Money means more to people since financial crisis: poll

Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:37am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As the saying goes, money isn't everything, but it certainly means more to people now than before the global financial crisis, and especially in China, Japan and South Korea, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

A survey in 23 countries found two-thirds of 24,000 people questioned, or 65 percent, agreed money was more important to them now than previously, with younger people particularly putting more emphasis on money and seeing it as a sign of success.

Citizens of South Korea, Japan and China were the most likely to say money meant more to them now, with 84 percent in each putting more value on cash, followed by India with 78 percent.

People in these countries were also more likely to believe that money was the best sign of a person's success with 69 percent of Chinese and South Koreans linking money to success, followed by India and Japan at 67 percent and 63 percent.

On average only four in 10 people questioned, or 43 percent, thought money was the best sign of a person's success with seven out of every 10 Canadians, or 73 percent, disagreeing that money was the best sign of success, followed by Sweden, Mexico and the Netherlands.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, those nations (saying money was more important now) directly correlate with those who put the greatest weight in money as a determinant of success," said John Wright, a senior vice president at opinion research firm Ipsos.

"With only a few exceptions, we can clearly see the subtle but incredible gulf between the two groups: the value of money and success compared to the values because of money and success."

Men and women were evenly divided on the importance of money with 65 percent of men and 64 percent of women agreeing money was more important now while more men than women, 47 percent to 40 percent, were likely to say money was the sign of success.

Younger people were more likely to put more emphasis on money with 71 percent of those aged under 35 saying it was more important now compared to 61 percent of people aged 35-54 and 52 percent of people aged 55 or over.   Continued...

<p>An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank works next to stacks of one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul February 3, 2009. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak</p>