Index: Prizes and Challenges

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on prizes and challenges and was originally published in 2015.

This index highlights recent findings about two key techniques in shifting innovation from institutions to the general public:

  • Prize-Induced Contests – using monetary rewards to incentivize individuals and other entities to develop solutions to public problems; and
  • Grand Challenges – posing large, audacious goals to the public to spur collaborative, non-governmental efforts to solve them.

You can read more about Governing through Prizes and Challenges here. You can also watch Alph Bingham, co-founder of Innocentive, answer the GovLab’s questions about challenge authoring and defining the problem here.

Previous installments of the Index include Measuring Impact with Evidence, The Data Universe, Participation and Civic Engagement and Trust in Institutions. Please share any additional statistics and research findings on the intersection of technology in governance with us by emailing shruti at

Prize-Induced Contests

  • Year the British Government introduced the Longitude Prize, one of the first instances of prizes by government to spur innovation: 1714
  • President Obama calls on “all agencies to increase their use of prizes to address some of our Nation’s most pressing challenges” in his Strategy for American Innovation: September 2009
  • The US Office of Management and Budget issues “a policy framework to guide agencies in using prizes to mobilize American ingenuity and advance their respective core missions”:  March 2010
  • Launch of, “a one-stop shop where entrepreneurs and citizen solvers can find public-sector prize competitions”: September 2010
    • Number of competitions currently live on in February 2015: 22 of 399 total
    • How many competitions on are for $1 million or above: 23
  • The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act is introduced, which grants “all Federal agencies authority to conduct prize competitions to spur innovation, solve tough problems, and advance their core missions”: 2010
  • Value of prizes authorized by COMPETES: prizes up to $50 million
  • Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions memorandum issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget to aid agencies to take advantage of authorities in COMPETES: August 2011
  • Number of prize competitions run by the Federal government from 2010 to April 2012: 150
  • How many Federal agencies have run prize competitions by 2012: 40
  • Prior to 1991, the percentage of prize money that recognized prior achievements according to an analysis by McKinsey and Company: 97%
    • Since 1991, percentage of new prize money that “has been dedicated to inducement-style prizes that focus on achieving a specific, future goal”: 78%
  • Value of the prize sector as estimated by McKinsey in 2009: $1-2 billion
  • Growth rate of the total value of new prizes: 18% annually
  • Growth rate in charitable giving in the US: 2.5% annually
  • Value of the first Horizon Prize awarded in 2014 by the European Commission to German biopharmaceutical company CureVac GmbH “for progress towards a novel technology to bring life-saving vaccines to people across the planet in safe and affordable ways”: €2 million
  • Number of solvers registered on InnoCentive, a crowdsourcing company: 355,000+ from nearly 200 countries
    • Total Challenges Posted: 2,000+ External Challenges
    • Total Solution Submissions: 40,000+
    • Value of the awards: $5,000 to $1+ million
    • Success Rate for premium challenges: 85%

Grand Challenges

  • Value of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, sponsored in part by DOE to develop production-capable super fuel-efficient vehicles: $10 million
    • Number of teams around the world who took part in the challenge “to develop a new generation of technologies” for production-capable super fuel-efficient vehicles: 111 teams
  • Time it took for the Air Force Research Laboratory to receive a workable solution on “a problem that had vexed military security forces and civilian police for years” by opening the challenge to the world: 60 days
  • Value of the HHS Investing in Innovation initiative to spur innovation in Health IT, launched under the new COMPETES act: $5 million program
  • Number of responses received by NASA for its Asteroid Grand Challenge RFI which seeks to identify and address all asteroid threats to the human population: over 400
  • The decreased cost of sequencing a single human genome as a result of the Human Genome Project Grand Challenge: $7000 from $100 million
  • Amount the Human Genome Project Grand Challenge has contributed to the US economy for every $1 invested by the US federal government: $141 for every $1 invested
  • The amount of funding for research available for the “Brain Initiative,” a collaboration between the National Institute of Health, DARPA and the National Science Foundation, which seeks to uncover new prevention and treatment methods for brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, autism and schizophrenia: $100 million
  • Total amount offered in cash awards by the Department of Energy’s “SunShot Grand Challenge,” which seeks to eliminate the cost disparity between solar energy and coal by the end of the decade: $10 million


Index: The Networked Public

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on the networked public and was originally published in 2014.

