Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Divergency

What if you surveyed people in countries around the world to ask for agreement or disagreement to this statement?

The free market system and free market economy is the best system on which to base the future of the world.
Not surprisingly, the number of U.S. respondents who agree is high, but it has dropped over the last eight years, and particularly, it fell precipitously in just the last year from about 74 to 59 percent. (Women and people making under $20,000 disagreed by even larger percentages.)

Part of a graph showing data

I had the most fun looking for the extremes in the numbers (be sure to go to the full report to see the whole graph):
  • Most sure the free market is best: Brazil, Germany, then China (with Brazlians feeling the most strongly about it)
  • Most sure it's not best: France, Turkey, then Japan (with the French feeling the most strongly about it)
  • "Communist" China has the lowest combined disagree score (14% somewhat and 4% strongly), but their agree score wasn't quite as high as the one for Brazil or Germany.
  • The Japanese don't feel very strongly either way (they have the lowest numbers for strongly agree and second lowest for disagree).
  • The Japanese showed the most conformity to the questionnaire by selecting one of the four agree/disagree options, with only 1 percent volunteering that the answer depends, that none of the choices was the answer or that the respondent didn't know; Nigerians and Mexicans were next most likely to follow the questioner's lead with only 3 percent falling into the unaligned middle.
  • Chileans were most likely to go off-script and reject the agree/disagree dichotomy (23 percent), followed by the UK with 19 percent.
The low number of disagreeing Chinese may be skewed by the fact that the survey was done by telephone. I wonder what percent of rural farmers and the poorest factory workers have a phone vs. the upwardly mobile populace?

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