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What’s Keeping the World Up at Night?



JWT’s 27-country Anxiety Index study examines

What’s Keeping the World Up at Night?



JWT, today released the results of its latest AnxietyIndex, a 27-country study on the levels and drivers of consumer anxiety around the world. 


JWT’s 10-year-old AnxietyIndex tracks consumer anxiety and, importantly, the drivers of that anxiety. It examines safety and security concerns—the threat of terrorism, potential and current military hostilities, crime, etc.—and economic worries such as the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security. It also uncovers consumer insights that can help inform business and marketing strategies.


“Navigating consumer anxieties is not about exploiting fear—it’s about finding better ways to connect with consumers looking for trust, credibility, reassurance and answers,” says Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT. “Anxiety frequently informs brand and product choices, which means brands must understand those anxieties and address them proactively.”


Which country is the most anxious? Of the 27 surveyed, Pakistan stands out, with nearly 9 in 10 respondents reporting that they are anxious. And what is the biggest driver of anxiety? Globally, the cost of living generates the greatest anxiety, specifically driven by concern about the price of everyday essentials like food and gas. Unemployment is also a major driver of anxiety around the world.


Other topline findings from the study include:

•    Anxieties in Western Europe vary considerably. Concerns about the economy and the cost of living are highest in France and Spain, where they are nearly universal among adults. Finland, Germany and the U.K. are significantly less anxious.
•    In Eastern Europe, Czechs are more nervous than Russians about food prices, their government’s budget deficit and corruption. Russians, meanwhile, are among the most worried in the world about the safety of their food supply.
•    In Japan, anxiety is high over the budget deficit and, understandably, natural disasters. South Koreans worry most about gas prices and employment, while anxieties in China and Hong Kong mirror those seen in the rest of the globe.
•    In the Middle East and Africa, anxieties around the rate of crime peak among South Africans and Pakistanis. Prices around everyday essentials, like gasoline and food, as well as unemployment are also driving anxiety in these markets.
•    In South Asia, Indonesians are among the most concerned worldwide about corruption, while Indians worry not only about factors that impact them directly (gas prices and their government’s deficit) but also about greater social concerns like global warming.
•    The economy and the current cost of living are the greatest drivers of anxiety in North America, with Americans significantly more worried about the state of the economy than Canadians and others across the globe.


JWT’s latest AnxietyIndex is the result of a 27-country study conducted using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool, from Oct. 1–10, 2012. JWT polled 225 adults aged 18-plus in each of the following markets:

  • Western Europe: Finland / France / Germany / Italy / Spain / UK
  • Eastern Europe: Czech Republic / Russia
  • Middle East/ Africa: Egypt / Pakistan / Saudi Arabia / South Africa
  • North Asia: China / Hong Kong / Japan / South Korea
  • South Asia: Australia / India / Indonesia / Singapore / Thailand
  • North America: Canada / United States
  • South America: Argentina / Brazil / Colombia / Mexico


The topline AnxieytIndex report can be found on the Trends and Research page of  Also available: a 2-minute video and animations highlighting some of the survey results. 

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Wunderman Thompson Singapore, Thu, 22 Aug 2013 04:16:07 GMT