Global Overview

  • The proportion of global population who use the Internet in 2013: 38.8%, up 3 percentage points from 2012
  • Increase in average global broadband speeds from 2012 to 2013: 17%
  • Percent of internet users surveyed globally that access the internet at least once a day in 2012: 96
  • Hours spent online in 2012 each month across the globe: 35 billion
  • Country with the highest online population, as a percent of total population in 2012: United Kingdom (85%)
  • Country with the lowest online population, as a percent of total population in 2012: India (8%)
  • Trend with the highest growth rate in 2012: Location-based services (27%)
  • Years to reach 50 million users: telephone (75), radio (38), TV (13), internet (4)

Growth Rates in 2014

  • Rate at which the total number of Internet users is growing: less than 10% a year
  • Worldwide annual smartphone growth: 20%
  • Tablet growth: 52%
  • Mobile phone growth: 81%
  • Percentage of all mobile users who are now smartphone users: 30%
  • Amount of all web usage in 2013 accounted for by mobile: 14%
  • Amount of all web usage in 2014 accounted for by mobile: 25%
  • Percentage of money spent on mobile used for app purchases: 68%
  • Growth of BitCoin wallet between 2013 and 2014: 8 times increase
  • Number of listings on AirBnB in 2014: 550k, 83% growth year on year
  • How many buyers are on Alibaba in 2014: 231MM buyers, 44% growth year on year

Social Media

  • Number of Whatsapp messages on average sent per day: 50 billion
  • Number sent per day on Snapchat: 1.2 billion
  • How many restaurants are registered on GrubHub in 2014: 29,000
  • Amount the sale of digital songs fell in 2013: 6%
  • How much song streaming grew in 2013: 32%
  • Number of photos uploaded and shared every day on Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp combined in 2014: 1.8 billion
  • How many online adults in the U.S. use a social networking site of some kind: 73%
  • Those who use multiple social networking sites: 42%
  • Dominant social networking platform: Facebook, with 71% of online adults
  • Number of Facebook users in 2004, its founding year: 1 million
  • Number of monthly active users on Facebook in September 2013: 1.19 billion, an 18% increase year-over-year
  • How many Facebook users log in to the site daily: 63%
  • Instagram users who log into the service daily: 57%
  • Twitter users who are daily visitors: 46%
  • Number of photos uploaded to Facebook every minute: over 243,000, up 16% from 2012
  • How much of the global internet population is actively using Twitter every month: 21%
  • Number of tweets per minute: 350,000, up 250% from 2012
  • Fastest growing demographic on Twitter: 55-64 year age bracket, up 79% from 2012
  • Fastest growing demographic on Facebook: 45-54 year age bracket, up 46% from 2012
  • How many LinkedIn accounts are created every minute: 120, up 20% from 2012
  • The number of Google searches in 2013: 3.5 million, up 75% from 2012
  • Percent of internet users surveyed globally that use social media in 2012: 90
  • Percent of internet users surveyed globally that use social media daily: 60
  • Time spent social networking, the most popular online activity: 22%, followed by searches (21%), reading content (20%), and emails/communication (19%)
  • The average age at which a child acquires an online presence through their parents in 10 mostly Western countries: six months
  • Number of children in those countries who have a digital footprint by age 2: 81%
  • How many new American marriages between 2005-2012 began by meeting online, according to a nationally representative study: more than one-third 
  • How many of the world’s 505 leaders are on Twitter: 3/4
  • Combined Twitter followers: of 505 world leaders: 106 million
  • Combined Twitter followers of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga: 122 million
  • How many times all Wikipedias are viewed per month: nearly 22 billion times
  • How many hits per second: more than 8,000 
  • English Wikipedia’s share of total page views: 47%
  • Number of articles in the English Wikipedia in December 2013: over 4,395,320 
  • Platform that reaches more U.S. adults between ages 18-34 than any cable network: YouTube
  • Number of unique users who visit YouTube each month: more than 1 billion
  • How many hours of video are watched on YouTube each month: over 6 billion, 50% more than 2012
  • Proportion of YouTube traffic that comes from outside the U.S.: 80%
  • Most common activity online, based on an analysis of over 10 million web users: social media
  • People on Twitter who recommend products in their tweets: 53%
  • People who trust online recommendations from people they know: 90%

