COVID-19 is the biggest global concern in 2022 – Ipsos survey
COVID-19 is the biggest global concern in 2022 – Ipsos survey

COVID-19 is the biggest global concern in 2022 – Ipsos survey

  • The Omicron variant has pushed COVID-19 back to the top of the world’s list of concerns, latest Ipsos data reveals.
  • 63% of the 28 countries surveyed claim that their country is heading in the wrong direction.
  • But Chile, the Netherlands, Mexico, Hungary and Turkey all registered some New Year’s optimism.

COVID-19 is currently at the top of the list of world concerns, according to the latest research from Ipsos, where 35% say it is one of the biggest social and political issues facing their country today.

The Ipsos data surveys respondents in 28 countries and analyzes the world’s concerns between 23 December 2021 and 7 January 2022.

After COVID-19 is top five remaining social and political issues The worrying public in January 2022 is as follows: poverty and social inequality (31%), unemployment (28%), financial and political corruption (27%) and crime and violence (26%).

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread around the world at an unprecedented rate. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become apparent.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, companies and individuals understand the new risks and consequences generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications a companion for decision – makers based on the forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 dominates corporate risk perceptions.

Companies invited to participate in the work of the forum to help address the identified new risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the whole COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications Report hereand ours impact history with further information.

Omicron pushed COVID back to the top

The rise of the Omicron variant has pushed COVID-19 back to pole position after dropping to third place on the Ipsos list in November. Over a third (35%) say this is their biggest concern; however, this figure is still lower than the 50% who shared the same view in January 2021.

The countries currently most concerned about COVID-19 are South Korea (58%), Australia (51%), Malaysia (50%) and Canada (48%). Fifth place is shared by Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Saudi Arabia (46%).

A chart showing the biggest concerns in the world over the last year.

Concerns about COVID-19 have now increased for the second month in a row.

Photo: Ipsos Global Advisor

Changing concerns

Russia (53%) is the most concerned about poverty and social inequality, the second biggest concern according to the survey. However, the largest increase in concern is in the Netherlands (plus eight points), while poverty and inequality are the biggest concern in Brazil (43%).

Climate change is currently in 9th place out of the 18 topics in the Ipsos survey, where 15% of the 28 countries surveyed say it is one of the most important challenges facing their country right now.

It reached its highest level of concern (17%) in February 2020 and has stood at 15% or 16% for the last six months.

The countries currently most concerned about climate change are Australia (32%), Canada (30%), Germany (28%), the United Kingdom (28%) and the United States (24%).

An infographic that monitors opinions about how well people think their country is doing.

63% say on average that things in their country are moving in the wrong direction.

Photo: Ipsos Global Advisor

Heading in the right direction?

A staggering 63% of the population of the 28 countries surveyed by Ipsos claim that their country is on the wrong track. However, this has moved two points since last month in a more positive direction.

For the second month in a row, Peru has the largest share (84%) of people who think their country is heading down the wrong path.

But perhaps by channeling some New Year’s optimism, many countries recorded a more positive view, such as Chile (+15) and the Netherlands (+12), while Mexico, Hungary and Turkey were all up by six points.

Future risks

The general lack of faith in the future is echoed in the World Economic Forums Global Risks Report 2022where 89% of respondents thought that the short-term outlook for the world would be “fleeting, shattered or increasingly catastrophic”.

The report also noted that “erosion of social cohesion”, “livelihood crises” and “deterioration of mental health” are three of the the five biggest threats to the world for the next two years.


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