Menschenandrang in der Fußgängerzone Königstraße in der Innenstadt Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland *** Crowds in the pedestrian zone Königstraße in the city centre Stuttgart Baden Württemberg Germany

The Germans are losing confidence and composure as the number and duration of the crises increase. On the other hand, fears about the future are growing, as a study by the Opaschowski Institute for Future Research shows.

In March 2019 – i.e. before the coronavirus pandemic – and again in March this year – shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine – 1,000 people were asked about their expectations for the future. The result: Confidence in the stability and security of the economy and society is visibly losing among the population.

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The proportion of those who fear a growing gap between rich and poor rose from 60 percent in 2019 to 87 percent this year. Not even half (46 percent) feared finding less and less affordable housing three years ago; now the figure is 83 percent.

Eight out of ten respondents now assume that lack of contact for older people can become just as stressful as lack of money in the future. In 2019 it was only six out of ten. More than three quarters (79 percent) now expect a more aggressive mood in society, which will lead to more insults, hatred and a willingness to use violence. Three years ago it was just over half (51 percent).

The concern that the gap between rich and poor would widen was shared by over 90 percent, in particular, with low earners, and that the lack of contact in old age was shared above all by those surveyed in rural areas (93 percent). The majority of younger people are confronted with housing that is hardly affordable – 90 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 20 and 24 agreed.

The concern that social interaction will be brutalized is what unites the 65+ generation in particular: while 81 percent fear the spread of hatred, a willingness to use violence and insults, this figure is only 69 percent among the under-30s.