In a new global survey in 31 countries, a majority of Britons are hopeful for 2021, despite the events of 2020. Almost three-quarters (73%) are optimistic that 2021 will be a better year for them than the past 12 months.
However, many are cautious: less than a quarter (23%) think it is likely that life will return to normal in the next year; France is the only country where fewer people expect to see a return to normality. Indeed, a third of Britons say it is likely that there will be another pandemic from a new virus.
The starting point is bleak: looking back to 2020, over 9 in 10 (94%) of Britons say it was a bad year for the country, only those in Argentina, France and South Africa are more likely to agree (95%). Seven in ten say 2020 was bad for them and their families, up from 42% who said the same in 2019.
This new survey finds just 21% of Britons saying it is likely that the world will change for the better as a result of the pandemic, with three times as many (65%) saying this is unlikely. Perhaps underpinning this pessimistic outlook, almost two-thirds (65%) in Britain say it is unlikely the economy will recover from the effects of COVID-19 in the next year, the highest number among the 31 countries surveyed.