India among the most trusted nations globally: 2019 Edelman Report

India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but the country's brands are among the least-trusted, as per the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report.

The report, which released on January 21, 2019, ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet, noted that the Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52. It also revealed that trust has changed profoundly in the past year with people shifting their trust to the relationships within their control, most notably their employers.

Globally, 75 percent of people trust “my employer” to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs (57 percent), business (56 percent) and media (47 percent).

The Report: Key Highlights

China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments, with scores of 79 and 88 respectively.

India was at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category.

India was among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media.

The findings are based on an online survey that took place in 27 markets, covering over 33,000 respondents. The fieldwork was conducted between October-November 2018.

The companies headquartered in Switzerland (71 per cent), Germany (71 per cent), Canada (70 per cent) and Japan (69 percent) were found to be the most trusted.

On the other hand, the companies headquartered in India (40 per cent), Mexico and Brazil were found to be the least trusted, followed by companies in China and South Korea.

While the score of India and Brazil stood at 40 per cent, the score of Mexico and China stood at 36 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

Key Findings

Trust inequality returns to record high

The report found a 16-point gap between the more trusting informed public and the far-more-skeptical mass population, marking a return to record highs of trust inequality.

The phenomenon fueling this divide was a pronounced rise in trust among the informed public. Markets such as the U.S., UK, Canada, South Korea and Hong Kong saw trust gains of 12 points or more among the informed public.

In 18 markets, there is now a double-digit trust gap between the informed public and the mass population. The gap is being attributed to the rise in trust among the informed public.

An Urgent Desire for Change

Despite the divergence in trust between the informed public and mass population the world is united on one front—all share an urgent desire for change.

Only one in five feels that the system is working for them, with nearly half of the mass population believing that the system is failing them. And despite a full-employment economy, fear of job loss remains high among the general population.

Engagement in News

In the midst of a growing feeling of pessimism about the future, there is a growing move toward engagement and action.

In 2019, the engagement with the news surged by 22 points; 40 percent not only consume news once a week or more, but they also routinely amplify it.

At the same time, people are encountering roadblocks in their quest for facts, with 73 percent worried about fake news being used as a weapon.

Trust in ‘My Employer’

Despite the high lack of faith in the system, there is one relationship that remains strong: “my employer.”

Around fifty-eight percent of general population employees say they look to their employer to be a trustworthy source of information about contentious societal issues.

Employees’ expectation that prospective employers will join them in taking action on societal issues (67 percent) is nearly as high as their expectations of personal empowerment (74 percent) and job opportunity (80 percent).

Trust in ‘My CEO’

Around 71 percent of employees believe it’s critically important for “my CEO” to respond to challenging times.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of the general population agree that they want their CEOs to take the lead on change instead of waiting for the government to impose it.

Other key findings from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer include:

Trust increased in 12 of 15 sectors, with technology (78 percent) remaining most trusted, followed by manufacturing (70 percent) and automotive (70 percent), which experienced the largest jump at seven points.

Financial services, which saw a two-point increase to 57 percent, was once again the least-trusted globally.

More women (+22 points) than men (+20 points) in the informed public became amplifiers of news and information this past year.

71 percent of employees believe it’s critically important for my CEO to respond to challenging times.

About Edelman

Edelman is an independent global communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations, long-established and just-emerging, to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.

Over the last 19 years, the Edelman Trust Barometer has detected and documented some of the largest opinion shifts shaping the world.

The firm observed that the state and dynamic of trust in institutions was in many ways predictive of larger societal, economic and political changes to come.

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