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How do you know you've made it?
Sunday, 22nd December 2013
Source : Ipsos Social Research Institute

Global attitudes on materialism, finances and family;

Pressure felt by half to 'Be Successful and Make Money' but only one third measure success by things they own and majority is optimistic toward self and family for 2014, but only three in ten optimistic toward their country.

A major online survey of over 16,000 people across 20 countries conducted by global research company Ipsos suggests that those in emerging economies might see themselves as more materialistic and feel under more pressure to make money than their counterparts in North America and Europe.

Looking to the future, respondents appear to be considerably more optimistic about themselves and their families than they are about their country.

These findings reflect data gathered as part of the new Global Trends Survey, a study that aims to build a more comprehensive picture of what matters to people globally. The survey has hundreds of questions covering a diverse range of subjects including perceptions of government, our deeper values, views of some of the key challenges facing the world and measures of a wide range of behaviours. Reports on these findings will be released in detail throughout 2014.

Pressure exists to make money but not for defining success

Among the 20 countries surveyed, pressure to achieve financial success seems to matter as half (46%) agree with the statement: ‘I feel under a lot of pressure to be successful and make money.’ This financial concern does not appear to translate into materialism, however, as only one third (34%) agree with the statement ‘I measure my success by the things I own.’

Ipsos’ new Global Trends Survey data finds that there are stark differences across countries when it comes to pressures for financial success and materialism; those in emerging markets feel under more pressure than Europeans to make money and define success by what they own.

Those most likely to agree they feel under a lot of pressure to be successful and make money are from China (68%), South Africa (66%), Russia (66%), India (60%), Turkey (53%) and South Korea (52%) – the emerging economies. On the flip side, those least likely to feel this pressure for financial success are from Italy (25%), Sweden (26%), Japan (29%), France (33%), Belgium (36%), Spain (36%) and Great Britain (39%) – the traditionally developed nations.

Similarly, those from China (71%), India (58%), Turkey (57%), Brazil (48%) and South Korea (45%) are most likely to measure their success by what they own while those from Sweden (7%), Spain (15%), Great Britain (16%), Canada (20%), the United States (21%) and Italy (22%) are least likely to do so.

Optimism appears high for personal life but lower for country

When asked to look ahead to the next 12 months, six in ten (59%) indicate they are optimistic toward their personal lives (‘you and your family’) but only one third (32%) are optimistic about their country.

Those most likely to feel optimistic towards their selves and families are from: South Africa (75%), Brazil (74%), Sweden (73%), Canada (71%), Argentina (71%) and India (71%). Those least likely to hold this personal optimism are from: South Korea (39%), Japan (40%), Italy (47%) and France (49%).

On the other hand, those most likely to express optimism toward their country over the next year are from India (53%), Canada (47%), Australia (47%), China (46%) and Sweden (45%) while those least likely are from France (9%), Italy (10%), Spain (12%), Poland (19%) and South Korea (21%).

Detailed Tables

Table: I measure my success by the things I own
4Hoteliers Image Library
Table: I feel under a lot of pressure to be successful and make money
4Hoteliers Image Library
Table: Looking ahead to the next 12 months, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the following: [individual country]?
4Hoteliers Image Library
Table: Looking ahead to the next 12 months, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the following: [you and your family]?
4Hoteliers Image Library
The survey instrument was conducted in 20 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. For the results of the survey herein, a total sample of 16,039 adults age 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, was interviewed between September 3rd and September 17th, 2013.

Approximately 1000+ individuals were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the United States of America. Approximately 500+ individuals were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.

In countries where internet penetration is approximately 60% or higher the data output is comparable the general population. Of the 20 countries surveyed, 14 yield results that are balanced to reflect the general population: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

The remaining countries surveyed –Brazil (45.6% Internet penetration among the citizenry), China (41%), India (11.4%), Russia (47.7%), South Africa (17.4%) and Turkey (45.7%)—are not reflective of the general population; however, in these less developed countries respondents are deemed to be “primary engaged citizens” as they meet minimum thresholds of education/income and connectivity compared to their fellow global citizens.

The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Bobby Duffy, Managing Director, Ipsos Social Research Institute, Ipsos Public Affairs, London, England,  +020 7347 3267,

Keren Gottfried, Senior Research Manager, Global @dvisor, Ipsos Public Affairs, Toronto, Canada,  416.572.4481,

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

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