Mobile and the Internet of Things

  • Number of global smartphone users in 2013: 1.5 billion
  • Number of global mobile phone users in 2013: over 5 billion
  • Percent of U.S. adults that have a cell phone in 2013: 91
  • Number of which are a smartphone: almost two thirds
  • Mobile Facebook users in March 2013: 751 million, 54% increase since 2012
  • Growth rate of global mobile traffic as a percentage of global internet traffic as of May 2013: 15%, up from .9% in 2009
  • How many smartphone owners ages 18–44 “keep their phone with them for all but two hours of their waking day”: 79%
  • Those who reach for their smartphone immediately upon waking up: 62%
  • Those who couldn’t recall a time their phone wasn’t within reach or in the same room: 1 in 4
  • Facebook users who access the service via a mobile device: 73.44%
  • Those who are “mobile only”: 189 million
  • Amount of YouTube’s global watch time that is on mobile devices: almost 40%
  • Number of objects connected globally in the “internet of things” in 2012: 8.7 billion
  • Number of connected objects so far in 2013: over 10 billion
  • Years from tablet introduction for tables to surpass desktop PC and notebook shipments: less than 3 (over 55 million global units shipped in 2013, vs. 45 million notebooks and 35 million desktop PCs)
  • Number of wearable devices estimated to have been shipped worldwide in 2011: 14 million
  • Projected number of wearable devices in 2016: between 39-171 million
  • How much of the wearable technology market is in the healthcare and medical sector in 2012: 35.1%
  • How many devices in the wearable tech market are fitness or activity trackers: 61%
  • The value of the global wearable technology market in 2012: $750 million
  • The forecasted value of the market in 2018: $5.8 billion
  • How many Americans are aware of wearable tech devices in 2013: 52%
  • Devices that have the highest level of awareness: wearable fitness trackers,
  • Level of awareness for wearable fitness trackers amongst American consumers: 1 in 3 consumers
  • Value of digital fitness category in 2013: $330 million
  • How many American consumers surveyed are aware of smart glasses: 29%
  • Smart watch awareness amongst those surveyed: 36%


  • How much of the developed world has mobile broadband subscriptions in 2013: 3/4
  • How much of the developing world has broadband subscription in 2013: 1/5
  • Percent of U.S. adults that had a laptop in 2012: 57
  • How many American adults did not use the internet at home, at work, or via mobile device in 2013: one in five
  • Amount President Obama initiated spending in 2009 in an effort to expand access: $7 billion
  • Number of Americans potentially shut off from jobs, government services, health care and education, among other opportunities due to digital inequality: 60 million
  • American adults with a high-speed broadband connection at home as of May 2013: 7 out of 10
  • Americans aged 18-29 vs. 65+ with a high-speed broadband connection at home as of May 2013: 80% vs. 43
  • American adults with college education (or more) vs. adults with no high school diploma that have a high-speed broadband connection at home as of May 2013: 89% vs. 37%
  • Percent of U.S. adults with college education (or more) that use the internet in 2011: 94
  • Those with no high school diploma that used the internet in 2011: 43
  • Percent of white American households that used the internet in 2013: 67
  • Black American households that used the internet in 2013: 57
  • States with lowest internet use rates in 2013: Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas
  • How many American households have only wireless telephones as of the second half of 2012: nearly two in five
  • States with the highest prevalence of wireless-only adults according to predictive modeling estimates: Idaho (52.3%), Mississippi (49.4%), Arkansas (49%)
  • Those with the lowest prevalence of wireless-only adults: New Jersey (19.4%), Connecticut (20.6%), Delaware (23.3%) and New York (23.5%)


Index: Privacy and Security

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on privacy and security and was originally published in 2014.


