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Synthesis 2013 > France

France 2013

France sinks deeper into pessimism and fear

France sinks deeper into pessimism and fear

The already high level of anxiety in France continues to increase:

  • 11 of the 17 risks tested now seriously worry more than three quarters of the respondents, the same number as in Spain (versus the overall European average of 2/17).

This marks a strong increase (only three out of 17 in 2012).

  • Anxiety has spread to everyday life:

France is currently the only European country where the risk of attack and theft is considered one of the greatest sources of anxiety (41% of French respondents compared with a European average of 30%), ahead of risk of a road accident (38% versus average of 34%). Unemployment ‘only’ comes third (37%; +3).

The French are haunted by the fear of loss of social status:

  • 60% consider they have regressed socially compared with their parents at the same age, which is the highest score of all the countries surveyed
  • A growing feeling of vulnerability: 68% (+7 points) believe they are now more likely to experience financial difficulties than they were five years ago; 61% (+11) believe they are at greater risk of precarity and poverty, and 48% (+7) feel at greater risk of losing their jobs.
  • Despite the existing social protection system, a relative majority (41%; +4)of French people feel less well protected against these risks than they were five years ago.

The French attitude to risk remains ambiguous

  • 67% (+5) see it as a danger to be avoided; 53% (+2)think that to be successful one should be careful not to take too many risks. At the same time 57% (+4) believe that young people should be taught that in life they must know how to take risks and be prepared to pay the price if they fail.

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