February 18, 2011
Data point: JWT study finds high anxiety in Egypt in months leading up to revolution
It’s been a week since Mubarak stepped down, bringing elation to Egypt. A recent JWT study posted on our sister site, AnxietyIndex, spotlights the discontent bubbling up less than three months before the popular uprising. As seen here, our data from November shows Egypt to be the third most anxious of the 13 countries we’ve surveyed over the past two years. The findings also suggest a general sense of hopelessness, with close to two-thirds of Egyptians saying they had become “more pessimistic about the future of Egypt.”
Much of the anxiety was centered around the economy and the cost of living. More than eight in 10 agreed it was getting harder to maintain their standard of living; only 55 percent expressed satisfaction with their current living standard and current job. Eight in 10 also felt the economic situation was getting worse, resulting in higher levels of violence and crime. And when asked about sources of anxiety specific to Egypt, respondents cited political instability/the government among their key concerns, along with the quality of education and health care.
Ahead of Egypt in JWT’s AnxietyIndex are Japan and Russia, with more than eight in 10 respondents very or somewhat nervous or anxious. In Russia, however, things may be looking up, with high gas prices “oiling the economy.” And while China just replaced Japan’s long-held position as the world’s second largest economy, Japanese consumers started off 2011 more upbeat than they’d been in a while.