Hope and Optimism on Global Peace

Gallup International’s 42nd Annual Global End of Year Survey

October – December 2018

Optimism for the New 2019 Year Continues to Prevail in the World, Although Pessimism Is Increasing

Prospects for a better 2019 year are increasing for a majority of those surveyed in Africa (typically quite an optimistic region despite living conditions), in India, in non-EU Europe, in the USA and in Latin America. Conversely, we also see more pessimism about the year ahead in the Middle East, in Russia, and to an extent in Western Europe.

Over all optimism for the new Year traditionally prevails in the majority of the countries around the world with the exception this year of Turkey, Serbia, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Bosnia (BiH), Bulgaria, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan and Republic of Korea.

Our global survey also asked whether people expect the next 12 months to be more or less peaceful. While 27% of the world expect it to be more peaceful, 35% believe it will be more troubled. Confidence in peace shines brightest in India, Ghana, Albania, Nigeria and interestingly in Pakistan. At the other end of the scale, ongoing weekend protests in France and the ‘gilets jaunes’ see France register as the country where the most (70%) feel next year will be more troubled.

Key Findings

Kancho Stoychev, President GIA:

“For decades the End of the Year global poll is registering a paradox: people living in wealthier countries tend to be more pessimistic about the coming New Year. And vice versa. It seems that the fear of losing what you have is bigger than the fear not to have.

EU is increasingly pessimistic and there is no need to enumerate why. The same is with Russia while optimism for the next year in the USA is the highest it has been for the last decade. The performance of the US economy is possibly a key driver here.

Traditionally in previous decades more people around the World expect a peaceful New Year rather than a troubled one with a permanent exemption: The Middle East. But now for the first time in this century a growing number of West Europeans expect fear a less peaceful next year. The global political order established by the winning parties after the Second WW is rapidly falling apart and the West European nations are concerned about what will come next but also whether they will have a say in as power shifts further to the East.

The big challenge is between the US and China economically and between the US and Russia militarily.  Europe increasingly looks excluded from the debate.”


The Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association in partnership with WIN in 51 countries around the world.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work

A total of 49 270 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 adult men and women was interviewed either face to face (28 countries; n=28578), via telephone (7 countries; n=5922) or online (16 countries; n=14760). The field work was conducted during October – December 2018. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.