The past few years have been turbulent times for our world. From a global pandemic that has transitioned into a global inflation surge, the appearance of more extreme weather conditions (record high temperatures) and natural disasters (devastating floods and bushfires), the outbreak of violent conflict in Myanmar and Ukraine alongside rising US-China tensions in the Taiwan Strait, to – most recently – the rise of generative AI sparking fears of large-scale job redundancies, there has been no shortage of challenges.
Time-series data from YouGov Surveys show that the proportion of global consumers who think that the world has gotten worse in the past 12 months has grown from just over half (52%) to almost two in three (65%) over the past two calendar years.
Across global regions, pessimism about the world has grown most starkly in EMEA, from 54% to 72% of all consumers. Even in APAC where a relatively smaller proportion have a gloomy outlook, the percentage of consumers who think the world has gotten worse has since breached the 50% mark.
What issues are consumers in APAC most concerned about?
Latest YouGov Surveys research conducted in March 2023 show that around three-quarters of consumers in APAC are worried about having inadequate household finances due to rising inflation rates (75%) and climate change causing more natural disasters (74%) – with around a third saying they are very worried about each.
Fears of geopolitical tensions leading to interstate violence and nuclear conflict (70%) and the emergence of new COVID-19 strains / other health threats (64%) are the next two issues that weigh on the minds of the majority of APAC’s consumers.
Close to three in five (58%) of consumers in APAC also worry about artificial intelligence replacing jobs done by humans and threatening livelihoods.
The household finance squeeze – where is concern the highest?
Worries about lacking sufficient household finances to cope with inflationary pressures is highest in Indonesia (80%) and Singapore (79%), where some eight in ten consumers express concern.
Three-quarters of consumers in Australia (75%) and India (74%) also worry about this, the next two markets where concern is highest. Australia, however, has the largest percentage of consumers in APAC who are very worried about not having enough household finances – at two in five (41%).
Natural disasters causing climate change – which markets in APAC are most concerned?
Anxieties about the appearance of more natural disasters caused by climate change are highest in Indonesia (83%) and India (80%), with almost half of consumers in India (48%) saying they are very worried about this.
Just under three-quarters of consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore (both 73%) also worry about this, the next two markets where concern is highest, although less than a fifth in Hong Kong (17%) say they are very worried. A third (32%) of mainland Chinese consumers, however, say they are not worried – the highest in this region.
What proportion of consumers APAC worry about geopolitical tensions leading to military conflict/nuclear catastrophe?
Fears about hot wars and nuclear catastrophe amidst rising geopolitical tensions are highest in Indonesia (79%), where some eight in ten consumers express concern (79%), while over a third (36%) are very worried about this – also the region’s highest.
The threat of interstate violence also weighs on the minds of almost three-quarters of consumers in Singapore (73%).
Consumers in Hong Kong (68%) and mainland China (56%), however, are relatively less worried about the eruption of military conflicts compared to other markets in APAC – with two in five (39%) in mainland China unconcerned about this.
The next COVID: how concerned are APAC consumers about new health threats?
More than two-thirds of consumers in India (69%), Indonesia (69%) and Singapore (68%) are concerned about the emergence of new COVID-19 strains / other health threats, with more than a third in India and Indonesia (both 34%) saying they are very worried.
But relatively fewer consumers in Australia (56%) and Hong Kong (54%) are worried about this. Australia also has the largest percentage of consumers in APAC (15%) who are completely unperturbed about the potential damage that another pandemic might bring.
AI is after my job: which markets are most concerned in APAC?
Distress over developments in artificial intelligence (AI) leading to large-scale job redundancies is highest in Indonesia (72%), where close to three in four consumers express worry, followed by India (67%), where two-thirds of consumers say the same.
In contrast, less than half of consumers in mainland China (46%) and Hong Kong (45%) say they are worried about generative AI's threat to job security and livelihoods.
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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 510 and 2,044 for each market. All surveys were conducted online during October 2021, October 2022 and March 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.
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