International COVID-19 tracker update: 25 May

Matthew SmithLead data journalist
May 25, 2020, 8:20 AM UTC

Latest round-up of YouGov’s coronavirus survey results

Perceptions of the situation at home…

Singaporeans have seen the greatest uplift in confidence that the coronavirus situation is getting better at home, with an eleven-point increase to 69%.

Also experiencing large boosts were Poland (up 9pts to 49%) and the Philippines (up 7pts to 46%).

 

The French, meanwhile, are now less sure than they were that the country is turning the pandemic around. While last week two thirds of French people (67%) said they thought the situation nationally was getting better, this has now fallen to 57%.

The UAE also saw a six point drop in the number of people thinking things are improving in their nation (to 48%), and the UK saw a five-point decrease (to 58%).

…and abroad

In terms of the global situation, there has been notable upticks in optimism in Hong Kong (where the proportion believing things are getting globally is up 9pts to 53%), Taiwan (up 9pts to 55%), Vietnam (up 8pts to 60%), Poland (up 7pts to 57%) and China (up 5pts to 35%).

Britons have seen the sharpest fall in the number of people thinking that worldwide the coronavirus situation is improving, falling eight-points to 45%. There were also decreases in Spain (down 6pts to 55%), France (down 5pts to 42%) and the UAE (down 5pts to 42%).

 

Coronavirus worries

Our new tracker questions are now also looking at how worried people are about various possible consequences of the pandemic.

Indonesia consistently comes across as the most worried, topping five out of the six charts, and coming second in the sixth.

Nine in ten Indonesians say they are very or fairly worried that friends or family members could become seriously unwell or die; that their finances will be negatively affected; and that there will be lasting damage to society (this was the only measure in which they were not top, marginally behind Spain on 91%).

 

Eight in ten Indonesians are likewise worried that they personally will become seriously unwell or die, or that they will lose their job. Two thirds (69%) are concerned that their children’s education will be damaged as a result of the upheaval caused by the virus.

Malaysians, Filipinos and Mexicans also tended to come close to the top in each category. At the other end of the table, those in the Nordic countries are consistently among the least concerned (although Swedes are noticeably more likely to be worried that their own or their family’s health might be seriously impacted than other Scandinavians).

See all worries data here

Happiness levels

The French have seen the most noticeable boost in happiness since we started tracking the national mood. In late April, asked how they felt compared to two weeks before, 12% said they felt happier and 29% said the felt less happy, a net score of -17. Two weeks later that score had improved to -1, while as of 14 May it had reached +17, with 30% saying they feel happier than a fortnight previously compared to only 13% who say they feel less so.

Happiness levels have also noticeably improved in Thailand (with net score up 12pts to to +17), the Philippines (up 11pts to +4) and Denmark (up 11pts to +7).

 

Government approval

Approval in the US has fallen to the lowest level yet, with only 43% approving of the government’s handling of the situation compared to 52% who disapprove.

This puts the US at a comparable level with Spain (42% approve, 54% disapprove) and Mexico (44% approve, 50% disapprove). The Trump administration has yet, however, to plumb the depths occupied by the French government, which only 34% approve of compared to 62% who disapprove.

At the other end of the table, the Vietnamese government retains near universal approval for their globally-lauded response to the outbreak, with an approval rate of 98%.