What Worries the World - November 2017

Global poll finds that unemployment continues to be the lead worry around the world.

What Worries the World - November 2017

The author(s)

  • Bobby Duffy Ipsos MORI, Social Research Institute, UK
  • Simon Atkinson Ipsos, UK
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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.

Most people across the 26 countries think that their country is on the wrong track (58% on average) but this varies across countries:

  • China, India and Saudi Arabia remain as the top three countries most positive about their nation’s direction. Ninety-three per cent in China think their country is going in the right direction, 72% in Saudi Arabia and 65% in India.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, South Africans ­- for the third consecutive month— are most concerned about the direction taken by their country. Only 9% of South Africans think their country is going in the right direction, followed by 11% in Brazil and 12% of the population in Mexico. Spain (up 9%), Argentina and Serbia (both up 7%) have seen the biggest increase in optimism. Argentina has seen a substantial 18% increase in positivity about the direction taken by the nation since August. 
  • Peru has seen a decline in positivity this month with a fall of seven percentage points (now at 27%) in Peruvians who think the country is heading in the right direction.  There has also been a six point fall in Australia. 

The three major worries for global citizens all remain in line with the previous month:

  • Unemployment is still the primary global concern (35%). Italy and Spain have the highest levels of concern (both 63%) – and have been the top two for the third consecutive month. Concern about unemployment in the US has fallen by 5-percentage points from the previous month to 13%. Once again, Germans are least worried about the issue for the fifth consecutive month —joint with Israel in August— with only 12% citing unemployment as a worry this month. 
  • Financial/political corruption follows (33%). South Africans continue to be most concerned (71%). Sweden at 6% has surpassed Germany (7%) as the country least concerned.

Poverty/social inequality is the third most common worry (32%), with the highest level of concern in Hungary (57%) and Russia (55%). The US has the lowest level of concern for this (15%).

Top five global issues

  1. Unemployment (35%)
  2. Financial/Political Corruption (33%)
  3. Poverty/Social Inequality (32%)
  4. Crime & Violence (31%)
  5. Healthcare (24%)
The survey was conducted in 26 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.  18,940 interviews were conducted between October 20th and November 3rd 2017 among adults aged 18-64 in the US, Israel and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries. Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Bobby Duffy Ipsos MORI, Social Research Institute, UK
  • Simon Atkinson Ipsos, UK

Society