Continuing UnHerd’s under-reported series – Ben Page of Ipsos MORI, below, and journalist Gavin Esler, in the orange box on the right, encourage us to be less pessimistic about our world.At a time when many people are pretty gloomy about the state of the world – as Douglas Murray recently noted – several Ipsos MORI studies in 2017 showed that we are often far too pessimistic about both Britain and indeed the world in general.
Whether it’s the murder rate, trends in teenage pregnancy, the number of foreigners in our jails we are far more negative than we need to be – and things are better than we think they are.
Trust is not in inexorable decline – in fact our 2017 Veracity Index found that trust in experts like scientists, professors, the police and even civil servants are all at a historic high.
Looking further afield, our view of what has been happening in much of the world is also too pessimistic;
- There has been a fall of 137,000 people in extreme poverty EVERY DAY for the last 25 years – but only two out of every ten people realise that poverty is reducing around the globe…
- …by contrast, 52% think it has increased.
- And although 85% of one-year-olds have been vaccinated against at least one disease, again, most people think the number is far lower.
So while there are plenty of problems, as we review 2017, let’s remind ourselves that actually the world is becoming a better place in many, many ways – and certainly better than most of us think it is. It’s even the case that other people are generally much happier than we tend to think they are.
Happy New Year!
Introduction to this Under-reported series.
Summary guide to all under-reported articles in this series.