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Research - 03.01.2024 - 09:00 

Hope Barometer 2024: What gives people in Switzerland hope

Since 2009, the Hope Barometer has been conducted annually in November for the coming year in an internet survey in collaboration with the medium '20 Minuten'. HSG researcher Dr Andreas Krafft has compiled the results. His conclusion: Satisfaction and confidence in one's own life are relatively strong among people in Switzerland. However, this contrasts sharply with dissatisfaction and pessimism regarding social developments.

Dr Andreas Krafft, Research Associate for Future Studies at the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St.Gallen and Co-President of the Swiss Association for Futures Studies swissfuture, summarises the findings of the Hope Barometer 2024 as follows:  

Results of the survey

  1. Satisfaction with and confidence in one's own life are relatively strong and contrast sharply with dissatisfaction and pessimism regarding social developments.
  2. Young people are more dissatisfied, more hopeless, believe less in the good, have lower self-esteem, feel less emotionally and socially comfortable and value sustainability less than older people.
  3. The outlook for the quality of life in 20 years' time has become gloomier year after year. The threat of a long-term crisis scenario has increased in recent years, while belief in a long-term prosperity scenario has declined.
  4. Neverthelesss, personal hope has remained almost constant at a medium-high level over the past six years, particularly in German-speaking Switzerland.
  5. The most important personal hopes are good health, a happy family, marriage or partnership, harmony in life, personal self-determination, good relationships with other people and a meaningful job. Money, career and sex come last.
  6. The most important sources of hope are good experiences in nature and the support of family and friends, followed by personal strengths and social care. 
  7. Belief in people's helpfulness and kindness has increased significantly. At the same time, belief in a good and just world has decreased. Self-esteem has remained constant at a high level.
  8. Personal growth, community and security are easily more important to people than sustainability. Religious or spiritual belief is only important to a minority.
  9. There is a positive correlation between hope, meaning in life, the desire for personal growth, community, sustainability, self-worth and believing in the good and happiness in life.
  10. While physical health declines with age, mental health and emotional, psychological and social well-being increase with age. 

Creating new desirable images of the future

Andreas Krafft derives three central hypotheses, which he presents for discussion in the study:

  1. As long as concerns about a future full of crises and conflicts have a stronger impact than the desire and longing for a sustainable, peaceful and just world, this will lead to increasing social and political polarisation.
  2. However, it is not so much the fear of an uncertain future as the lack of belief in a better social future that is increasingly causing helplessness, a lack of prospects and indifference, especially among young people.
  3. For this reason, new positive narratives of desirable visions of the future must be generated in both personal and social life so that people are increasingly committed to common goals in their private, professional and social lives.

About the Hope Barometer

Since 2009, the Hope Barometer has been conducted annually for the coming year in a large internet survey with the support of the daily newspaper ‘20 Minuten’. Starting in Switzerland, the survey is now also conducted in collaboration with renowned universities in Australia, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, India, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. This report presents the latest results of the November 2023 Hope Barometer in Switzerland. The public was asked about their expectations for the future in various areas, about long-term social future scenarios, about their personal hopes, about the sources of hope and about their values, world view and self-image.

More on this topic in the podcast with Dr Andreas Krafft on spiegel.de (in German).

Image: Adobe Stock / Lux Images

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