is unchanged from last month and is 11th on our list of 18 worries. Concern has decreased by 1pp globally but is still ahead of covid-19 as a worry.

Poland and Germany still remain the most concerned and have been since its addition in April 2022. Poland has moved up 2pp whereas Germany is down 1pp. It is Poland’s second biggest worry, behind inflation. However, it is 5pp lower than April 2022. Spain has moved up the list by +6pp to 18% from October.

Focus on the economy

On average globally, 32% of people describe the current economic situation in their country as “good”, unchanged from last month.

More than one in two people say this about their country in Saudi Arabia (94%), India (77%) and Indonesia (59%). Indonesia is also the country that has seen the largest increase in its score since last month (+7pp), followed by Germany (+6pp).

Meanwhile, Great Britain has seen a double-digit decrease (-14pp), dropping eight places into the bottom five countries and now with the lowest score in Europe. Down a further three points this month, Argentina is once again at the bottom of the rankings (6%).


About this study 

Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey tracks public opinion on the most important social and political issues across 29 countries today, drawing on over ten years of data to place the latest scores in context.

20,466 online interviews were conducted between October 21st 2022 and November 4th 2022 among adults aged 18-74 Canada, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, 20-74 in Indonesia and Thailand, and 16-74 in all 21 other countries.

Download

The author(s)

  • Teodros Gebrekal Public Affairs, UK

Society