The Ipsos Global Trends survey is the largest study of its kind, providing a unique snapshot of the world today. It explores the attitudes and behaviours of over 18,000 consumers and citizens in 23 key countries around the world and with over 400 questions, covers everything from tradition to trust, from brands to business, from society to social media and much, much more.
Our analysis features both ‘Megatrends’ – the known technology, demographic and environmental changes happening now and in the future – alongside eight global master trends. We also share the full data, which shows trends from our 2014 study along with downloads for additional material.
Before exploring key trends from our research, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the underlying demographic, economic and social changes that provide the backdrop to this report.
The rise of populism has become a global obsession in the last year, driven by the major upsets in Brexit and Donald Trump’s Presidential election victory, but with echoes in many other countries throughout the world.
Scientists tend to enjoy high levels of public trust, but on the environment, the global public is finely split – 47% agree that “even the scientists don’t really know what they are talking about on environmental issues”, and 44% disagree.
There’s an accepted wisdom nowadays that trust in business is broken. But is it? And is the extent of the problem the same, around the world?
People have always been sensitive to change and it is sometimes said that it is the only constant.
Is the liberal dream of societies open for trade with religious and sexual freedoms, the right to equality and personal autonomy now dead?
In line with a broader shift towards nostalgia and tradition in the survey, there are signs that the move towards more liberal attitudes on the role of women in society may be slowing.
One of the overarching themes emerging from this year’s report is a sense of anxiety.
Around the world, a majority of us say that the older we get, the more we worry about our health – a 14 percentage point increase since we last asked the question three years ago.
Globally, the time we spend looking at media is increasing and fragmenting simultaneously.
With 93% of connected citizens globally using the internet every day (more than the 72% that watch conventional television daily), online advertising is becoming more and more important to brands.
This year’s Global Trends survey is a potent reminder of the pressures humans now feel.
One of our key trends this year is the Search for Simplicity and Control – and this is where, in a confusing and complex world, brands remain vital for consumers.
Half the people on the planet now say they couldn’t live without their smartphone (54%).
Would you be willing to give up some of your privacy to simplify your life?
Humanity is healthier than ever – and more able to control and choose its treatments than ever before.
Health and healthcare is on the cusp of a seismic shift. In less than two years your Fitbit may be replaced by a patch, much like a sticker, tracking your health metrics.
We all know that eating right is an important part of a healthy lifestyle – globally, 80% of us think that, of all the things we can do to maintain good health, eating right is the most important.
One certainty is that the world is ageing. The UN estimates that the median age of the world will reach 36 in 2050.
“Most of the threats we face come from the progress we’ve made in science and technology. We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.” – Stephen Hawking, 2016
One of the clearest trends across the survey is a sense of feeling adrift from the past, discontent about our present and unease about our future.
While in the West public concerns about the environment are static, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa lead the world in concern.