Thursday, February 4, 2010

Iraqis Largely Positive About The Future

In December 2009 the Gallup company conducted an end of the year study of several countries around the world. They contracted IIACSS to carry out a poll of 1,015 Iraqis, asking them three questions about the future. All three received positive responses.

The first one was would 2010 be better than 2009. The majority, 51%, said that they thought things would be better, compared to 28% who said it would be the same, and 18% who thought it would be worse. 3% had no response.

The second question was what they thought the economy would be like in 2010. The respondents were almost evenly divided between those that thought the economy would grow, 40%, and those who said that it would remain the same, 38%. 18% said it would run into problems, and 4% didn’t say.

The last question was what would unemployment be like in one year. Again, those polled were split with 37% saying that it would fall, while 35% said it would increase.

With attacks and deaths dramatically down from the heyday of the sectarian war in 2006-2007, the standard of living has become the most pressing concern in Iraq. Another poll from December 2009 by YouGov, asked Iraqis what was the most important issue facing the country, and unemployment, and financial insecurity, were two of the three top answers, with security being the third. The new poll by IIACSS reveals that Iraqis are hopeful that the economy will improve in 2010, and that will mean a better life. That’s a marked and positive change from just a couple years ago when Iraq seemed like it had fallen into the abyss. The question now is whether the state-run system in the country can actually provide people with good jobs and a future.

December 2009 IIACSS Poll

1. Do you think that 2010 will be better or worse than 2009
51% Better
28% Same
18% Worse
3% No response

2. Compared with the year 2009, in your opinion will 2010 be a year of economic prosperity, economic difficulty or remain the same?
40% Economic prosperity
38% Remain the same
18% Economic difficulty
4% No response

3. Expectations on unemployment in Iraq in the next 12 months?
31% Fall slightly
24% Remain the same
19% Increase slightly
16% Increase a lot
6% Fall a lot
4% No Response


Farbman, Rob, “IIACSS poll shows Iraqis mostly optimistic as 2010 begins,” Edison Research, 1/6/10

Zawya, “More Iraqis fear unemployment than security issues, YouGov Siraj research report reveals,” 1/12/10


Abu Nasr said...


I am not really sure how useful this poll is since the insurgency's center of gravity was among 24% of the Iraqi population; the Sunni Arabs. Polling "Iraqis" is inclusive of the Iraq war winners, the Kurds and Shiite Arabs. Optimism should be expected from the new ruling class, roughly 60% of the Iraqi population.


Joel Wing said...

Since most of the Sunnis flipped sides and had the highest voter turnout % wise in the Jan. 09 elections, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were also feeling optimistic as well.

In a Feb. 09 poll by ABC/BBC/NHK they broke down their numbers by sect/ethnicity and found that 50% of Sunnis said their life was good, 50% said that it was bad.

Abu Nasr said...

Interesting info even if it was just after the provincial elections. Do you know of any good sources for consistent polling data broken down by ethnicity and sect?

I am in a "wait-and-see" assessment mindset right now mainly due to last year's Iraqi government trend of associating every act of violence with the Baath; the label now being used in the attempt to bar political competitors. A healthy dose of skepticism I guess you can call it.

Joel Wing said...


Polling in Iraq is very inconsistent. Every year the BBC, NHK, and ABC do a real large poll of Iraqis. That's the only one that I know of that breaks down responses by sect/ethnicity.

All of the recent polls I know about I have an article on in the blog. Go to "Iraqi public opinion" under labels if you want to check them out.

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