Americans among most dissatisfied in the world and majority want overhaul of politics, health and economy

Despite a large number of Americans calling for political changes, not many are hopeful

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 25 October 2021 19:16
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Americans are among the most dissatisfied with their government, according to a new survey of advanced countries by the Pew Research Centre.

Eighty-five per cent of adults in US who were surveyed wanted significant changes in their political system, while 76 per cent wanted changes to the healthcare system and 66 per cent wanted major changes in the economy.

The survey, which was conducted across 17 advanced economies in February 2021, comes as countries across the world grapple with the Covid pandemic, and shows the impact of the coronavirus crisis on attitudes toward democracy and social reform.

“A median of 56% believe their political system needs major changes or needs to be completely reformed,” the survey found. “Roughly two-thirds or more hold this view in Italy, Spain, the United States, South Korea, Greece, France, Belgium and Japan.”

Citizens in 13 of the 17 surveyed countries said that their political systems needed major changes.

While 85 per cent of surveyed Americans called for complete political reform, the numbers were worse in Italy (89 per cent) and Spain (86 per cent).

Despite the large number of Americans calling for changes in the political system, not many were hopeful – a trend reflected in other countries as well. At least 58 per cent of Americans and South Koreans said that they were skeptical of changes to the political system. Respondents in Italy (73 per cent), Spain (64 per cent) and Greece(58 per cent) expressed similar views.

Only 41 per cent of Americans are satisfied with how the democracy is functioning, the survey revealed.

The US also had the second largest number of citizens calling for changes in healthcare. As many as 76 per cent of surveyed Americans wanted changes in healthcare system, second only to Greece, where 77 per cent sought healthcare reforms.

Among the surveyed Americans, more Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents wanted healthcare reforms in comparison to Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.

The survey also showed widespread discontent among Americans about economic recovery. Nearly 66 per cent in the US expressed discontent with the economy. Only citizens in Italy (85 per cent), Greece (84 per cent), Spain (83 per cent) and South Korea (72 per cent) were more dissatisfied with the economy than Americans, the survey found.

It also revealed that in the US, 80 per cent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents think that major economic recovery is needed in comparison to 50 per cent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents.

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