Which Countries Trust Their Government, and Which Ones Don’t?
In many countries around the world, vast portions of the population do not trust their own government.
Lack of faith in government and politics is nothing new, but in times of uncertainty, that lack of trust can coalesce into movements that challenge the authority of ruling parties and even threaten the stability of nations.
This visualization uses data from the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor to look at how much various populations trust their government and public institutions.
Tracking Trust in Government
Since the beginning of the pandemic, global trust in government has improved by eight percentage points, but that is only a small improvement on an otherwise low score.
At the country level, feelings towards government can vary widely. India, Germany, Netherlands, and Malaysia had the highest government trust levels.
Many of the countries with the lowest levels of trust were located in Latin America. This makes sense, as trust in politicians in this region is almost non-existent. For example, in Colombia, only 4% of the population consider politicians trustworthy. In Argentina, that figure falls to just 3%.
Trust in Public Institutions
Broadly speaking, people trust their public services more than the governments in charge of managing and funding them. This makes sense as civil servants fare much better than politicians and government ministers in trustworthiness.
As our main chart demonstrates, there is a correlation between faith in government and trust in public institutions. There are clear “high trust” and “low trust” groupings in the countries included in the polling, but there is also a third group that stands out—the countries that have high trust in public institutions, but not in their government. Leading this group is Japan, which has a stark difference in trust between public services and politicians. There are many factors that explain this difference, such as values , corruption levels , and the reliability of public services in various countries.
While trust scores for government improved slightly during the pandemic, trust in public institutions stayed nearly the same.
Charted: How Latin America Drove U.S. Immigration from 1970–2019
The U.S. is built on immigration and this chart shows how Latin America has been one of the biggest drivers of U.S. immigration in the last 50 years.
Charted: How LatAm Drove U.S. Immigration from 1970–2019
LatAm, otherwise known as Latin America , has been one of the biggest sources of immigration to the U.S. over the last one hundred years.
Since the 1970s, the region has driven the second wave of U.S. immigration and helped shape the country’s future immeasurably. This is especially clear when looking at Census data listing where people were born.
This chart from Latinometrics looks at the history of U.S. immigration considering both documented and undocumented immigration since 1850.
Historical U.S. Immigration
For most of its early history, Europeans drove immigration to the United States.
The UK, Ireland, and Germany were especially big sources of American immigrants well into the 20th century. But around the 1960-70s this began to shift, with LatAm countries marking the next wave of U.S. immigration.
Here’s a sample of the history of U.S. immigration using select years and regions:
|Rest of Asia
|Rest of Latin America
|Rest of Europe
|🇨🇳 China, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom
|Share of U.S. Population Made up of Immigrants
As of 2019, 22.6 million foreign-born people in the U.S. were originally from LatAm countries, with 10.9 million from Mexico alone.
Additionally, in 2021 Mexican citizens received the highest number of U.S. immigrant visas in the world at almost 40,600. Immigrant visas are the first step in the process to U.S. green cards and citizenship.
And though Asian countries are beginning to make up the majority of U.S. immigrant applicants and permits, other LatAm countries also ranked high in issued permits in 2021:
- 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic: 17.9K
- 🇸🇻 El Salvador: 7.8K
- 🇪🇨 Ecuador: 5.1K
- 🇨🇴 Colombia: 4.8K
Furthermore, there is also undocumented immigration to consider. According to 2019 figures from Brookings, there are between 10.5-12 million undocumented migrants living in the U.S.—making up just over 3% of the population.
Here’s a look at the top five countries in terms of undocumented immigration to the U.S. in 2019, most of which are LatAm countries:
|Number of Immigrants
|% of Total Undocumented Population
|🇸🇻 El Salvador
The Future of U.S. Immigration
In the last few years, more and more Asian countries are seeing their citizens leave for the United States. In addition, the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian War (as well as other global events and crises) could shift U.S. immigration even further away from LatAm.
Currently, the U.S. is only permitting small numbers of legal immigrants to enter the country each year, numbering in only the hundreds of thousands. But as birth rates decline, the growth in the foreign-born population will continue to be a much-discussed and important topic for the country’s demographics in the coming years.
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