Economic Progress

Inflation tops the list of the world’s biggest worries but there’s plenty more on our minds, survey suggests

Close up of the US dollar currency. Inflation is the number one concern for people globally

Inflation is the number one concern for people globally, according to a new Ipsos survey. Image: Unsplash/Engin Akyurt

Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Economic Progress

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  • Inflation is the number one concern for people globally, according to a new Ipsos survey.
  • Concerns over rising prices have persisted for more than a year.
  • Poverty, inequality, corruption and climate change are also major concerns. And a majority believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, Ipsos finds.

“Are you ok?”

It’s a question we might all consider asking friends and family right now as the list of global issues we have to worry about keeps growing.

Inflation is the big concern that’s causing many of us to lose sleep. Rising prices took the top spot in Ipsos's monthly What Worries the World survey.

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Researchers interviewed almost 20,000 adults in 29 countries to gauge what the public believes are the most pressing social and political issues.

Four in 10 surveyed said inflation was one of the most troubling issues affecting their country.

The worry over rising prices is persistent - it’s been the number one concern for six months in a row. The level of worry about inflation has doubled since the start of 2022, when 20% cited it as a significant problem. In this latest edition, Ipsos names Great Britain and Germany as the countries with the most significant rise in inflation worries.

Despite inflation fears, the public's perception of their country's economy is unchanged from the previous month's survey. That might be described as a worry in itself, as 67% of respondents said their nation's economy was in a bad situation economically. Just 33% said their country's economy was in "good" condition.

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A world of worry, topped by inflation

Coping with rising inflation is just one concern among many as we head into the final months of 2022, as the chart below illustrates.

Inflation has risen to the top of the world’s biggest worries in 2022.
As of September 2022, Inflation is the biggest global concern Image: Ipsos

Ipsos says its research shows that “worry about inflation is followed by poverty & social inequality (31%), financial or political corruption (26%), unemployment (26%), and crime & violence (26%), which make up the top five global worries”.

Climate change is another major worry for people in many countries. It ranks 7th in the list, with almost one-in-five (18%) telling Ipsos that it’s a big concern for their country. France has the highest proportion of people worried about the climate (34%).

An anxious wait for solutions

Many governments are implementing measures to reduce inflationary pressures and solve some of the other significant issues their populations are concerned about. However, according to the Ipsos survey, many respondents are not convinced their country is taking the correct approach.

Almost two in three believe their country is on the wrong track to ease inflationary worries.
Almost two in three believe their country is on the wrong track to ease inflationary worries. Image: Ipsos

As the chart above illustrates, just 36% of respondents believe their country is heading in the right direction when it comes to solving major issues of concern. Saudi Arabia (95%) and Indonesia (81%) have the most positive populations. Great Britain and France have seen the largest declines in the number of people who believe their country is heading towards better times, both down by nine percentage points.

One worry that is receding rapidly is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concern about the coronavirus has fallen 23 percentage points since the beginning of the year.

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Economic ProgressGlobal HealthCOVID-19
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