January 12, 2018

In the latest Ipsos Global Advisor survey, Americans expect that 2018 will be a year of declining American hegemony, but a strong year for the global economy and innovation.

A majority of Americans (51%) believe that there will be a major terrorist attack carried out within the United States in 2018 – just a quarter (27%) believe this is unlikely to occur. Unsurprisingly, as tensions continue to rise between the U.S. and North Korea, nearly half of Americans (47%) believe that the countries will start a war against each other. While war seems inevitable to many Americans, opinions on politics are less certain with a significant portion of Americans (33%) believing President Trump will be impeached in 2018.

Despite fears about imminent war, more Americans believe that 2018 will be a better year than 2017 was (80%), with nearly half of Americans (45%) reporting that 2017 was a bad year for themselves and their family. Many Americans are also confident in upcoming modernization, with half (50%) believing that a driverless car will debut on the road in a developed country in 2018.

A significant number of Americans believe Russia’s influence on the world stage will increase (44%) and China will become the world’s biggest economy (49%). American men are more likely than women to believe that Russian influence will continue to grow (51% and 36% respectively) and that the Chinese economy will become the largest in the world (53% and 46% respectively). The belief that China’s economy will outpace the United States aligns with perceptions that the global economy will continue to grow (43%), and a majority believe that the global economy will be stronger in 2018 than it was in 2017 (62%). Few people believe that there will be major stock market crashes around the world (just 25% of Americans).
Location Impacts Perceptions of War

Many people around the world believe that the United States and North Korea will start a war with each other (42% globally). However, where a country stands on this prediction is directly related to where that country’s capital sits. Looking at the data by distance from Pyongyang, North Korea, it’s clear that those farthest in air-kilometers from Pyongyang were more likely to believe the countries will start a war with each other. A majority, or near-majority, of Columbians (55%), Chileans (51%), Brazilians (50%), and Argentinians (49%) believe it is likely that the U.S. and North Korea will go to war with each other. Each country is over 15,000 air-kilometers from Pyongyang. Significantly fewer Japanese (32%), Chinese (30%) and South Koreans (just 21%) believe that war between the two countries is likely – each within 1,500 air-kilometers of Pyongyang.

Growing global temperatures & China’s economy

There is also a surprising connection between those who believe that China’s economy will grow to be the largest in the world and a prediction that average global temperatures will rise. Globally, those countries that expect China to become the world’s largest economy are also likelier to believe the average global temperature is increasing. Nearly two in five (59%) believe China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, and nearly three-quarters (71%) believe global temperatures will rise.

Likelihood of a major terrorist attack occurring in country & war between the United States and North Korea

A correlation exists geographically between countries that believe a major terrorist attack will occur in their home country and those that believe the U.S. and North Korea will start a war with each other. Those in Latin America believe it is likely that the United States and North Korea will start a war with each other, but do not believe it likely that terrorism will happen at home. Those in western nations are more likely to believe they will experience a terrorist attack at home and that the United States and North Korea will go to war.

Winning the World Cup in 2018 and Optimism about 2018

Much of the globe is optimistic about personal prospects for 2018 – however, many countries who are not optimistic about the chances of their country winning the 2018 World Cup in football are less optimistic about their overall outlook for 2018. Two-third of Belgians (65%) are optimistic about 2018 and just 16% report believing it is likely their team will win the World Cup. Trends are similar in France, Sweden, and Germany. While those who are optimistic about their team’s performance are also excited about their personal futures as well. Brazilians (43%) and Argentinians (41%) are the most optimistic about the possibility of their team winning, and they are also some of the most optimistic about 2018 (84% and 82% respectively).

Russian Influence on the World State and the Growing Chinese Economy

There is a positive, proportionate relationship between how likely it is that Russia’s influence will continue to grow on the world stage and the likelihood of China overtaking the United States as the world’s largest economy. Globally, half (50%) of people report that Russia’s influence on world affairs wills increase and 59% believe China will become the biggest economy. This relationship is mirrored across the globe at the country level. Japan (21%) and South Korea (26%) believe that Russian influence will continue to grow, and just a quarter of Japanese (25%) and a third (37%) of South Koreans believe that China’s economy will be the largest in the world. Serbians (80%) and Turks (74%) believe that Russian influence will increase and that China will become the world’s biggest economy (77% and 71% respectively).

 

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