21 January 2011 - A new global poll across 12 countries reveals that more than two-thirds of people polled think that economic statistics like GDP are an inadequate way of measuring national progress.
The poll finds that 68% believe that health, social and environmental statistics are as important as economic data, and that governments should also use those to measure national progress.
However, the findings also show that support for going beyond GDP has slipped back in some countries since the last time the survey was conducted, in 2007.
Almost 12,000 people across industrialised and developing countries were interviewed for the poll by GlobeScan, in collaboration with Ethical Markets. The findings show that Germans (84% of whom want governments to also focus on health, social and environmental data to measure progress) are the most dissatisfied with GDP, followed by Brazilians (83%), Italians (79%) and Canadians (76%).
In the UK, where Prime Minister David Cameron has an initiative to develop new measures similar to Canada’s Index of Wellbeing, 70% favour going beyond GDP in measuring national progress. However, support fell from 80% in 2007.
Falls in support, including India (70% to 37%), Kenya (71% to 50%) and France (86% to 72%), are addressed in the report. Support increased in Canada (65% to 76%), Brazil (69% to 83%) and Germany (71% to 84%).
The telephone and in-person survey of 11,969 adults in 12 countries was conducted between June 24 and September 11 2010 by the international polling firm GlobeScan. Results are considered accurate within +/- 3.0 to +/- 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20. The poll is part of a 26-country global study.
Hazel Henderson, President of Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), said: “These findings show that there is very strong public support for going beyond GDP. Yet GDP scorecards are still misleading governments, banks and investors by omitting indicators on future trends and national assets: infrastructure, well-trained workforces and productive ecosystems—all valued at zero in GDP.”
Market predictions of defaults of EU member countries are based on their GDPs—which short-changes their real wealth. Resentment at the unfairness of the bailouts in the EU and USA has emerged as financial markets shifted costs to governments and taxpayers. Many broader indicators now available can help investors and nations find new paths out of austerity and recession, including the UN’s Human Development Index, the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators (www.calvert-henderson.com) and the Green Transition Scoreboard (www.greentransitionscoreboard.com).
These findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar. Radar is a syndicated annual survey of global public opinion, covering a variety of issues around business in society. GlobeScan has been tracking issues and societal expectations for business across the world since 1999. GlobeScan Radar provides global decision-makers with critical insights and comparative country metrics needed to better understand the trends shaping their international business and policy environment. The research program is designed to help shape corporate strategies, policy positions, initiative development, and communications activities.
These results are drawn from fieldwork conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Russia, the UK, and the USA. Interviews were conducted via face-to-face or by telephone between June 24 and September 11. Polling was conducted by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. Some urban-only surveying was conducted in certain developing countries, following generally accepted research standards in each country. The margin of error per country ranges from +/-3.0 to 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil) www.EthicalMarkets.com and www.mercadoetico.com.br is a multi-media social enterprise founded in 2004 in the USA by futurist/author Hazel Henderson. Its mission is to reform markets and grow the green, sustainable economy globally. Henderson and the Calvert Group created the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators www.Calvert-Henderson.com. Henderson served on the Organizing Committee for the European Commission's BEYOND -GDP conference in the European Parliament, Nov 2007 www.beyond-gdp.eu
GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco. www.GlobeScan.com