New York — Six in ten (64%) global citizens think they need to live better, finds a new survey by global research company Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News, but eight in ten (81%) say they wish they had a recipe or plan for living better.
The poll of 19,216 respondents in 24 countries finds that a majority (73%) think living better requires a plan, but a substantial minority (27%) thinks life just happens and that it is not something you can plan.
A Desire to Improve but Not Sure How to Get There
A majority (64%) disagree (27% strongly, 38% somewhat) that ‘my life is fine the way it is, I don’t need to live better.’ Those appearing to most feel they need to live better and disagree with this statement are from Hungary (89% disagree strongly+somewhat), South Korea (81%), Russia (78%), South Africa (77%) and Turkey (74%). Those most likely to agree their life is fine the way it is are from Saudi Arabia (64% agree strongly+somewhat), India (60%), Sweden (57%), Germany (48%) and Canada (46%).
While they would like to live better, global citizens seem unsure of how to accomplish the goal. The poll finds that eight in ten (81%) agree (42% strongly, 39% somewhat) ‘I wish I had a plan or recipe for living better.’ Those most likely to agree they wish they had a plan for living better are from Indonesia (96% agree strongly+somewhat), China (92%), Brazil (90%), South Korea (90%) and Hungary (89%). Only half (53%) in Sweden feel this way, followed by 64% in Germany and Great Britain, 65% in Australia and 67% in Canada.
Perhaps they are looking for this recipe because a similar proportion (79%) agrees (41% strongly, 38% somewhat) that ‘living better is more difficult than ever before’. The French are most likely to agree with this sentiment (90% strongly+somewhat), with Hungary (89%), Italy (89%), India (87%) and Belgium (86%) next in line. Respondents in Sweden are split on this measure (51% agree), while Indonesia (67%), Canada (72%), Australia (73%), Germany (73%) and Great Britain (74%) join them at the bottom of the list but still hold majority support for the statement.
Some Plan, Some Roll with the Punches
Though a majority (73%) say ‘living better requires a plan,’ three in ten (27%) say ‘living better just happens, it’s not something you can plan.’ This second group of people seems to prioritize taking life as it comes. Those in France lead on this measure by a considerable margin; 67% of French respondents agree living better is not something you can plan. They are followed by half of those in Belgium (49%) and Germany (46%) as well as four in ten of those in Poland (44%) and Spain (41%). Those most likely to seek more control in their lives are in Indonesia, where 94% are planners when it comes to living better. They are followed by South Africa (92%), South Korea (90%), Hungary (87%) and Sweden (87%).
Hints on How to Improve Well-Being
Global citizens were given a list of potential factors in ‘improving your own personal well-being – your general health and quality of life.’ Of these, ‘a stronger economy in my country’ (89% - 56% very important, 33% somewhat important), ‘better living conditions’ (84% - 50% very, 34% somewhat) and ‘strengthen my family relationships’ (84% - 49% very, 35% somewhat) come out as the top three important factors.
Eight in ten respondents say the following factors are also important to their personal well-being: ‘eat better’ (81% - 42% very, 39% somewhat), ‘more or better sleep’ (80% - 41% very, 39% somewhat), ‘learn something new/find a new challenge’ (79% - 40% very, 39% somewhat) and ‘do more exercise/play more sports’ (77% – 37% very, 40% somewhat).
Whatever the priorities, global citizens agree living better requires a well-rounded approach. Eight in ten (80%) agree (35% strongly, 45% somewhat) that ‘for me, living better is defined more holistically today - it's no longer just about physical or mental health.’ This opinion is held most strongly by those in China, where nearly all respondents (97% strongly+somewhat) agree. They are followed by those in Indonesia (95%), France (90%), Hungary (90%), Poland (88%) and South Korea (85%). Even in Sweden, where support for the viewpoint is lowest, a majority (63%) still agree with the statement. They are preceded at the bottom of the list by the United States (64%), Great Britain (68%), Canada (71%) and Australia (71%).
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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between on behalf of Reuters News. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. An international sample of 19,216 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed between February 7-21, 2012. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points for a sample of 1,000 and an estimated margin of error of ± 4.5 percentage points for a sample of 500 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of the specifically aged adults in that country been polled.
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