Ipsos has released its latest ‘What Worries the World’ study, which surveys 28 countries around the world about their biggest worries.
The findings are based on over 21,000 surveys which were conducted between 20 April – 4 May 2018, among a representative portion of adults aged 18-64.
The results show that most people across the world are pessimistic about the future, and think that their country is on the wrong track (58% on average).
Once again, China (92%) is the nation which inspires the most confidence about the direction it is taking. Saudi Arabia (76%) also remains in second place with South Korea (74%) in third-place position ahead of India (60%).
By comparison, Italian, Mexican, Brazilian and Spanish citizens have the greatest apprehensions about the direction taken by their country. Just 14% of Italians think their country is going in the right direction, followed by 15% in Mexico and 17% in Brazil and 10% in Spain.
Following Argentina and Italy, South Africa has seen the largest drop in national optimism with only 33% of South Africans believing the nation is on the right track – a fall of 19 percentage points from a recent peak in March (52%) in the wake of Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as the new ANC party leader.
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The study found that the majority of people around the world worry about five main things – financial/political corruption (35%), unemployment (34%), poverty/social inequality (33%), crime and violence (32%), and healthcare (24%).
South Africa follows these international trends for the most part, and is only behind Malaysia and Peru when it comes to the nations that are the most worried about financial/political corruption (60%). Other major concerns include unemployment and jobs (57%), and crime and violence (58%).
On the other end of the scale, access to credit (1%), climate change (2%), and terrorism (2%) are not considered as major concerns in South Africa, when compared to other countries.
Below are the biggest worries in the world right now, and how South Africans ranked them:
|Rank||Concern||Percentage of South Africans|
|2||Crime and violence||58%|
|3||Unemployment and jobs||57%|
|4||Poverty and social inequality||34%|
|11||Rise of extremism||4%|
|12||Threats against the environment||3%|
|13||Maintaining social programmes||2%|
|16||Access to credit||1%|