Compared to other nations, the Chinese have been consistently sanguine (paywall) about the direction their country is taking and the opportunities they have. In a Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes survey published in July, 83% of Chinese polled believed the country’s economic situation was good. Of the 21 countries surveyed in the study, China was the only one where a majority (57%) believed it would be easy for young people to become wealthier than their parents.
But the latest Pew survey of 3,177 Chinese residents finds that many Chinese have grown more anxious over the past four years—only 59% said they like the pace of modern life, down from 72% in 2008. The economy has grown at an average of around 9% per year over these four years—in fact, 70% of the respondents said they are better off financially than they were 5 years ago—but it turns out growth isn’t all that matters.
The survey also identified which issues the Chinese public thinks are the most problematic, and how anxiety about them has changed since four years ago: