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 20,787 interviews conducted between 24 August 2018 – 7 September 2018 among adults aged 16-64 in countries.The data was weighted to match the profile of the population.
Once more, China (92%) inspires the most confidence about national direction. Saudi Arabia (78%) remains in second place with India (67%) in third position. Malaysia (65%) rising-8-percentage points to fourth place.
At the other end of the spectrum – Brazilian, Spanish, South African, French and Peruvian citizens have the greatest apprehension about the direction taken by their country.
Just 12% of Brazilians think their country is going in the right direction, followed by 19% in both Spain and in South Africa. 24% of French citizens believe their nation is on the wrong track.
Following South Korea (-8%), South Africa has also seen the largest drop in national optimism (-7%) with only 19% of South Africans believing the nation is on the right track – a massive fall of 33 percentage points from a recent peak in March (52%) in the wake of Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as the new ANC party leader.
The study found that the majority of people around the world worry about five main things – financial/political corruption (34%), unemployment (33%), poverty/social inequality (33%), crime and violence (31%), and healthcare (24%).
South Africa follows these international trends for the most part, with the exception of crime and violence, for which it is now the highest ranked country in the world (62%). In addition, education (21%) replaces healthcare (12%) as a chief worry according to the South Africans surveyed.
At the other end of the scale, South Africans are less concerned about access to credit (1%), childhood obesity (1%), climate change (1%), and terrorism (2%) compared to other countries.
Below are the biggest worries in the world right now – nine of which are over 10% – and how South Africans ranked them:
|Rank||Concern||Percentage of South Africans|
|1||Crime and violence||62%|
|2||Unemployment and jobs||55%|
|4||Poverty and social inequality||32%|
|11||The rise of extremism||5%|
|12||Threats against the environment||2%|
|14||Maintaining social programmes||2%|
|17||Access to credit||1%|