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.
People aged under 35 were also likely to see money as the sign of a person’s success with 48 percent believing that statement compared to 40 percent of people aged 35-54 and 35 percent of those aged 55 and over.
Income made little difference to these opinions.
The countries where citizens were least likely to say that money was more important now than previously were the Netherlands at 50 percent, Mexico, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Canada.
The following results table from the survey conducted between November and January begins with countries where citizens were most likely to agree that “money is more important to me nowadays than previously.” All figures are percentages:
Money more important Sign of success
Agree Disagree Agree Disagree
South Korea 84 16 69 31
Japan 84 16 63 37
China 84 16 69 31
India 78 22 67 33
Russia 72 28 55 45
Turkey 71 29 61 39
Brazil 70 30 48 52
Australia 68 32 34 66
Argentina 67 33 30 70
Spain 65 35 43 57
Czech Republic 64 36 36 64
Poland 63 37 44 56
United States 62 38 33 67
Italy 60 40 51 49
France 60 40 32 68
Hungary 58 42 47 53
Belgium 57 43 34 66
Canada 57 43 27 73
Britain 56 44 33 67
Sweden 55 45 28 72
Germany 54 46 33 67
Mexico 52 48 28 72
Netherlands 50 50 29 71
About 1,000 individuals participated on a country by country basis via an Ipsos (www.ipsos.com) online panel with weighting employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflected that of the adult population according to the most recent country census data.
Other Reuters/Ipsos polls can be found here
Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy