Egyptians see economy improving, have confidence in gov’t: poll

Following three years of political and economic turmoil, a recent Gallup poll indicates the confidence of Egyptians in the current government has increased this year, along with outlooks on life and the economy in general.

Gallup, an American, research-based consultancy company, conducted interviews in June with 1000 adults (over 15 years-old) in Egypt.

According to the poll, only 16 percent of Egyptians consider themselves to be “suffering,” a huge decrease in the record high of 34 percent last year. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who say they are “thriving” has nearly doubled from that of the last three years, rising from 8–9 percent to 17 percent.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said the economy is improving, compared to a staggering 80 percent, who said it was getting worse last year. Although Gallup emphasizes that these views were expressed before the announcement of the Suez Canal project and investment campaign, “so Egyptians were likely expressing more of a hope for improvement than actual macroeconomic improvements.” 

A discrepancy in age is apparent in the survey, with younger people showing a more skeptical view on the economy. Forty-seven percent of respondents between the ages of 15–29 said the economy is improving, compared to 62 percent of those aged 50 and over.

Seventy percent of respondents also expressed confidence in the current government, led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, compared to 29 percent, who expressed confidence in the former government, led by Hesham Qandil.

An age difference is also apparent in these statistics, with 70 percent of those aged 30–49 confident in the government, compared to 81 percent of those aged 50 and older.

Other polls conducted by Gallup showed that Egyptians had rated their lives as worse than before Mubarak’s fall. “In the weeks leading up to the removal of their first democratically elected president in 2013, Egyptians gave some of the worst ratings they ever have,” according to Gallup.

“If there is one thing that has become apparent, it is that Egyptian attitudes have proven fleeting,” Gallup said. “Despite the relatively positive outlook expressed in June, if the country does not make major headway on some of the underlying causes of unrest and social disenfranchisement, including unemployment, basic services, and financial and administrative transparency, the tide could once again shift strongly against the current leadership.”

The typical sample size for a Gallup poll is 1000 national adults. After the data is collected, each respondent is given a weight according to demographics — gender, age, education, region, and so on, to attempt to produce data that is representative of the wider population.

Critics often highlight the failings of such polls, including lack of cultural knowledge, leading questions, prevalence of censorship in the current climate and how representative those reached by consultancy firms actually are. 


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