Economist Intelligence Unit survey measures levels of citizen satisfaction across 50 countries.

China is the most optimistic country in the world, with over 91.4 per cent of citizens believing their country is advancing towards a better society in the next decade, according to a report released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The report (Priorities of Progress – understanding citizens' voices) was based on a global survey of 50 countries to examine how well societies are meeting the demands of the people, how citizens feel about their countries' progress and how countries' development matches citizens' vision of society.

The survey, released last month, showed that respondents in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa were more content with their countries' governance compared with people in the OECD region. More than 70 per cent of respondents in China, Indonesia and Vietnam believe that their country is moving towards a better society, while the number in the US is 38 per cent, and Germany and Italy 12 per cent.

The report also indicated that developing countries are embracing science and technology for better development. India and China are strongly competitive in such areas as artificial intelligence and digitalization, and leapfrog innovation is helping Africans overcome infrastructure constraints.

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Healthcare was highesty on citizens' priorities, followed by social protection, access to education, public order, transport infrastructure and the environment.

The EIU survey found that, over the 50 countries, only 29 per cent of respondents were content with how their society is being run, and less than half (43 per cent) were content with the "way society has treated me".

Economic opportunity was a predominant anxiety: 34 per cent were dissatisfied with economic opportunity in their lives, making it the biggest single source of frustration next to healthcare, with which 30 per cent were dissatisfied.

Countries with more positive citizens include China, where 70.2 per cent were "content" with how the country is being run, while Thailand (54 per cent) and Ethiopia (54 per cent) are also hitting majorities. At the other end of the scale was Nigeria, where 80 per cent of people did not feel content with the running of their country.

Others with majority malcontents included Peru and Italy (76 per cent), Russia (68 per cent), Colombia (66 per cent), and Hungary (62 per cent).

There was more optimism about the future, the EIU survey said. There was an even split across the 50 countries about whether humanity is moving towards a better society overall, with 34 per cent agreeing and the same share disagreeing.

There was slightly more optimism at the country level, with 40 per cent believing their country to be moving towards a better society versus 35 per cent that did not.

The largest majority, 40.5 per cent, said they expected their country to have made some progress towards a better society, and only 21.4 per cent expected their society to change for the worse.

Chinese respondents were the most optimistic, with 91.4 per cent believing their country will have made progress towards being a better society in the next 10 years, and only 3.3 per cent fearing changes for the worst.

Other countries optimistic about the future include Australia (67.3 per cent) and South Korea (69 per cent). Countries with a gloomier outlook include Germany, where 47 per cent expected changes for the worst.

Moreover, 44 per cent of Swedes and Japanese, as well as 40 per cent of Hungarians, expected the future to be more negative.

Content sourced from the People's Daily Online here