Ireland’s self-awareness hits high note in global survey

Solid knowledge of fundamental facts revealed as Ireland trails only South Korea

Asked what proportion of the country’s wealth is owned by the wealthiest 1 per cent, Irish people said 40 per cent while the actual figure is 27 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

Asked what proportion of the country’s wealth is owned by the wealthiest 1 per cent, Irish people said 40 per cent while the actual figure is 27 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Ireland came second in a 33- country survey testing how much people know about some basic facts of life in their respective countries.

Ireland was second only to South Korea in the study carried out by the polling company Ipsos in a variety of countries across the globe.

The study in Ireland involved a random sample of 1,000 adults who were asked factual questions about a wide range of topics including immigration, the distribution of wealth and the role of women.

Ireland in second place was followed by Poland, China and the United States with Mexico, India and Brazil coming at the bottom of the class.

The same questions were asked across the other 32 countries and the responses were compared to the established facts. The survey showed a wide difference between perception and reality.

Asked what proportion of the country’s wealth is owned by the wealthiest 1 per cent, Irish people said 40 per cent while the actual figure is 27 per cent.

As to what proportion the wealthiest 1 per cent should own, the answer was 23 per cent which came out very close to the actual result.

British people were the farthest out on this issue with people believing the wealthiest 1 per cent own 59 per cent whereas the figure is 23 per cent. Russia came at the opposite end of the scale with people estimating it at 53 per cent while the fact is that the top 1 per cent owns 70 per cent of the wealth in Russia.

Migrant estimates

Argentina, Brazil and South Africa gave estimates the farthest from reality. Almost all countries underestimated obesity among adults.