New Zealand’s perception of itself way off the mark

Asked how many people in 100 they believed did not affiliate with any religion, New Zealanders responded 49 people.

In fact, 37 out of 100 people do not affiliate with any religion.

Religious affiliation was one of the 11 features surveyed.

This response is just one of the questions posed in an Ipsos MORI Perils of Perception survey.

The Ipsos Mori survey reveals the gap between perception about key features, and the reality for 33 countries, including New Zealand.

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The results show New Zealand  is the least accurate of the developed countries (in the top five most ignorant).

South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish.

Perceptions in Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea are fairly accurate about the (relatively high) proportions of non-religious people in their country.

Most other countries hugely overestimate the proportion that are non-religious: the average guess across the countries is 37% when the actual average proportion is 18%.

This is particularly noticeable in India. The average guess 33%, when the true figure is under 1%.

Latin American countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Peru overestimate by 30, 27 and 25 points respectively.

In Russia there was an overestimation of 29 points.

Norway, Ireland and Serbia were all out by all out by 28 points.


News category: New Zealand.

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