The FINANCIAL -- Georgians, along with their neighbors and developing countries around
the world, have high hopes for their economic future, according to joint
survey by Gallup International and Georgian Opinion Research Business
Barometer on Hope and Despair study shows that in contrast, most of the world’s wealthiest countries in Europe and North America expect more trouble ahead.
GORBI and other firms asked poll respondents to give their predictions for their economic future - whether there will be economic prosperity, economic difficulty or the same situation in the coming year. Georgia fell squarely in the optimist camp, ranking 5th out of all 52 countries in terms of hopeful predictions; a full 55% of Georgians predicted a bright economic future and only 12% had a gloomy outlook. Globally, however, people were more likely to express pessimism than optimism; 30% of respondents worldwide said there would be more economic prosperity and 34% foresaw more difficulty. There are contrasts evident along geographic and economic lines.
Countries in Europe and North America were far less optimistic than those in Africa, Asia and South America. Two good examples of this regional divide are France and Nigeria, the least and most optimistic countries from the EOY 2011 study. France recorded a net hope score of -80, which is the percentage of people who expected difficulty subtracted from those who expected prosperity. Nigeria, on the other hand, had a positive net hope score of +80.
Expanding Gap of Hope
These differences are a continuation of similar regional divides from the previous year, but with more countries losing net hope than gaining. Take our previous two extreme examples: France and Nigeria. France’s 2010 net hope score was 22 points higher than this year, while Nigeria’s 2010 score was actually 10 points lower. This is a small example of the global story. Most regions that already had a pessimistic economic outlook became more pessimistic, while those regions that were hopeful in 2010 became a little less hopeful. The only region that maintained their score was Asia.
Georgia’s neighbors that were included in the study, with the exception of Russia who lost 27 points, gained net hope from 2010 to 2011. In fact, Azerbaijan and Turkey had the 3rd and 6th highest increases in net hope of all the countries included, respectively. Unfortunately, Georgia did not participate in the 2010 poll so we have no idea what its score might have been for last year.
GDP and Youth
Two notable trends in net hope are its relationship to the GDP of a country and the age of respondents. Every country with a per capita income of more than $20,000 USD had a negative net hope score, while almost half of the countries below this middle marker had positive scores this year.
Furthermore, across country borders, age seems to play a large part in the outlook of respondents. The global net hope score for those with less than 30 years of age is +9. For those who are 30-50 years old, this score drops below the 0 mark, to -5. The score continues to drop with the age of the respondents; 51-65 year olds had -19 net hope and 65+ year olds had -32.
For this study, GORBI teamed up with firms in more than 50 countries worldwide. There were more than 45,000 people included in the study, and just over a thousand Georgians. The error margins for studies of this kind are +- 3.5% at a 95% confidence interval.
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