  • Percentage of people who feel the Internet is eroding their personal privacy: 56%
  • Internet users who feel comfortable sharing personal data with an app: 37%
  • Number of users who consider it important to know when an app is gathering information about them: 70%
  • How many people in the online world use privacy tools to disguise their identity or location: 28%, or 415 million people
  • Country with the highest penetration of general anonymity tools among Internet users: Indonesia, where 42% of users surveyed use proxy servers
  • Percentage of China’s online population that disguises their online location to bypass governmental filters: 34%

In the United States

Over the Years

  • In 1996, percentage of the American public who were categorized as having “high privacy concerns”: 25%
    • Those with “Medium privacy concerns”: 59%
    • Those who were unconcerned with privacy: 16%
  • In 1998, number of computer users concerned about threats to personal privacy: 87%
  • In 2001, those who reported “medium to high” privacy concerns: 88%
  • Individuals who are unconcerned about privacy: 18% in 1990, down to 10% in 2004
  • How many online American adults are more concerned about their privacy in 2014 than they were a year ago, indicating rising privacy concerns: 64%
  • Number of respondents in 2012 who believe they have control over their personal information: 35%, downward trend for 7 years
  • How many respondents in 2012 continue to perceive privacy and the protection of their personal information as very important or important to the overall trust equation: 78%, upward trend for seven years
  • How many consumers in 2013 trust that their bank is committed to ensuring the privacy of their personal information is protected: 35%, down from 48% in 2004

Privacy Concerns and Beliefs

  • How many Internet users worry about their privacy online: 92%
    • Those who report that their level of concern has increased from 2013 to 2014: 7 in 10
    • How many are at least sometimes worried when shopping online: 93%, up from 89% in 2012
    • Those who have some concerns when banking online: 90%, up from 86% in 2012
  • Number of Internet users who are worried about the amount of personal information about them online: 50%, up from 33% in 2009
    • Those who report that their photograph is available online: 66%
      • Their birthdate: 50%
      • Home address: 30%
      • Cell number: 24%
      • A video: 21%
      • Political affiliation: 20%
  • Consumers who are concerned about companies tracking their activities: 58%
    • Those who are concerned about the government tracking their activities: 38%
  • How many users surveyed felt that the National Security Association (NSA) overstepped its bounds in light of recent NSA revelations: 44%
  • Respondents who are comfortable with advertisers using their web browsing history to tailor advertisements as long as it is not tied to any other personally identifiable information: 36%, up from 29% in 2012
  • Percentage of voters who do not want political campaigns to tailor their advertisements based on their interests: 86%
  • Percentage of respondents who do not want news tailored to their interests: 56%
  • Percentage of users who are worried about their information will be stolen by hackers: 75%
    • Those who are worried about companies tracking their browsing history for targeted advertising: 54%
  • How many consumers say they do not trust businesses with their personal information online: 54%
  • Top 3 most trusted companies for privacy identified by consumers from across 25 different industries in 2012: American Express, Hewlett Packard and Amazon
    • Most trusted industries for privacy: Healthcare, Consumer Products and Banking
    • Least trusted industries for privacy: Internet and Social Media, Non-Profits and Toys
  • Respondents who admit to sharing their personal information with companies they did not trust in 2012 for reasons such as convenience when making a purchase: 63%
  • Percentage of users who say they prefer free online services supported by targeted ads: 61%
    • Those who prefer paid online services without targeted ads: 33%
  • How many Internet users believe that it is not possible to be completely anonymous online: 59%
    • Those who believe complete online anonymity is still possible: 37%
    • Those who say people should have the ability to use the Internet anonymously: 59%
  • Percentage of Internet users who believe that current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy online: 68%
    • Those who believe current laws provide reasonable protection: 24%

Security Related Issues

  • How many have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without permission: 21%
  • Those who have been stalked or harassed online: 12%
  • Those who think the federal government should do more to act against identity theft: 74%
  • Consumers who agree that they will avoid doing business with companies who they do not believe protect their privacy online: 89%
    • Among 65+ year old consumers: 96%

Privacy-Related Behavior

  • How many mobile phone users have decided not to install an app after discovering the amount of information it collects: 54%
  • Number of Internet users who have taken steps to remove or mask their digital footprint (including clearing cookies, encrypting emails, and using virtual networks to mask their IP addresses): 86%
  • Those who have set their browser to disable cookies: 65%
  • Number of users who have not allowed a service to remember their credit card information: 73%
  • Those who have chosen to block an app from accessing their location information: 53%
  • How many have signed up for a two-step sign-in process: 57%
  • Percentage of Gen-X (33-48 year olds) and Millennials (18-32 year olds) who say they never change their passwords or only change them when forced to: 41%
    • How many report using a unique password for each site and service: 4 in 10
    • Those who use the same password everywhere: 7%


Index: Designing for Behavior Change

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on designing for behavior change and was originally published in 2014.

