One in seven (14%) global citizens agree 'the world will come to an end during my lifetime', according to a new poll by global research company Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News.
Interestingly, while a relatively large percentage of South Africans believe the world is going to end in their lifetime, only a few believe it will be in 2012, as the Mayans, predicted and even less feel anxious or concerned about the end of days.
Globally, one in every 10 (10%) believe 'the Mayan calendar, which some say 'ends' in 2012, marks the end of the world', and a similar proportion (8%) admit they 'have been experiencing anxiety or fear because the world is going to end in 2012'. The poll was conducted among 16 262 adults in 21 countries.
An impending Armageddon?
Globally, one in seven (14%) agree 'the world will come to an end during my lifetime' – 4% strongly, 10% somewhat – while the rest (86%) disagree – 66% strongly. South Africans are above the global average with 21% (6% strongly and 15% somewhat) believing the world will end in their lifetime.
This view is shared in other countries: two in 10 of those in Turkey (22%), the United States of America (22%), Argentina (19%), Mexico (19%) and Indonesia (19%) agree with the statement, while the strongest disbelievers reside in France (6%), followed by Belgium (7%), Great Britain (8%) and Sweden (11%).
One in 10 (10%) respondents in 21 countries agree 'the Mayan calendar, which some say 'ends' in 2012, marks the end of the world' – 2% strongly agree, 8% somewhat agree. The majority of world citizens (90%), however, disagree with this view: 73% strongly, 16% somewhat and 1% did not express an opinion.
Two in 10 (20%) of those in China are in agreement with the statement, followed on the global list by 13% in each of Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Korea and Japan. On the other end of the scale, only 4% in Germany and Indonesia seem to believe the prophecy, joined by 7% in Great Britain, Italy and South Africa. Here, 2% strongly agree and 5% somewhat agree and place their faith in this calendar, believing that 2012 marks the end of the world as we know it.
These beliefs appear to translate into worry for a 10th of the world population for some, as 8% of global citizens agrees – 2% strongly, 6% somewhat – that they 'have been experiencing anxiety or fear because the world is going to end in 2012'. The vast majority (92%) disagree with the statement (80% strongly, 12% somewhat). Those in Russia (14%) appear to have the highest level of anxiety, followed by Poland (13%), China (12%), Turkey (11%) and Japan (11%). Those in Great Britain (4%) are least likely to agree, followed by 5% in each of Germany, Australia and Canada. There is also a low degree of anxiety or fear about this issue in South Africa – only 6% state that thinking about the end of the world causes them concern. The same proportion (6%) in each of Belgium, France and Indonesia agree.
Percentage who agree that 'the Mayan calendar, which some say 'ends' in 2012, marks the end of the world':
Total - 10%
China - 20%
Turkey - 13%
Russia - 13%
Mexico - 13%
South Korea - 13%
Japan - 13%
United States - 12%
Argentina - 12%
Hungary - 12%
Poland - 12%
Sweden - 11%
France - 10%
Spain - 10%
Belgium - 9%
Canada - 9%
Australia - 9%
Italy - 7%
South Africa - 7%
Great Britain - 7%
Indonesia - 4%
Germany - 4%
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll, conducted between 6 and 20 March 2012, on behalf of Reuters News. The survey is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system.
The countries reporting herein (21) are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.
An international sample of 16 262 adults aged 18 to 64 in the US and Canada, and age 16 to 64 in all other countries, were interviewed. More than 1 000 individuals participated on a country-by-country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample of 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points for a sample of 1 000, and an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points for a sample of 500 - 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of the specifically aged adults in that country been polled.
For the full report, please visit www.ipsosglobaladvisor.com.