Credit Suisse Progress Barometer 2019

Credit Suisse

The Credit Suisse Progress Barometer measures the desire for progress in society, politics and economy around the globe.

For this year’s edition, 16,000 citizens in 16 different countries on six continents (all except Antarctica) were interviewed and asked to share their views.

The questionnaire for the Progress Barometer was developed and launched in Switzerland in 2018 and taken to a global level in 2019. gfs.bern worked with local experts to ensure that the concept and questionnaire were adapted to reflect the context and characteristics of each country individually.

At the heart of the concept are 30 statements referring to 10 aspects of progress in society, politics and the economy in each case. For each of these aspects respondents were asked to indicate whether – in their opinion – the wheels of progress should move much faster (indicating desire for progress) or whether they should stop and be reversed (indicating aversion to progress).

This index allows opinions on progress within a country to be compared by looking at the areas of politics, society and the economy separately. Moreover, it also provides the opportunity to compare the 16 countries included in the study, thus helping us understand the readiness for progress around the world.





The process of adapting the questionnaire to each country brought to light how subjective progress as a notion is and how dependent it is on personal opinion and cultural background. Progress in one particular area can be viewed very favourably in one country, whereas in another country it might be seen as quite problematic. Progress is also not always seen as positive. The political zeitgeist, for example, suggests an increase in political polarization for the future – a development that many citizens would definitely prefer to reverse.

In addition to collecting information on where the citizens want their country to go in the future, the Progress Barometer also looks at the past and how citizens evaluate the changes their country has seen in the last ten years.

This cockpit is a portrait of how progress is seen in Chile in 2019. Readiness for progress is discussed for the areas of politics, society and the economy – as well for the country overall. The 30 items used to calculate the progress indices are displayed in a progress map showing readiness for progress on the x-axsis and the unanimity with which this progress is demanded on the y-axsis.

For methodological information, please consult the info box at the end of the cockpit.

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Over all the 16 surveyed countries, Chile has a comparatively high desire for progress (Nr. 7 of 16) with the desire for progress in politics being particularly low.

Progress map Chile

In Chile, as in other countries, the desire for more progress in the area of electrically powered vehicles is considerable. Innovation, promotion and dissemination of e-mobility are among the most important goals at the international level, as it allows for better mobility without putting extra strain on the environment. On top of that, Chileans are open to the introduction of a fuel tax to further lessen the human impact on nature.

Chile have fought floods, mudslides and fires in recent years. While 2017 represented a peak in terms of these incidents, natural catastrophes are increasingly recurring in Chile. Consequently, Chilean society is looking for progress in the risk management of natural disasters and wants more projects dealing with the fallout of climate change.

Compared to other Latin American countries, Chile’s per capita domestic product is relatively high and, for the past three decades, poverty rates have been falling significantly. Since the turn of the century, large-scale government programs such as „Chile Solidario“ have been implemented, targeting the extremely poor – with apparent success. It is also against this backdrop that the Chileans express a clear desire for a strong(er) government role in the fight against poverty.

The centralist unitary state is being called into question by civil society in Chile. Measures to decentralize the Chilean state are met with a high degree of approval among the population.

In Catholic Chile, abortion is strictly regulated. A relaxation was approved by the constitutional court in 2017. Since then, women have been able to have legal abortions in certain extreme situations.


But according to the findings of the Progress Barometer, this is not enough: there is a desire to see the wheels of progress turning faster when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. In accordance with this desire for a more liberal society, Chileans also wish to see greater equality for men and women as well as more rights for homosexuals.

The agricultural sector is of great importance in Chile. The country is one of the top 10 exporters of agricultural products worldwide. Accordingly, one of the two issues where people are most averse to progress is the development of agricultural land for infrastructure projects. While Chileans are slightly uncomfortable about the dependence on international agreements, free trade is something where the country would like to see the wheels of progress turning faster in the future.

Chileans would like to turn the dial back on the booming construction industry out of fear of higher real estate and rental prices. The population of Chile has almost tripled over the past 50 years from around 6 million in 1050 to 19 million today. Since Chile’s geography is dominated by the Andes mountain range, much of the nation’s population is clustered around the Santiago metropolitan area, leaving the rest of the country sparsely populated. The increasing urban-rural divide is one of the issues in this year’s Progress Barometer where people would like to turn the dial back most.

People in Chile would also like to reverse the process of political polarization and are worried that the increase in media diversity due to digitalization is leading to less reliable information. In terms of digitalization itself, maintenance of the status quo is preferred at the moment. The transition of the labor market – not least due to new technologies, is viewed with some scepticism (transition to a knowledge-based, service-based society and outsourcing of production).


Desire for progress in Chile

Overall, Chileans want to see the wheels of progress in their country turning slightly faster than in the past. In the ranking of all 16 countries surveyed, Chile is number seven in terms of readiness for progress.

The desire to see the wheels of progress turning faster is most marked in relation to issues concerning a (more) liberal society and also political issues. As regards the development of the economy, Chile wants to maintain the status quo.

When asked how Chileans themselves would rate progress in their country, 50% are of the opinion that Chile is currently very progressive or somewhat progressive when it comes to economic issues, 47% think the same of social progress, whereas only 25% rate Chile progressive as regards the current development of its politics.

