“What Worries the World” is a monthly online survey of adults aged under 65 in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.
It finds that the majority of people across 26 countries think that their country is on the wrong track (60% on average) which has remained consistent over the past three months. But there are a very wide range of different scores across the world:
- Despite slight decreases in optimism compared to previous months, China, India and Saudi Arabia remain the most positive about the direction their nations are taking. 87% in China think their country is going in the right direction, 74% in India and 71% in Saudi Arabia.
- At the other end of the spectrum — Mexico has now replaced South Africa as the nation which is most anxious about the direction their country is heading. Only 8% in Mexico think their country is going in the right direction, 9% in South Africa, 12% in Brazil, 14% in Italy and 21% Hungary.
- South Korea has seen the greatest move in perception with 66% of South Koreans now saying that their nation is heading in the right direction— a 50 percentage point increase from May 2017 (when results were last reported).
- Peru has seen the biggest deterioration with a fall of 15 percentage points in those who think the country is heading in the right direction.
- In Britain, seven in ten (72%) think the country is on the wrong track, a rise of 7 percentage points since just before the 2017 general election and an increase of 16 points since April. This is the worst score since March 2013 in this series.
The three major worries for global citizens all remain consistent with the previous month:
- Unemployment is still the primary global worry, with the highest levels of concern in Spain (65%), Italy (63%) and South Korea (63%). Reflecting previous months, Germany is the least worried, with only 12% citing unemployment as a worry (and only 14% in Britain).
- Financial/political corruption follows, with South Africans most concerned (65%), and Swedes least worried (8%).
- Poverty/social inequality is the third most common worry, with the highest level of concern in Russia (57%) and Hungary (56%). The US has the lowest level of concern for this (19%).
Top five global issues
- Unemployment (36%)
- Financial/Political Corruption (34%)
- Poverty/Social Inequality (33%)
- Crime & Violence (30%)
- Healthcare (23%)