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If the last years have shown us anything, it’s that a lot can change, fast. While many events cannot be foreseen, can others? Ipsos asked more than 25,000 people across 34 countries about their predictions for the coming year, with a survey on topics ranging from technology to the environment and world security. This data is based on one survey alone and although it does not focus on additional knowledge of experts and analysts, it does capture a snapshot of sentiments and standpoints in different countries and regions.
As the following chart shows, many people around the globe seem to be in agreement over the likelihood of extreme weather events. Roughly seven in ten people said that next year, we can expect there to be more of these in the country that they live in than last year. This belief was most widespread in Portugal (87 percent), Indonesia (85 percent) and Chile (79 percent). Meanwhile, eight in ten people said that average global temperatures will increase and half of all respondents said that they expect a natural disaster to hit a major city in their country, up from 45 percent last year. People in Indonesia (75 percent), Peru (73 percent) and Turkey (71 percent) were especially likely to think this would be the case.
2024 will also be a big year for elections – even dubbed the biggest election year in history by the Economist – with some 4 billion voters set to head to the polls for regional, legislative and presidential elections across 60 countries. Eyes will turn to the United Kingdom, India, Europe and the United States, where the latter will see former president Donald Trump run for office once more. When asked about the Republican nominee’s chances of being reelected, 35 percent of respondents in this survey said it was likely he would enter office, while 47 percent said it was unlikely and 18 percent said they did not know. Respondents from just the United States answered similarly, with 35 percent saying it was likely, versus 46 percent who said it was unlikely and 19 percent who did not know. Of course, it’s worth noting here that elections are prolifically tough to forecast, with polls frequently inaccurate, based on different methodologies and sample sizes, and that political positions can change over time.
Also highlighted on this chart is the expected likelihood of an increase in immigration worldwide. Seven in 10 respondents say they expect the level of immigration to increase in their country. This is particularly high in Portugal (87 percent), Turkey and Singapore (each with 82 percent), and Italy (79 percent). Last year, we covered topics such as rising house prices in Portugal, at least partly due to “mobile talent” relocating there, while Turkey and Italy have continued to be major migration routes.
Meanwhile, in the world of business, the return to the office after the pandemic-induced shift towards working from home is anticipated by around six in ten respondents. Perceptions differ regionally though, with Asia topping the list for those thinking it is likely office workers will spend more time working in the office than from home: Indonesia (86 percent), Malaysia (78 percent), China (76 percent), the Philippines (75 percent), Singapore (71 percent) and India (69 percent) take the top six positions. West European nations such as France (45 percent), Belgium (48 percent), Sweden (50 percent) and Great Britain (53 percent) are more evenly split over whether this is likely.
This chart shows the share of Ipsos respondents who think the following predications are likely to happen this year (in %).
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