Which sectors should be nationalised?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
February 25, 2021, 4:39 PM UTC

People around the world have widely varying opinions on which industries should be government run

A survey of over 25,000 people across 24 countries by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project last summer asked people about the relationship between different industries and government, including whether industries should be solely government-run.

Railways tended to be the most popular choice for nationalisation. This sentiment is strongest among Nigerians, nearly half of whom (49%) think railways should be government-run, followed by 43% of Indians and 41% of Turkish people.

In Britain, where railways are not currently nationalised, 28% of people think rail transport should be brought back into public ownership once again.

A third of Indonesians (36%) think that energy companies should be wholly run by the government, as do 28% of Mexicans and a similar number of Saudi Arabians (26%).

Britain is one of the countries where people are least likely to think they should be, at 17%, with Japanese people the least likely of all to think so at just 2%.

Indonesians top the list again when it comes to thinking that major airlines (30%) and major banks (28%) should also be wholly government-run, whereas Egyptians are the most likely to think that newspapers (17%) should be

government managed, as do 14% of Hungarians. The idea of newspapers being nationalised is much less popular among other western nations, with only 5% of people in the United States and 2% of Brits thinking the same.

Other types of industry, such as car manufacturing and consumer goods production are less likely to be thought of as being something that should be government-managed. Nevertheless, around a sixth of Egyptian people (15% and 16% respectively) think the state should own these industries,

Alongside these, social media companies and online search engines are not generally industries people think should be nationalised, with the idea most popular again among Egyptians, 15% of whom think both should be government run,

At the opposite end of the scale only 3% of Britons think social media should be run by the government, and just 1% say the same of search engines, the lowest in the world.

Learn more about the YouGov Cambridge Globalism Project here

See full results here