Our colleagues in JWT have released the AnxietyIndex 2013 Global Report,
its most extensive study of consumer anxiety to date.

Globally, the study found that anxiety is relatively high overall, with 7 in 10 respondents reporting that they feel anxious.  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.

Which country is the most anxious? Of the 27 surveyed, Pakistan stands out, with nearly 9 in 10 respondents reporting that they are very anxious.

Specific concerns vary widely between regions.  Here are some of the topline findings from around the world:

  • 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 and Germany are the only countries where a majority of citizens aren’t 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.
  • Economic anxieties are pronounced in the U.S., where 85% are anxious about the economy, compared with 73% globally and 62% in neighbouring Canada.
  • In South America, personal security and government corruption stand out as stress factors; for instance, 78% of respondents in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico say they are anxious about personal security, compared with 58% of respondents overall. Notably, Brazilians over-index on concerns tied to health care, an issue that was prominent during June’s social protests.
  • 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 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.

JWT's AnxietyIndex is intended to help brands navigate consumer anxiety. In times of heightened consumer anxiety, brands need data about the levels, intensity and drivers of consumer stress that can help them navigate a rapidly changing landscape. AnxietyIndex surveyed 6,075 adults aged 18-plus in 27 markets using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool.


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