Europe – the continent of pessimists

According to opinion polls, the number of pessimists in European countries is increasing every year. The absolute leader in the number of pessimistic citizens was Hungary.

Pessimists inhabit Europe – the TNS Opinion & Social consortium, organized by two large research companies, came to this conclusion. A public opinion poll was conducted in the fall of 2007. The vote count showed that the optimistic expectations of Europeans regarding their own future and the future of their native countries fall year by year, which cannot be said, for example, about the inhabitants of the United States – overseas pessimism depends on party affiliation.

The results of a traditional semi-annual opinion poll conducted by TNS and EOS Gallup Europe in the framework of the TNS Opinion & Social consortium from September 22 to November 3 in 27 EU countries, three candidate countries of Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were announced in Brussels on Tuesday , as well as in the territory of compact residence of Turkish Cypriots, which is not controlled by the power of Cyprus.

A total of 30,281 respondents over the age of 15 were interviewed.

It turned out that the majority of EU citizens either adhere to a pessimistic outlook on life – there were 13%, or, like the wise men who saw life, do not expect changes and prefer not to make plans for the future. This position is held by 54%.

Improvements in life in general over the next year await only 30% of Europeans.

Thus, the general optimism index of EU citizens is plus 17 (the percentage of optimists minus the percentage of pessimists), which is 9 points less than in the spring of this year, when the optimistic expectations index was plus 26.

The absolute leader in the number of pessimistic citizens was Hungary. Her “optimism index” turned out to be negative and amounted to minus 22 points. The second place was awarded to the Czech Republic – minus 5 points. In third place was Portugal, which received only one minus on the optimism scale.

The state of the economy of the EU member states did not cause positive emotions among citizens. Thus, 26% of Europeans believe that the situation will worsen over the next year, 24% believe in improvement, and 44% of respondents do not expect significant changes.

The worst people assess the development of national economies over the next year is the people of Cyprus, where the optimism index for national economies is minus 44 points, and Hungary – minus 40.

Ratings of “moods” in the EU countries are a fairly common occurrence. For example, last year Bulgaria was recognized as the most pessimistic of the 28 European states. Its residents were most afraid of losing their jobs, so either until the last they held on to any place they got in a large company, or they looked for work in construction or tourism.

According to other data provided by Emnid, Germany ranks first with similar indicators, where a pessimistic worldview has been a national feature since Nietzsche. We always suspected, and research has confirmed: Germans are world pessimism champions.

But, as it turned out, overseas for some time now they also look stably negatively at life. So, in 2006, 31% of Americans assumed that the next generation of US residents would live better than the current one, 29% were convinced that the quality of life would not change, and 40% – that life would become worse. Moreover, supporters of the Republican Party were twice as optimistic as those who sympathize with the Democrats.

The study was published by the Pew Research Center. It turned out that the mood structure in the United States has changed since 2000.

For example, in 2000, 49% of Americans believed that the next generation would get better and 21% worse. Consequently, on the North American continent, pessimism took up with George W. Bush’s victory and now depends on party affiliation: for some reason, optimists prefer to support Republicans, and Democrats attract pessimists. 7 years ago, the study said, the proportion of optimists and pessimists in both parties was approximately the same.

But, despite these indicators, back in 2005, the Americans were more positive than the Europeans. Harris Interactive has asked the same people in the United States and in 15 countries in the European Union. As it turned out, 58% of Americans and only 31% of Europeans are completely satisfied with their lives.

European optimists then lived in Ireland, where they were 58%, in Spain (56%) and Great Britain (51%). Germany (23% of optimists), as well as Austria (35%) and Belgium (36%) were recognized as the most depressed country.

Russia in such ratings is usually unlucky. So, in 2005, data from a Pew Global Attitudes study in 17 countries would surprise many. It turned out that the countries where there are more optimists than pessimists also include Jordan (69% satisfied and 30% unsatisfied, respectively), Pakistan (57% and 39%) and Spain (51% and 44%).

In European countries, as well as in India, there are much more people dissatisfied than those who are satisfied with everything. In the USA, this difference was only 7%. But the Russians were recognized as convinced pessimists: only 23% of respondents were satisfied with the state of affairs in Russia, 71% were not satisfied.

Once again, only the Germans and the Poles who unexpectedly joined them were able to overtake the Russians – 13% satisfied and 83% dissatisfied.

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