U.S. Voters Mull the Economy
Public opinion surveys show that economic issues are a foremost concern for American voters. Recent history suggests that voters’ choice on November 6 will have implications not just for the economic health of the U.S. but also the global economy.
Emerging Economies – Rich And Confident
The emerging economies account for an increasing share of the globe’s billionaires. But widespread public attitudes can wield far more influence over an economy than the wealth of a few hundred people. While people polled in the US and Europe are pessimistic about their future prospects, citizens of the emerging economies, especially China and Brazil, are optimistic about their own national economies and personal wealth.
Pervasive Gloom About the World Economy
The economic mood is exceedingly glum around the world. Across the 21 countries surveyed, a median of just 27 percent think their national economy is doing well. Only in China, Germany, Brazil and Turkey do most people report that current national economic conditions are good.
Chapter 1. The National Report Card
Few Satisfied With Nation’s Direction In the wake of four years of economic turmoil around the world and political upheaval in a number of nations, very few people are satisfied with the way things are going in their country. In the 21 countries surveyed, only in China (82%), Germany (53%) and Egypt (53%) do more […]
Chapter 2. The Personal Report Card
Personal Economic Situation Better Than Country’s People feel much better about the state of their personal economic situation than they do about national economic conditions. In 16 of 21 countries people are significantly more likely to say their economic condition is good than to say their country’s economy is doing well. This is particularly true […]
Chapter 3. Reality Check
Perceptions Vs. Experience The public’s retrospective perception of the economy is generally in line with economic experience. Seven-in-ten Chinese (70%) say they are better off than they were five years ago. And China experienced the fastest growth over the last half decade (averaging 10.5% annually from 2007 to 2011) among the 21 countries surveyed by […]
Chapter 5. The Winners and Losers
Emerging Economies Are Upbeat Emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India and Turkey are upbeat about their personal and national economic situation. They generally feel they are better off than they were five years ago and that they are doing better than their parents. Nevertheless, they are divided over whether the economy is going to […]
Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life
More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. A substantial number in key Muslim countries also want a large role for Islam in political life. Meanwhile, few think the U.S. favors democracy in the Middle East.
Chapter 1. Public Mood After the Arab Spring
Reviews of the economy are generally negative in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed. Despite the grim economic situation, however, many in Egypt and Tunisia are optimistic about the future, and majorities in the four Arab nations surveyed are hopeful the 2011 popular uprisings will lead to more democracy in the Middle East.1 Turkey and Saudi […]
Chapter 6. Tunisia: National Conditions and Views of the Future
Tunisians are broadly disappointed with the current state of their nation. Most are dissatisfied with the country’s direction and the economy, and the public is divided over whether things are better off now that Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is out of office. Nonetheless, most Tunisians are also optimistic about their country’s future and the economy. […]
Chapter 4. National Conditions
There is broad discontent with national conditions in Pakistan. Nearly nine-in-ten are dissatisfied with the country’s direction and the national economy. Pessimism about the economic future also remains high, though it has dropped somewhat over the past year. According to respondents, the biggest obstacles for Pakistan are crime and a lack of jobs, as well […]
Pakistani Public Opinion Ever More Critical of U.S.
Following a year of tensions between their country and the United States, Pakistanis continue to hold highly unfavorable views of the U.S. and offer bleak assessments of the relationship between the two nations. And President Obama is held in exceedingly low regard. Additionally, over the last few years, Pakistanis have become less willing to work with the U.S. on efforts to combat extremist groups.
Mexicans Back Military Campaign Against Cartels
As Felipe Calderón’s term as Mexico’s president draws to a close, Mexicans continue to strongly back his policy of deploying the military to combat the country’s powerful drug cartels, despite public unease about the moral cost of the drug war. Meanwhile, a majority of Mexicans say they have a positive opinion of the U.S.
Japanese Wary of Nuclear Energy
Seven-in-ten Japanese say their country should reduce its reliance on nuclear energy. Skepticism about nuclear power is coupled with widespread dissatisfaction with the government’s performance: eight-in-ten say the government has done a poor job dealing with the Fukushima crisis and six-in-ten disapprove of how Tokyo has handled the overall recovery from the earthquake and tsunami.
