ABU DHABI -- Egyptians feel less safe now than they did before the uprising that led to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's departure from office. Gallup surveys show 38% Egyptians in July through August 2011 say they do not feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live, down from 51% in June, but considerably higher than in previous years.
At the same time, Egyptians have become less likely to report that they have been assaulted or had their money stolen during the same period. The percentage of Egyptians who say they had their money or property stolen dropped to 8% in July through August 2011 from 13% in November 2010. Those saying they were victims of assault in the same period dropped from 7% to 3%.
Media Matters in Safety Perceptions
There appears to be a relationship between people's feelings of safety and the type of media they used for reports on protests, according to Gallup's surveys in late March and early April.
Egyptians were more likely to feel safe in March and April if they were watching state television for news on the protests (62%) than if they were not (51%). In contrast, those who got their protest news from non-state television stations were somewhat less likely than those who did not to feel safe. Among those who got their news from Al-Jazeera, for example, 58% felt safe vs. 64% of those who did not use Al-Jazeera.
Egyptians were also less likely to feel safe if they used social media (51%) than if they did not (60%). However, a relatively small share of Egyptians -- 8% overall -- said they received protest news via Twitter or Facebook.
The issue of lack of security is a high-profile topic in the media and in political campaigns as Egypt's first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections approach. Billions of dollars are also potentially at stake for Egypt's economy if consumers do not feel safe where they live and work. Further, tourism, production, and other sectors might suffer despite decreasing self-reports of crime. As such, Egyptian policymakers should work on tackling "perceived fear" rather than just security problems, understanding that perceptions can affect the Egyptian economy and political sphere as much as actual crime rates.
For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,121 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted July 25-Aug. 1, 2011, in Egypt. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points. Earlier surveys are based on face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, in Egypt. For results based on the total sample of national adults in these surveys, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±3.1 to ±3.5 percentage points.
The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.