London, UK – The new Ipsos study “What Worries the
World” is an online survey of adults in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada,
China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Peru,
Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United
States. Its premise is simple: it asks global citizens whether they think things in their country
are headed in the right direction or on the wrong track, and what the issues are which most
In the U.S., terrorism is the number one worry causing stress to 35% of
the population. Crime and violence is the second largest concern (33%) followed by
healthcare at 29%. The top global concern, unemployment, comes 4th in the US at 23%
Right track or wrong direction?
This global study finds that, overall, people across all countries are more likely to think
things in their country are off on the wrong track (63%), than headed in the right direction
(37%.) Most pessimistic are the French, 88% of whom think things are going wrong, with only
12% feeling that things are going well. Closely following France are Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and
Spain – countries which are seeing significant challenges regarding crime (Mexico),
corruption (Brazil), and economic woes (Italy and Spain). The most optimistic are countries are
China, where 90% say things are headed in the right direction, Saudi Arabia (71%), and India
Americans are in the middle of the pack with about two thirds (64%) say they think things
are going in the wrong direction.
Worries of the world
When it comes to what issues most worry people around the world, the single biggest
issue across all countries is unemployment, which is mentioned by 38% globally. This is a
modest (2 point) increase compared to last month, but over the longer term, concern about
unemployment has been decreasing since 2010 when more than half across all countries said
this worried them.
Concern about terrorism is highest in Turkey (76%), and this is also the
highest level of worry about any issue across all of the countries surveyed. Countries with
recent or ongoing exposure to incidents of terror are among the most worried about terrorism:
Israel (45%), France (55%) and Belgium (38%).
Healthcare, the fifth most frequently mentioned issue globally, is a
significant concern in Hungary (where 59% mention it) and Brazil (50%). Healthcare is the
second most frequently cited issue among Britons (34%) and has seen an increase of 7%
month on month, possibly fuelled by an ongoing industrial dispute between junior doctors and
Crime and violence is a big and growing concern in Mexico (60% say
this is a worry up 19% month on month) and Argentina (now 56%, up 11%). In Peru, crime
and violence is the primary worry, with 74% saying this worries them - the highest level of
concern about the issue among any country in the study.
China is most worried about climate change (21%) and
threats against the environment (38%) out of all countries.
|Top five global issues
||Top five US issues
|1) Unemployment (38%)
||1) Terrorism (35%)
|2) Financial/Political Corruption (34%)
||2) Crime and Violence (33%)
|3) Poverty/Social Inequality (33%)
||3) Healthcare (29%)
|4) Crime & Violence (31%)
||4) Unemployment (23%)
|5) Healthcare (22%)
||5) Immigration control (22%)
Commenting on the findings, Clifford Young, President of Ipsos Public Affairs in
the United States, said: "To remain in the good graces of public opinion,
governments and policymakers need to have concrete, efficacious solutions to jobs and the
18,014 interviews were conducted between August 26th – September 9th 2016 among
adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries. The
survey was conducted in 25 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system.
Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research
professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group
with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.
With offices in 87 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research
specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs
research, and survey management. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since
1999 and generated global revenues of €1,785.3 million ($1,981 million) in 2015.