MEDIANS of about seven-in-ten across 27 nations polled say their countries have become more diverse and gender equality has increased over the past 20 years, a new Pew Research Center report finds.
However, about six-in-ten across the countries surveyed say that family ties in their countries have weakened in the same 20-year span. A median of 37 percent also say that religion plays a less important role in their countries than it did two decades ago, while 27 percent say it plays a more important role.
These are among the results of a survey Pew Research Center conducted among 30,133 people in 27 countries in spring of 2018. Key findings from the survey are:
Across the world, there is strong consensus among people that diversity has increased in their countries. And for the most part, that diversity is welcomed. A median of 23 percent oppose increasing diversity in their country – they view more diversity as a bad thing or less diversity as a good thing for their country – but overall, more people favor a more heterogenous society (median of 45 percent). Two exceptions are Greece, where 62 percent oppose a more diverse country, and to a lesser extent Italy, where 45 percent oppose diversity. But in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia and Spain, roughly six-in-ten say they are in favor of more diversity, as do 76 percent in Indonesia and 68 percent in South Korea.
Majorities in 23 of the 27 countries surveyed believe that equality between men and women in their country has increased in the past two decades. The countries with the highest and lowest shares saying gender equality has increased can both be found in Europe. In Sweden – one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality – 80 percent say equality has increased in the past two decades. Hungarians, however, have seen much less positive change in their country, which is one of the European Union’s least egalitarian nations, according to the same source. Fewer than a third of Hungarians (29 percent) believe gender equality has increased in their society.
Opinions vary widely across the countries surveyed on whether religion plays a more or less important role compared with 20 years ago. Those saying religion plays a more important role range from seven percent in Spain and eight percent in Japan to 83 percent in Indonesia and 65 percent in Nigeria. In Europe, North America and Australia, ideology is linked to whether people want a more prominent role for religion in their country. In the US, for example, people on the right end of the political spectrum (those who consider themselves somewhat or very conservative) are 42 percentage points more likely than those on the left to favor a larger role for religion in their country. While this is the largest political divide measured, substantial differences exist between left and right in many countries.
Across the countries surveyed, almost six-in-ten (58 percent) believe family ties have gotten weaker over the past 20 years. This includes 64 percent in the US and a median of 59 percent across 10 European countries. The view that the strength of family is declining is also found in the Middle Eastern, sub-Saharan African and Latin American publics surveyed. When asked about whether the change in family ties was a good or bad thing for their countries, half or more in every country surveyed (except Indonesia and the Philippines, where people say family ties are strengthening) said this was a bad thing. And majorities in every country surveyed are in favor of strengthening family ties. –Pew Research Center
(Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. The findings are for immediate release and available at https://www.pewglobal.org/2019/04/22/a-changing-world-global-views-on-diversity-gender-equality-family-life-and-the-importance-of-religion)