Trust in Institutions: A GlobeScan Insight Report

Trust in government, business, media, and science has increased as people look for leadership

As people look for guidance and hope for solutions during the pandemic and the resulting economic recession, GlobeScan’s Radar survey of 27,000 people across 27 countries shows that trust in institutions such as national government, global business, and press and media has increased compared to 2019. Trust in scientists has also continued to increase, while trust in the medical profession (asked for the first time in 2020) is extraordinarily high in the context of the pandemic – clearly showing that there is overwhelming public confidence in science.

At the same time, trust in NGOs, the UN, and large charitable foundations has remained steady or declined slightly, suggesting these types of institutions may be seen as secondary in the response to the current crisis.

While trust in national governments, global companies, and press and media has increased, these institutions remain much less trusted than others. However, trust in business (as well as in national government and press/media) varies greatly across the 27 countries surveyed, with people in Asia being much more trusting than people in Europe or North America.

Those most impacted by the pandemic express higher levels of trust in business as well as in most other institutions; those who feel that they have been greatly or moderately impacted are generally more trusting than those who have felt little impact. In contrast to other institutions, trust in government remains the same between the two groups on average across the 27 countries surveyed, although there are differences by country.

Younger generations also tend to be more trusting of large global and national companies, as well as NGOs, the UN, and large charitable foundations.

GlobeScan Radar is a global survey conducted online among samples of 1,000 adults in each of 27 countries, weighted to reflect general population census data. The research was conducted during June of 2020.

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For more information, please contact:
Eric Whan, Director,
Tove Malmqvist​, Senior Project Manager,