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What are Poles and Hungarians most worried about?

Warsaw, Poland – An extensive international Ipsos poll, released last month, sheds some light on the most worrisome issues for citizens around the world, including Poland and Hungary.

Poles and Hungarians mostly sceptical about country’s current path

According to the survey, only a minority of Poles (42%) and Hungarians (31%) believe their country is currently going in the right direction.

These results are, however, in line with those of the rest of the world, as only a handful of countries has a majority of its population thinking their country is on the right track: China (94%), Saudi Arabia (78%), India (73%), Malaysia (60%) and Australia (50%).

In that regard, Poland is still one of the most optimistic countries in Europe (see graph below).

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Brits, French, South Africans, Belgians and Spanish nationals are, on the other hand, the least enthusiastic about their respective country’s prospects.

Unemployment and poverty are world’s biggest challenge

Respondents were then asked to pick three topics they found the most worrisome for their country, among a list of over a dozen.

According to Ipsos, the two most worrisome issues for the population worldwide are ‘Unemployment and Jobs’ and ‘Poverty and Social Inequality’, with 32% of the world’s population naming them as the most pressing issues.

Citizens in South Korea, South Africa, Italy, Spain and Serbia were the most preoccupied about the situation of their country’s labour market, contrary to Germans, Poles, U.S. citizens, Israelis and Brits, for whom unemployment doesn’t appear to be that much of an issue.

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‘Crime and Violence’ was the third most worrisome issue identified by respondents in the world (31%). But according to the results of the survey, Hungarians and Poles have rather different issues to worry about.

Hungarians most worried about healthcare, corruption and poverty

In Hungary, the most pressing issue identified by respondents was healthcare (69% of respondents naming it among the top 3 worrisome topics, the single highest rate in the world), followed by financial and political corruption (53%, fourth highest worldwide) and poverty and social inequality (49%, third highest after Russia and Serbia).

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Hungarians were also mildly preoccupied about the state of education (28%), unemployment and jobs (17%), climate change (13%) and crime and violence (11%, second lowest rate after Russia).

Other topics that make only a small share of respondents uneasy include Hungary’s moral decline (10%), threats against the environment (7%), taxes (7%), rise of extremism (7%), inflation (6%), immigration control (5%), terrorism (4%), maintaining social programmes (4%), childhood obesity (2%) and access to credit (2%).

Healthcare, taxes and corruption most worrisome for Poles

The first obvious difference with Hungary is that Poles’ main concerns are much less polarized, but distributed between a wide range of topics (Hungarians’ worries were mostly concentrated in a handful of specific issues).

Although their main preoccupations also vary,  some similarities can be found. For Poles, the most worrisome issue in 2019 is also healthcare (54%, second highest after Hungary),  followed by taxes (28%) and financial and political corruption (27%).

Polish nationals are then mildly concerned about a wide range of issues, like climate change (23%, quite high compared to world’s average), threats against the environment (19%), moral decline (19%), poverty and social inequality (18%), education (16%), maintaining social programmes (16%) and crime and violence (15%).

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More minor concerns include inflation (11%), childhood obesity (11%, although second highest in the world after Saudi Arabia), rise of extremism (10%), unemployment and jobs (9%), immigration control (6%), terrorism (5%) and access to credit (3%).

For more info or to check the results for your own country, visit Ipsos’ “What Worries the World” report.

The survey was conducted this summer in 28 countries among adults aged 18 to 64.

The countries taken into account in the report are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S.

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