WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Personal economic problems overshadow the multitude of troubles Pakistanis said their families faced in late 2009, including the sharp spike in suicide attacks. A majority of Pakistanis (51%) identified high costs, financial problems, and poverty as the most important problems facing their families, far more than unemployment (16%) or suicide attacks (10%).
Not all Pakistanis give these problems the same weight, however. In Pakistan's North West Frontier and Baluchistan provinces, residents' personal economic problems still dominated, but a quarter of residents in these provinces identified suicide attacks as the single most important problem facing their families. Residents in North West Frontier Province, where suicide attacks soared last year, were nearly three times as likely to mention suicide attacks as unemployment.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed last week's talks between the United States and Pakistan as a "new day" in relations. Although few Pakistanis approve of U.S. leadership, these Gallup data suggest they would likely be interested in how a more wide-ranging and long-term relationship could ease their top concern -- their personal economic situations -- more so than other concerns such as security.
For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,147 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted Nov. 14-Dec. 7, 2009, in Pakistan. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.7 percentage points.
FATA/FANA were excluded. The excluded area represents less than 5% of the population. Please note improved sample coverage and change in data collection agency beginning June 2009 measurement. The survey included Azad Jammu and Kashmir, but sample sizes were too small to report results. Maximum margin of error by region in both survey waves ranged from ±6 percentage points in Punjab to ±11 percentage points in Baluchistan.