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World Publics See Government as Responsible for Ensuring Basic Healthcare, Food, and Education Needs

But Big Variations on How Well Their Government is Performing

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new poll of 21 nations finds that large majorities in every nation say their government should be responsible for ensuring that citizens can meet their basic needs for food, healthcare, and education.

On average, across all nations polled, nine in ten say that their government has the responsibility to ensure access to food, healthcare, and education.

"Clearly there is consensus that governments have a responsibility to address the social and economic needs of their citizens," comments Steven Kull, director of

However, the poll found major variations in how well people perceive their governments to be fulfilling these responsibilities. Overall, respondents expressing the highest levels of satisfaction with their government's performance in meeting such needs are found in China, India, Great Britain, Jordan, Thailand, and the Palestinian Territories. The lowest levels are found in Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, and Nigeria.

The poll of 21,321 respondents was conducted between July 15 and September 26, 2008 by, an international network of research centers managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 percent.

Interviews were conducted in 21 nations, including China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia - as well as Argentina, Azerbaijan, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Perhaps in response to the recent increase in food prices, access to food is the need for which the largest number of countries (12 out of 21) say that their government is doing a poor job. This is especially true in Argentina (80%), Ukraine (80%), Nigeria (77%), and Russia (68%). On the other hand, large majorities express satisfaction with their government's performance in regard to access to food in China (89%) and Germany (87%).

Among the six developed countries in the poll, the one public that gives their government positive ratings in all categories is Great Britain. The United States gets positive ratings in its performance in regard to food and education, but not healthcare.

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SOURCE Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at theUniversity
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