Mumbai: Extreme poverty is a more serious problem for the world than climate change, terrorism or the state of the global economy, according to a new annual global poll across 23 countries conducted for BBC World Service.
When more than 25,000 people interviewed by GlobeScan were asked to say how serious they thought each of a range of global problems were, the following percentages of people rated these issues as 'very serious':
- 71% extreme poverty
- 64% the environment or pollution
- 63% the rising cost of food and energy
- 59% the spread of human diseases
- 59% terrorism
- 58% climate change
- 59% human rights abuses
- 58% the state of the global economy
- 57% war or armed conflict
- 48% violation of workers' rights
In this year's poll, poverty was rated as the most serious global issue in 10 of the countries polled, including in the UK, US, Kenya, Australia, Brazil and Chile. However, in Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria more felt that the rising cost of food and energy was very serious.
The poll, which was conducted before the Copenhagen summit took place, also found that the Japanese were the only nation to regard climate change as the most serious global issue – although the Chinese and Costa Ricans identified environmental issues more generally or pollution as the most serious.
The Chines ranked climate change as the second most serious issue, whereas Americans ranked it ninth.
The poll also found that Indians and Pakistanis rated terrorism as the number one concern, and a number of countries which have experienced terrorism also rated it among the top three most serious global problems – Indonesia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.