Global outlook | The Changing Childhood Project | UNICEF x Gallup

Optimism

Global outlook

Are our best days behind us or still to come? See how your take compares with people around the world.

We conducted a survey among 15–24 and 40+ year-olds across 21 countries to explore how childhood is changing.

Read more about the survey
Do you think the world is becoming a better or worse place with each generation?

Answer the question above to learn more about the changing nature of childhood.

Return to the question
% who think the world is becoming a
Better place
57%
Worse place
34%

On average, three out of five young people say they think the world is progressing toward a better future.

% of young people who think the world is becoming a better place100%
Mali29%Indonesia82%
0%

While optimism is common among the young, its degree varies from place to place.

It is highest in Indonesia where 82% of young people believe the world is becoming a better place.

By contrast, only 29% of young people in Mali share this positive outlook for our world.

How do you think young and older people compare in terms of optimism, on average?

Answer the question above to learn more about the changing nature of childhood.

Return to the question

In all but three countries — India, Morocco, and Nigeria — young people express greater optimism than older people.

In some countries, the gulf between the generations is yawning.

In Japan the two age groups have wildly different views about the world's fortunes.

The same is true in the USA…

…and Argentina.

Overall, with each additional year of age, people are 1% less likely to say the world is becoming a better place.

Factors other than age also shape people's outlook. People who report facing personal financial struggles are less likely to be optimistic about the world. In addition, women are 6% less likely than men to say that the world is becoming a better place.

Why do you think young people are more optimistic about the world's trajectory?

Share this story

Learn more about this aspect of how childhood is changing.

OptimismFuture fortunes