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Chinese most optimistic in the world, reveals global survey

By Samantha Vadas (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2016-01-14 21:15

Chinese most optimistic in the world, reveals global survey

Samdrup Tsewang, 11, is a fourth-grade primary school pupil in Nagqu prefecture. Samdrup hopes to become a teacher when he grows up. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/chinadaily.com.cn] More: Happy faces in Tibet


Chinese people are almost twice as optimistic about the world as those from other countries, while Britons are the fifth most pessimistic, according to a recent survey.

YouGov surveyed more than 18,000 people in 17 countries, and found that 41 percent of internet users in China say the world is getting better. The country's sunny outlook is nearly double the next most optimistic country, Indonesia, with 23 percent and four times the global average of 10 percent.

While it's said in most places the chances of getting killed by another human, life expectancy, poverty, democracy and the rule of law have all improved significantly over the past 200 years, 65 percent of adults in Britain disagree. An analysis of more than 10,000 British people last year found that believing the world is getting better depends significantly on being young, educated and middle class.

But despite being high on the list of countries which are less optimistic about the future of the planet, the British are far less pessimistic than the French. According to the survey, 81 percent of internet users in France say the world is getting worse, while only three percent say it's getting better.

France's bleak perspective comes despite a strong uptick in French optimism about the future of the European Union, which is measured monthly by YouGov's Eurotrack survey of seven countries.

When it comes to gross domestic product per capita and optimism about the world, research shows there seems to be little relationship. The United States has more than 31 percent more GDP per capita than the United Kingdom, however the two countries are equally pessimistic, with 65 percent of respondents saying the world is getting worse.

Meanwhile, Australia, which is the second most pessimistic country, has almost 20 times more wealth per person than the second most optimistic, Indonesia. Only three percent of respondents in Australia believe things are looking up.

In other countries around the globe, eight percent of people in both Denmark and Finland believe the world is getting better compared with four percent of people in both Germany and Singapore.

Research suggests the huge gap between China and the rest of the world when it comes to the fate of the planet reveals something special. The country's sheer rate of growth, a prioritization of health and quality of food are all contributing factors to this belief in a bright future.

The writer is a freelance contributor to China Daily Europe.

 

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