The global survey conducted by the non-partisan, non-advocacy Washington-based think tank used a sample of 43,000 citizens from 38 countries. According to the study, 53% of Greeks responded that life was better in the 1960s, while only 28% said the opposite. Greece’s neighbors in Italy are close to the beliefs of Greeks as 50% of Italians think that life was better half a century ago.
Out of the 38 countries sampled, in 20 of them citizens responded that life is better now than it was 50 years ago, with Vietnam topping the list with 88% of Vietnamese saying that the standard of living is higher today. After Vietnam, India (69%), South Korea (68%), Japan (65%) , Germany (65%), Turkey (65%), the Netherlands (64%), Sweden (64%), Poland (62%) and Spain (60%) are the countries where the citizens say that life is better today.
Altogether, 43% of respondents said that the standard of living has improved in the past 50 years. However, in 18 countries, citizens expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are now. Among them are Venezuela (72%), Nigeria (54%), Lebanon (54%), Kenya (53%), Greece (53%), Brazil (49%), Ghana (47%), Peru (46%), Senegal (45%), Hungary (39%).
Worldwide, people are split on the issue. For instance, 41% of Americans believe life was better then and 37% believe life is better now.
In general, countries that feel better about their national economy are more likely to say life today is better compared with the past. For example, in Vietnam, where 91% say economic conditions are good, a corresponding 88% say life is better for people like them compared with 50 years ago. And in Venezuela, where only 20% say economic conditions are good, 10% say life is better for people like them.