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India clueless about key issues: We are the 2nd-most ignorant nation

Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions

india Updated: Dec 07, 2015 13:21 IST
HT Correspondent, New Delhi
India is the second-most ignorant nation in the world(Ipsos Perils of Perception survey)

Ever wondered how wrong we are about what’s going on around us? Well, a new survey titled Perils of Perception has revealed that India is the second -most ignorant nation in the world with people clueless about basic facts on wealth distribution, inequality, religious demographics, internet penetration, and female employment.

The survey -- conducted by London-based market research firm Ipsos MORI -- polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people “over-estimate what we worry about”, a lot of the major issues remain underestimated.

“Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish,” the survey said.

The rankings of the nations were based on the “Index of Ignorance” which was determined by questions about wealth that the top 1% own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.

Most Indians “underestimate” how much of their country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1 percent, the survey said, adding that the top 1% actually own an “incredible” 70 percent of all wealth.

The survey also found that most Indians “hugely overestimate” the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33% when the true figure is under 1%.

The Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality. In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60% - overshooting the true picture by 41 percentage points, the survey added.

While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 percentage points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said.

India fell in the list of nations which overestimate female representation in politics.

Countries such as Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all thought female representation was much higher than in reality, the survey said.

First Published: Dec 07, 2015 12:59 IST