How do the Spanish see the future?

The Spanish are well-informed optimists.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
31 December 2022 Saturday 22:32
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How do the Spanish see the future?

The Spanish are well-informed optimists. For this reason, when asked about the future of Spain ten years from now, they mix optimism and pessimism to different degrees. For example, more than 80% of citizens predict, according to the CIS, that, within a decade, there will be "more women in positions of responsibility." But, at the same time, the majority is very pessimistic about the demography of the country: almost 75% believe that there will be "fewer births than now" (and 63% foresee "more separations").

And perhaps based on these last two indicators, an overwhelming percentage of those consulted glimpse a gloomy future in terms of family and personal relationships: 81% believe that, within a decade, there will be "more loneliness than now" in Spain . And it is a very transversal perception, although somewhat more accentuated among the far-right voter (where that rate reaches 86%).

In fact, the conservative electorate is also more pessimistic about the stability of marriages: compared to 61% of center-left voters (and 55% of the alternative left) who predict more divorces, that rate ranges between 71% and 76% among supporters of the PP and Vox.

Pessimism also reigns in relation to expectations about a more egalitarian society. Almost 70% of those consulted believe that, in a decade, there will be "more social and economic differences than now". And that is also a perception shared in similar terms by the different groups of voters.

The same is not true of the future of the environment, although more than 62% of Spaniards also predict a greater deterioration than at present. But in this area –and hence the difficulties in agreeing on effective policies against climate change– the differences are greater due to ideology.

Specifically, less than half of Vox voters and only 52% of those of the PP predict "more deterioration of the environment" ten years from now. Instead, that figure is close to 65% among the PSOE electorate and exceeds 70% among Podemos. The indicators moderate slightly in two very antagonistic chapters: sexual freedom, on the one hand, and violence, on the other. In both cases, almost 59% of Spaniards think that there will be more freedom but also more violence than now, only that the correlation is reversed if the memory of voting is taken into account.

Only half of the left and center-left electorate foresee a more violent future, while that rate exceeds 65% among PP and Vox voters. At the same time, more than 65% of the voters of the PSOE or Podemos predict an atmosphere of greater sexual freedom in the Spain of 2032, compared to only 55% of Vox followers.

In this sense, socialist voters are the most convinced of the growing role of women (almost 90% predict a greater role for them in the future) or tolerance in terms of customs (since seven out of ten also bet that they register progress on that plane).

The black spots, although without reaching apocalyptic proportions, are crime (since 54% believe that there will be more than now in ten years, and only 10% think that there will be less); unemployment (with 45% pessimistic opinions and 15% optimistic), and pandemics (41% foresee more episodes than now, another 31%, the same, and only 24%, less than now).

The ideological orientation decisively conditions expectations about the evolution of crime: less than 50% of the voters of the PSOE (and less than 40% among those of Unidas Podemos) believe that more crimes will be committed within ten years, while that percentage it exceeds 62% among the popular electorate, and 71% among that of Vox.

The division of opinions (or the greater degree of uncertainty) among the whole of Spaniards is manifested especially in three chapters that may be key to democratic coexistence and health. For example, more than 37% of those consulted think that, within ten years, there will be more racism in Spain, and another 34% believe that it will remain at current levels. 27%, on the other hand, predict that xenophobia will be reduced. And in this case the most pessimistic are the leftist voters.

Uncertainty also manifests itself around the future of equal opportunities or State social protection. In both cases, only 30% predict significant progress in these areas, compared to 28% who predict a setback, while 40% do not foresee relevant changes.

Those most convinced that nothing will change in terms of social protection in the next decade are the voters of the PP (49%) and Vox (43%). The most optimistic, the voters of the PSOE: 41% foresee more social policies and 37% more equal opportunities. In the end, as almost always, life will say.