9 June 2021
Public Opinion Survey Ranks Global Priorities for SDGs
Photo credit: Brian-Kraus
story highlights

A survey conducted by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum finds that the top three SDG priorities for the global public are: SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 1 (no poverty), and SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing).

An average of half of the respondents say their government is taking less than its share of responsibility for achieving the SDGs.

This perception is strongest in Hungary, Colombia, South Africa, and Brazil.

A survey conducted by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum has ranked the top SDG priorities for the global public. SDGs 2 (zero hunger), 1 (no poverty), and 3 (good health and wellbeing) emerged as the first three priorities in public opinion, with “remarkable consensus among citizens from all regions of the world.”

Ipsos is an analytics and insights company. Its survey, conducted in partnership with WEF, also finds that governments are more likely than businesses and citizens to be seen as not taking enough responsibility for achieving the SDGs, indicating that governments are perceived as more responsible for the SDGs.

The survey was completed by 20,000 adults in 28 countries between 23 April and 7 May 2021.

After SDGs 2, 1, and 3, nine countries share the next three priorities: clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and quality education (SDG 4).

Only five other SDGs show in the top priorities of any individual country:

  • SDG 13 (climate action) in the UK;
  • SDG 14 (life below water) in Germany;
  • SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) the Republic of Korea;
  • SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) in Belgium; and
  • SDG 5 (gender equality) in India.

In all countries included, an average of half of the respondents say their government is taking less than its share of responsibility for achieving the SDGs. This perception is strongest in Hungary, Colombia, South Africa, and Brazil.

Globally, over half of people surveyed consider business to be doing enough to advance the Goals and that most individuals in their country are committed to achieving them.

About four in ten respondents say businesses in their country is skirting responsibility for achieving the SDGs, and a majority hold this view in Chile, Canada, Turkey, the UK, Italy, Hungary, and Colombia. Another four in ten say “most people” in their country are not doing enough. A majority hold this view in Turkey, Hungary, Italy, and Canada. [WEF press release] [Ipsos press release]

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