European Unity on the Rocks
In Europe, there is a crisis of confidence in the economy, in the future, in the benefits of European economic integration, in EU membership, in the euro and in the free market system. The crisis has also exposed sharp differences between some Europeans, especially the Germans and Greeks.
Chapter 1. National Conditions and Economic Ratings
The persistence and depth of the European economic downturn triggered by the euro crisis has had a profoundly adverse impact on most Europeans’ attitudes toward the condition of their national economies. People are almost universally dissatisfied with the state of their nations. Only the Germans are satisfied with the direction of their country and the […]
Chapter 2. Views of European Unity
The euro crisis has led Europeans to become very judgmental about elements of the European project: economic integration, membership in the European Union, the EU as an institution, the European Central Bank and use of the euro as their currency. But, as yet, euro zone publics want to keep the euro. As economic conditions have […]
Egypt on the Eve of Elections: Economy, Democracy Are Both Priorities
On the eve of the first presidential election of the post-Mubarak era, Egyptians remain hopeful about the future of their country, and they strongly desire both an improved economy and the democratic freedoms they were denied under the previous regime.
Russians Back Protests, Political Freedoms
A solid majority of Russians see attending protests as an opportunity to speak out about how the government is run, and more than half specifically approve of the mass demonstrations that followed the December 2011 parliamentary vote, which was marred by fraud allegations. Nonetheless, 72% of Russians voice a favorable opinion of Vladimir Putin.
Chapter 1. National Conditions
Russians are divided about the direction of their country. Slightly less than half are satisfied with the way things are going, while about the same number are dissatisfied. Russians also offer a mixed assessment of their own economic progress. Roughly as many say they are better off compared with five years ago, as say they […]
Chapter 1. National Conditions and Views About the Future
The Egyptian national mood improved dramatically following the February 2011 resignation of Hosni Mubarak, and today Egyptians remain generally positive about their country’s path and its future prospects. Still, less than half say things have actually gotten better for Egyptians since Mubarak left office, and few describe the current economic situation as good. Moreover, lower-income […]
Chapter 3. Attitudes Toward Democracy
As their country grapples with a difficult political transition, Egyptians continue to believe democracy is the best form of government and most trust it more than a strong leader to solve the nation’s problems. Moreover, Egyptians not only value democracy in a general sense – they also value specific features of a democratic society. For […]
Egyptians Remain Optimistic, Embrace Democracy and Religion in Political Life
A year after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a new nationwide survey finds that Egyptians remain upbeat about the course of the nation and prospects for progress. Most Egyptians continue to support democracy, and most also want Islam to play a major role in society.
Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union
Two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. Enthusiasm for democracy and capitalism has waned considerably over the past 20 years, and most believe the changes that have taken place since 1991 have had a […]
Chapter 2. Views of Economic Changes and National Conditions
Like views of the change to a multiparty democracy, enthusiasm for the move from a state-controlled to a market economy has declined considerably in Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine over the past two decades. Of the three former Soviet republics surveyed, only in Lithuania do more approve than disapprove of the economic changes their country has […]
China Seen Overtaking U.S. as Global Superpower
The United States continues to receive positive ratings in much of the world, but it faces the new challenge of doubts about its superpower status. Publics around the world increasingly believe that China either will replace or already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower.
Chapter 3. Global Opinion of President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama remains popular in most parts of the world, and this is especially true in Western Europe, where large majorities express at least some confidence in the American president to do the right thing in world affairs. More than half in Lithuania, Poland, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya also give Obama high […]
Chapter 5. Economic Issues
Despite signs that some countries are recovering from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, economic times remain tough for many around the world. In most of the nations surveyed, people are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country and downbeat about their national economy. The few exceptions to this pattern include publics in […]
U.S. Image in Pakistan Falls No Further Following bin Laden Killing
America’s image among Pakistanis remains poor, and most disapprove of the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden. Extremist groups also remain unpopular, although support for using the Pakistani military against extremists has waned. Most name India as the top threat to Pakistan. Overall, the public mood in Pakistan is grim – 92% are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.
Chapter 1. Views of National Conditions
Pakistanis remain deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country. More than eight-in-ten say the nation’s economy is in bad shape, and most are pessimistic about Pakistan’s short-term economic future. Concerns about rising prices and the lack of jobs are widespread, and about nine-in-ten also rate crime and terrorism as very big […]