The Perils of Perception 2016

We’re delighted to share the latest findings from Ipsos' Perils of Perception 2016 Survey. This global survey looks at the gap between people's perception and the reality in 40 countries across the world and examines why people around the world are so wrong about basic facts about their population.

On this site you can take the quiz to see how you compare with other people around the globe as well as see the full results from this study and all of the Perils of Perception work we have conducted over the past few years.

Take the quiz

Do you know how many people are happy in your country? Or what your country's population is predicted to be in 2050? Take the quiz and compare your knowledge and accuracy to people all over the world in the Ipsos Perils of Perception Quiz.

View the slides

This is the latest slide deck from Perils of Perception 2016. This was our biggest Perils survey to date with findings from 40 countries and an updated ‘Index of Ignorance’

Perceptions are not reality

Across all 40 countries in the 2016 study, each population gets a lot wrong. We are often most incorrect on factors that are widely discussed in the media, such as the proportion of our population that are Muslims and wealth inequality. We know from previous studies that this is partly because we over-estimate what we worry about.

But in this new study we also show that we’re often unduly pessimistic about how happy people are and our tolerance on controversial issues such as homosexuality, sex before marriage and abortion.

The intention here is to showcase our findings on the gap between perception and reality and to examine why people around the world are so wrong about basic facts about their population. For the full results of the survey and information on the sources for the actual data, click here.

Bobby Duffy
Managing Director, Ipsos Public Affairs

Visit the archive

We’ve been conducting work on public misperceptions for several years now. From military facts to personal finances we have a wealth of fascinating data which you can explore here.