Politicians are the least trusted profession, while doctors and scientists are seen as the most trustworthy

Running since 2018, the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Index tracks how trustworthy or untrustworthy people see different professions.

Ipsos | Global Trustworthiness Index 2023 | Doctors | Scientists | Teachers
The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Public Affairs, UK
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The 2023 Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Index reveals that Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Sweden are the most trusting of a range of professions and people.

The Index tracks how trustworthy or untrustworthy 18 different groups including politicians, doctors and scientists are in the minds of global citizens, across 31 countries. The countries that top the list are those where trust across all professions is higher than distrust.

Trust is split within established markets: the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain Australia and Germany score higher on the Index, while countries including Spain, the US, Belgium and Italy have a score of less than 0, suggesting lower trust across a range of professions.

South Korea, Poland, Hungary, Argentina and Peru are at the bottom of the ranking. In all these countries people are more likely to say they find many professions to be untrustworthy than trustworthy – for instance, in South Korea just 38% say they find doctors to be trustworthy, against a global average of 58%.

Overall, Doctors and Scientists retain their position as the world’s most trustworthy professions. Almost six in ten of the global sample consider both to be trustworthy (58% and 57% respectively), close to scores recorded in previous years.

  • Four countries display the highest confidence in doctors: Spain, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Argentina. In all four countries, 68% rate doctors as trustworthy. There are five countries where less than half of the public think doctors are trustworthy: Romania (49%), Poland (45%), Japan (44%), Hungary (42%) and South Korea (38%).
  • Trust in scientists is highest in Spain and Argentina, where 71% consider them trustworthy. The other top five countries are Indonesia (69%) and Turkey (66%), followed by Chile, Mexico and Romania (all 61%). As with doctors, there are five countries where trust is below 50% - they are Malaysia and India (49%), Singapore and South Africa (47%) and Japan (39%).

Politicians remain the world’s least trusted profession, with just 14 per cent of people across 31 countries saying they consider them to be trustworthy. They are just below advertising executives and Government Ministers/Cabinet Officials, both of whom are considered trustworthy by less than one in five.

  • Trust in politicians is highest in India – 33% consider politicians to be trustworthy, up five percentage points since 2022. Singapore is next on 30%, followed by Indonesia on 24%. Trust is lowest in Argentina, where just six per cent consider them to be trustworthy. In Poland and Hungary just seven per cent trust politicians.
  • The picture is similar for Government Ministers or Cabinet Officials: Singaporeans are top, with 42% rating them trustworthy, followed by India (33%) then Indonesia and Turkey (27%). Trust in Government Ministers is lowest in Romania, Peru, Argentina and Suth Africa (all 10%).
  • The French and South Koreans are least trusting of advertising executives – just nine per cent in each country think they are trustworthy. Trust in this profession is highest in India and Indonesia (35% and 32% respectively).

About this study 

These are the findings of a 31-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform and, in India, on its IndiaBus platform between 26 May and 9 June 2023.

The results are comprised of an international sample of 22,816 adults aged 18 years and older in India, 18-85 in Canada, Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in all other countries.

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Public Affairs, UK