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76% of Hungarians in poll say country ‘on the wrong track’

Hungarians worry mostly about healthcare, poverty and inequality, as well as financial or political corruption, the latest international research by pollster Ipsos shows. The poll suggests that terrorism and immigration control, two issues repeatedly linked by the government, seem much less worrisome to the public at large.

What Worries the World, a monthly online survey conducted by pollster Ipsos in a broadly selected 27 countries around the world, including Hungary, summarized the opinions of over 20,000 adults aged 18-64 interviewed at the end of December last year.

The first question asked: "Generally speaking, would you say things in this country are heading in the right direction, or are they off on the wrong track?"

The poll found that the majority of people across the 27 countries think that their country is on the wrong track (57% on average).

China ranked the most satisfied, with 92% of people saying the country is heading in the right direction, followed by India on 72%. By contrast, some 54% of Americans and 65% of British people said they believe their country is heading down the wrong track.

Closer to home, 58% of respondents in both Poland and Russia said their country is on the wrong track, close to the world average. Hungary, however, showed one of the highest rates of respondents believing their country is on the wrong track, at 76%, surpassed in this respect only by Mexico (82%), Italy (82%), and Brazil (83%).

Respondents were also asked to name their top three on a list of various social and economic issues they find the most worrying in their respective countries.

The three major worries for global citizens were unemployment (named by 35% of respondents), financial or political corruption (34%), and poverty and social inequality (34%). These issues were followed by crime and violence (29%), and healthcare (24%).

By contrast, the top three issues for Hungarians were healthcare (where Hungary topped the list with 72% of respondents), financial or political corruption (56%), and poverty and social inequality (likewise 56%, second only to Russia on 58%).

Unemployment concerned only 19% of Hungarians sufficiently for them to name the issue in their top three, while crime and violence worried only 12% of Hungarian respondents.

Strikingly, despite the Hungarian governmentʼs blanket propaganda on the issue, only 11% named immigration control among their major concerns (compared to 40% in Germany and 32% in Italy), while just 3% of Hungarians cited terrorism.

In terms of financial and political corruption, however, Hungarians came in as the fourth most worried citizens among the 27 countries in the poll, after South Africa, Malaysia and Peru.