A Year in Review - 2021

What did we learn about public attitudes and behaviours? What did our research tell us about the events of the year? And how did our outlook shift?

It was a year that promised to be better than the last: 77% around the world thought the year would be a better one for them and their family. But just four in 10 thought that life would be completely back to normal. With many of us spending more time at home, we saw changes in how we work, what we buy and what we eat.

Our Review of the Year 2021 takes a look back at some of the most striking findings from our global surveys and shows how our research shed light on some of the big stories from the events of the year.

We also review Ipsos’ analysis on this year’s developments when it comes to retail, brand, society, research methods and more, with a recap of publications from teams around the world.

What did we discover?

One notable impact of the pandemic has been the boost to doctors’ reputations. This year our Global Trustworthiness Index saw doctors overtake scientists as the world's most trusted profession with 64% of the global public saying they are trustworthy.

Although coronavirus remained a pressing health concern, with 70% of people across 30 countries listing it as the top health issue facing their country, we also saw a rise in concern for mental health, which now ranks as the third most important health issue worldwide. In addition, 79% on average now say that their mental and physical health are equally important when it comes to their personal wellbeing.

Key stats from global surveys during 2021 | Ipsos

What happened?

Life continued in the face of Covid, as people adapted to life amidst the disruption and uncertainty that the pandemic continues to bring. We saw levels of concern about Covid-19 vary across the world as different regions and countries experienced successes and setbacks with controlling the virus and administering vaccinations.

The postponed Tokyo Summer Olympics got underway in Japan amidst a precarious time in the pandemic, evoking mixed feelings among the global public. Yet, despite the uncertainty, 62% overall agreed that the Olympics marked an important occasion forthe world to come together.

As concern about the climate continued to rise, Ipsos presented at COP26 to bring the public voice to the debate and bust three myths surrounding the climate change and sustainability debate.

74% say that their country’s economy should prioritise people and nature, rather than focusing on profit | Ipsos

What were our points of view?

Over the past year Ipsos has published white papers across a wide range of subjects from global population decline, delivering positive customer experience and creating an “empathetic lens” to understand consumers through to research methods and behavioural science approaches to encourage sustainable behaviours. You can find more of our Ipsos Views here.

A selection of Ipsos’ 2021 white papers | Ipsos

Where to next?

The 2021 release of our Ipsos Global Trends Survey showed us that many of the changes we see today result from long-running existing trends that pre-date the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has not fundamentally changed human values and priorities. We explore the challenges and trajectories of the future in more detail in Shaping 2025 and beyond. In our Future of Insights series, we present new thinking about the evolving function of insights and how to get the most out of research in order to understand people’s fast-evolving requirements, emotions and aspirations.

The new normal looks more like the old normal than we might have expected last year | Ipsos