What are people in your country most worried about?

Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Alex Gray, Formative Content

A sizeable chunk of the world’s population is unhappy with the direction their country is going in, according to a survey that also reveals what people in different nations are most concerned about.

In France and Mexico, for instance, a whopping 89% think that their nations are on the wrong track. Brazil, South Africa, Italy and Hungary are close behind, with between 82% and 84% expressing dissatisfaction.

Overall, across the 25 countries studied by UK research company Ipsos MORI, people are more likely to think “things in their country are on the wrong track” (61%), than headed in the right direction (39%).

What the world is worrying about

Unemployment is the top global concern, with 39% saying that this is what they worry about most. Financial/political corruption and poverty and social inequality were next, with 32%. Crime and violence (30%) and healthcare (22%) complete the top five global concerns.

Image: Ipsos MORI

Some worries have decreased over time, however. In 2010, over 50% of people were worried about unemployment, perhaps a reflection of the mood following the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

Concern about financial/political corruption and healthcare have remained broadly the same since 2010, and concern about poverty and social inequality and crime and violence has decreased slightly.

Image: Ipsos MORI

What you worry about depends on where you are from

Naturally, people in different countries worry about different things. The top concern for Peruvians, Mexicans and Argentinians, whose countries’ homicide rates are all above the global average, is crime and violence.

More surprisingly though, it is also the main concern in Sweden, which has a homicide rate of less than 1 in 100,000. European news network The Local says that the poll was conducted around the same time (between August and September 2016) as some high-profile crimes were reported in the media, and that this may have influenced the Swedish respondents’ answers.

In countries that have seen terrorist attacks in recent years, such as Turkey, Israel, Indonesia and the US, the top concern is terrorism. For European countries that suffered as a result of the financial crisis, such as Spain, Italy and France, unemployment is the biggest worry, with over 50% of people expressing this concern. But unemployment is also the top concern for Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Healthcare worries Hungarians and Poles the most, with 63% and 51%, respectively.

People in South Africa, Russia and Brazil worry about financial and political corruption the most. These countries also score low on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 compiled by Transparency International; South Africa in 64th, Russia in 131st place and Brazil in 79th.

In Germany and Japan, both major economies, poverty and social inequality were the biggest concerns.

Only one country cited immigration as the top concern — the UK. In China, moral decline was the biggest concern.

Image: Ipsos MORI

The most optimistic countries

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. In some countries the population was more optimistic than not. The countries include China, Saudi Arabia, India, Argentina, Peru, Canada and Russia.

Originally published at www.weforum.org.

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