Future prospects

Exactly half the population is completely satisfied with their current life today (50%). Only 14% are completely dissatisfied. In terms of their personal future prospects, 38% are optimistic, whereas a majority have mixed feelings (41%) or expect it to be quite bleak (19%). The proportion of Chileans who consider themselves part of the country’s middle class but fear for their future status is the second-highest of all 16 countries (79%). Only 12% of respondents are confident at present that they will have enough resources to live comfortably throughout their retirement years.

Assessment of last 10 years

Assessing the past 10 years, Chileans think that the country’s situation hast deteriorated in terms of social security (63%) and national security (60%), the protection of privacy (63%) and rural infrastructure (50%). In all three areas, the proportion of people who give a critical assessment of the situation in Chile is way above the average of the rest of the 16 countries surveyed. Infrastructure in the cities, on the other hand, is perceived to have improved (61%) as is the dissemination of sustainable technologies (62%). People are also not pleased about the development of the population’s participation in decision-making (49%) or in the stability of economic relations (46%).

Political situation

The political situation in Chile is tense. The country’s military past still seems to reverberate in the population’s views on politics. The proportion of Chileans who think social development means having to resolve conflicts without weapons stands at 82%, well above the average of the other countries surveyed. At the same time, the legitimization of democratic institutions is also under strain: today, 67% think the country could solve its problems better without political parties than with them

Social cohesion

Chile remains one of the most unequal countries amongst the world’s 30 wealthiest nations, which currently also leads to intense protests triggered by an increase in transport fares. It is not surprising therefore that the proportion of people who agree with the statement that a small minority is getting richer today while everyone else is missing out on the benefits of development is higher than average among the 16 countries surveyed (78% in Chile vs 69% on average)

Battle against climate change

According to respondents, people should return to living in harmony with nature (85%). Respondents living in urban and those in rural regions have a similar answer to this question. At the same time, a majority of the same proportion of people (85%) wants the state to become more active in preventing companies from polluting the environment. This number is above the average of the other countries.

Methodological information

on behalf of: Credit Suisse

basic population: Chilean citizens with the right to vote

fieldwork: Cint AB

surveying: online panel

survey period: 20.09.2019-18.10.2019

sample size: min. 1000 per country, Chile (N=1005)

margin of error: at 50/50 (and 95 percent probability) Chile (± 3)

quota characteristics: age/gender interlocked

weighing: age/gender

survey duration: average survey time in minutes in Chile = 22

Progress Index and Items:

Respondents were asked the following question: „For each of the areas below, assess the current development and imagine this development as a wheel that turns. For each case, decide whether the development should be accelerated or reversed.“ Ten statements asking about a development in society, economy and politics each were surveyed in all 16 countries. The adaption of these items to best suit the countries context were made in cooperation with local experts.

The following items were surveyed in Chile:

Progress in Economy:

service-based society: Chile produces fewer goods and is turning into a service-based society.
digitalization: Digitisation/Robotisation makes our working lives easier and more efficient, but it also makes traditional professions redundant.
free trade: The trade of goods is getting freer and more global.
lifelong learning: You have to do regular on-the-job training in order to keep up.
robots replace jobs: With the help of algorithms and networked computer solutions, many workstations are being replaced, for example in offices or when controlling vehicles.
production outsourced: Many work steps are moved abroad.
housing bubble: The construction industry is booming and real estate and rental prices are getting higher and higher.
influx foreign experts: Chile needs more and more experts from abroad.
development of agricultural land: Major infrastructure projects and ideas means that more and more cultivated land is built on.
e-mobility: Mobility with electrically powered cars allows even more individual mobility with reduced emissions of climate-damaging substances.

Progress in Society:

gender equality: Gender equality is promoted in all areas of life.
urban-rural contrast: People living in big cities and in small towns in the rural areas have fewer and fewer interests in common.
gay rights: Gay couples increasingly enjoy equal rights in all areas of life.
fewer independent media: There are fewer and fewer independent media outlets in Australia.
state intervention against poverty: The state is intervening more and more to combat poverty.
professionalization voluntary work: Many areas of society that used to function on a voluntary basis are now being professionalized.
migration transforms society: Immigration transforms the composition of societies.
womens right to choose: Women can decide for themselves whether they want to abort or not.
increase life expectancy: Advances in medicine means that we are healthier into old age, but at the same time we’ll have to work for longer.

Progress in Politics:

dependence on international agreements: When it comes to its global market position, Australia is increasingly dependent on international agreements with other countries.
individualization and self fulfillment: With increasing individualization, social pressure diminishes and everyone can live by their own values.
regulation increase: More and more everyday things are becoming more strictly regulated./The state ensures that many parts of life and work are clearly regulated.
transition to knowledge based society: Australia is turning into a knowledge-based society and is spending less on agriculture and instead more on universities and higher education.
accessability trough social media: People can organise themselves spontaneously via the internet and force policy-makers to become more accessible to the public.
polarization: Politics is becoming increasingly polarised and cooperation between the parties more difficult.
media diversity vs. reliability: While more and more sources of information are available to form a political opinion, the facts become less important.
political compromise: In order to overcome political paralysis and getting things done, politicians must compromise more.