NEWS20 August 2014

Unemployment fears lead worries across the globe

Europe News

GERMANY — Almost a third of people questioned in a global study on the challenges of nations cited unemployment as their major concern, followed by the health service and education.


At the bottom of the challenges list was corruption, poverty and traffic policy. The research by GfK Verein, a non-profit organisation for the promotion of market research, questioned 19,767 people across 17 countries mainly in Europe, but also South Africa, Nigeria, US and Brazil.

The organisation said the answers represent the social, economic and political concerns of more than a billion people and the results from the individual countries have been weighted according to the respective proportion of their population.

In 11 of 17 countries surveyed, unemployment was at the top of the rankings. The concern is most prominent in Spain, mentioned by 74% of respondents, closely followed by France with 67%.

Concern about health service is in second place, with 17%. This concern ranks highest in Brazil, followed by Poland and Nigeria.

Education policy is in third place with 13%, a particular concern for Nigerians ( 35%) and Brazilians ( 32%) but also 24% of Swedes would also like improvements in education policy. Overall, however, in more than half of the countries surveyed, less than 10% of citizens are concerned about education.

In the ‘Challenges of the Nations’ study, the average number of problems discussed by people in each country varied. There was an average of 3.6 answers per person, but the most problems expressed were from Nigerians. The most critical Europeans are the Germans and the French, who cite an average of 2.6 and 2.5 problems, respectively. 

Those countries with below-average levels of concern are Switzerland ( 1.7 challenges) and South Africa ( 1.6 ), as well as Turkey and the US, each with an average of 1.5 answers per person. Sweden, traditionally the European country with fewest concerns – and now by global standards as well – keeps an unchanged figure of just 1.2 topics.