Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Angst – the Germans really know what that means

german-large-flagGermans come out on top again but this time it’s no laughing matter.

They are now the biggest worriers in Europe despite having a strong economy and one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the EU.

Ireland and Sweden were the most laid back with the British somewhere in the middle of the 12 countries surveyed by German research organisation GfK Verein.

In Britain unemployment and immigration were the top sources of worry followed by economic stability, the NHS, social security and crime.

Unemployment is the top concern across Europe followed by inflation and economic stability. No-one seems concerned any more about the environment and climate change (apart from our politicians). People have more pressing concerns.

A German writer Stefan Ziedenitz said; “logically if you have more to lose you worry more than if you have nothing to lose…. Germans are afraid of change because it could only be for the worse”. The more you have the more you want to preserve it and the less likely you will risk any change.

Over 13,000 people were interviewed in Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Sweden.

The top worries Europe-wide were:

  • unemployment (37% of all responses)
  • inflation (top in Russia)
  • economic stability (top in Netherlands)
  • the health system
  • rent & housing
  • governance
  • pensions
  • education
  • corruption
  • crime

The finding take some pressure off France which had the reputation in 2011 for being the most miserable country