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Optimism in Nine Predominantly Islamic Countries

Optimism in Nine Predominantly Islamic Countries

Residents in the nine countries included in the Gallup poll of predominantly Islamic countries are generally more optimistic about their personal futures than they are about their current situations. At the same time, residents in several of these countries, particularly Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, feel that their current personal situations are actually worse now than they were five years ago.

Respondents in each country were asked to rate their current situations, their situations five years ago, and their projected situations in five years using a "striving scale", which was represented to them in the survey as follows:

To indicate how you feel about your life at this time, would you use this card? Suppose the top of the mountain represents the best possible life you can imagine, and the bottom step of the mountain represents the worst possible life you can imagine. On which step of the mountain would you say you personally feel you stand at this time, assuming that the higher the step the better you feel about your life, and the lower the step the worse you feel about it? Just point to the step that comes closest to how you feel.

The basic results:

Average Rating of Current Personal Situation on 1-10 Point Scale

 

Kuwait:

7

Saudi Arabia

6.6

Pakistan

6.3

Indonesia

6.2

Jordan

5.9

Morocco

5.3

Lebanon

5.1

Turkey

5

Iran

4.8



By comparison, the average rating of Americans' current situations, based on Gallup polling conducted this past January, was 6.2. Americans' average rating of where the country stood five years ago is 6.9, indicating a decline in perceptions of their situations compared to the past.

Likewise, in just one of the nine predominantly Islamic countries -- Iran -- did a substantial number of respondents say their current situation is better than it was five years ago, suggesting a deterioration in their personal lives, rather than a sense of improvement.

The following summarizes how the residents of these predominantly Islamic countries look at their personal situations today compared to five years ago and compared to the next five years:

Lebanon

Residents of Lebanon are generally negative, particularly in terms of where they are now compared to five years ago, with only slightly positive hopes for the future.

Iran

Residents in Iran are the most negative of all residents surveyed about their current personal situations. Despite this negativity, Iranians perceive that their current situations are better than they were five years ago, and they believe that their situations in five years will be still better.

Turkey

As is the case in Lebanon, Turks see a backward movement over last five years in their personal situations, and Turks' ratings of their current situations remain among the most negative of the nine countries. Turks are somewhat optimistic that their situations will improve over the next five years, but even so, they project them to be worse than they were five years ago.

Morocco

Moroccans are not very positive about their current situations, and see them as only slightly better than five years ago. But Moroccans are very positive looking forward, anticipating a larger improvement between now and five years from now than any of the other eight countries do.

Jordan

Jordanians perceive a significant deterioration in their personal situations now compared to five years ago, but are optimistic that their situations will be more positive in the future.

Indonesia

Indonesians are generally positive now, and perceive that their current personal situations are slightly better than they were five years ago. They are very positive about the future as well, projecting one of the most positive situations five years from now of any of the countries included in the project.

Pakistan

There is little change in how Pakistanis view their current situations compared to five years ago, but -- like residents of Indonesia -- Pakistanis are quite optimistic about the future.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the most positive countries now, based on average ratings of residents' current personal situations, but these ratings represent a slight drop from where Saudis felt they were five years ago. Saudis are positive about the future.

Kuwait

Residents of Kuwait are the most positive about their current situations of the nine countries included in this project, and project the most positive personal situation five years from now.

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