What Worries the World – May 2017

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New global poll finds unemployment remains the top issue globally. New study finds the majority of people across 26 countries think that their country is on the wrong track — South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Italy and France are the most concerned.

“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) — a one percentage point drop from the previous month.  But there are a very wide range of different ratings across the world:

  • 92% in China think their country is going in the right direction, as do 74% in both India and Saudi Arabia
  • At the other end of the spectrum, only 10% in South Africa think their country is going in the right direction, as do 13% in Mexico, 13% in Brazil, 16% in South Korea, 18% in Italy and 18% in France.
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The three major worries for global citizens all remain consistent with the previous month:

  • Unemployment is still the primary global worry, with the highest level of concern in Italy (67%).  Germany is least worried, with only 10% picking unemployment as a worry
  • Financial/political corruption comes next, with South Africans most concern (65%), and Swedes least (7%)
  • Poverty/social inequality is the third most common worry, with particular concern in Hungary (57%) and the US with the least level of concern (17%)
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