Majority favors social progress over economic growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

A new Ipsos survey in partnership with the Social Progress Imperative indicates that a majority across countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic want social progress – rather than economic growth – to be at the fore as the crisis continues and once it ends.

The author(s)

  • Kaitlin Love Public Affairs, US
  • Kate Silverstein Public Affairs, US
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Conducted among a random sample of over 10,000 adults from 13 countries, the survey finds that seven in ten are prioritising the health and well-being of the population over GDP, and more than half want improved social outcomes to remain a priority even after the pandemic is over.

Though young people are least likely to suffer severe cases of the virus and most likely to experience negative consequences as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact, the survey found that the youngest respondents were the most likely to report prioritising social progress. Two in three respondents under 24 (66%) wanted their country to focus on improving social outcomes, compared with just two in five (40%) of those over 50, who are most at risk.

Among the countries in which the virus is most pervasive – the U.S., Brazil, Chile, and Peru – nearly three in four (72%) reported wanting to prioritise health and well-being in the near-term, and a majority (52%) reported wanting to continue prioritising social outcomes in the longer term, even after the pandemic ends.

Ipsos interviewed a total of 10,013 adults aged 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, and aged 18-74 in Canada, South Africa and the United States, between July 24th and August 7th, 2020.

The author(s)

  • Kaitlin Love Public Affairs, US
  • Kate Silverstein Public Affairs, US

Society