  • Year the Behavioural Insights or “Nudge” Team was established by David Cameron in the U.K.: 2010
  • Amount saved by the U.K. Courts Service a year by sending people owing fines personalized text messages to persuade them to pay promptly since the creation of the Nudge unit: £30m
    • Entire budget for the Behavioural Insights Team: less than £1 million
    • Estimated reduction in bailiff interventions through the use of personalized text reminders: 150,000 fewer interventions annually
  • Percentage increase among British residents who paid their taxes on time when they received a letter saying that most citizens in their neighborhood pay their taxes on time: 15%
  • Estimated increase in organ-donor registrations in the U.K. if people are asked “If you needed an organ transplant, would you take one?”: 96,000
  • Proportion of employees who now have a workplace pension since the U.K. government switched from opt-in to opt-out (illustrating the power of defaults): 83%, 63% before opt-out
  • Increase in 401(k) enrollment rates within the U.S. by changing the default from ‘opt in’ to ‘opt out’: from 13% to 80%
  • Behavioral studies have shown that consumers overestimate savings from credit cards with no annual fees. Reduction in overall borrowing costs to consumers by requiring card issuers to tell consumers how much it would cost them in fees and interest, under the 2009 CARD Act in the U.S.: 1.7% of average daily balances 
  • Many high school students and their families in the U.S. find financial aid forms for college complex and thus delay filling them out. Increase in college enrollment as a result of being helped to complete the FAFSA financial aid form by an H&R tax professional, who then provided immediate estimates of the amount of aid the student was eligible for, and the net tuition cost of four nearby public colleges: 26%
  • How much more likely people are to keep accounting records, calculate monthly revenues, and separate their home and business books if given “rules of thumb”-based training with regards to managing their finances, according to a randomized control trial conducted in a bank in the Dominican Republic: 10%
  • Elderly Americans are asked to choose from over 40 options when enrolling in Medicaid Part D private drug plans. How many switched plans to save money when they received a letter providing information about three plans that would be cheaper for them: almost double 
    • The amount saved on average per person by switching plans due to this intervention: $150 per year
  • Increase in prescriptions to manage cardiac disease when Medicaid enrollees are sent a suite of behavioral nudges such as more salient description of the consequences of remaining untreated and post-it note reminders during an experiment in the U.S.: 78%
  • Reduction in street-litter when a trail of green footprints leading to nearby garbage cans is stenciled on the ground during an experiment in Copenhagen, Denmark: 46%
  • Reduction in missed National Health Service appointments in the U.K. when patients are asked to fill out their own appointment cards: 18%
    • Reduction in missed appointments when patients are also made aware of the number of people who attend their appointments on time: 31%
    • The cost of non-attendance per year for the National Health Service: £700m 
  • How many people in a U.S. experiment chose to ‘downsize’ their meals when asked, regardless of whether they received a discount for the smaller portion: 14-33%
    • Average reduction in calories as a result of downsizing: 200
  • Number of households in the U.K. without properly insulated attics, leading to high energy consumption and bills: 40%
    • Result of offering group discounts to motivate households to insulate their attics: no effect
    • Increase in households that agreed to insulate their attics when offered loft-clearing services even though they had to pay for the service: 4.8 fold increase


Index: Measuring Impact with Evidence

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on measuring impact with evidence and was originally published in 2013.

United States

  • Amount per $100 of government spending that is backed by evidence that the money is being spent wisely: less than $1
  • Number of healthcare treatments delivered in the U.S. that lack evidence of effectiveness: more than half
  • How much of total U.S. healthcare expenditure is spent to determine what works: less than 0.1 percent
  • Number of major U.S. federal social programs evaluated since 1990 using randomized experiments and found to have “weak or no positive effects”: 9 out of 10
  • Year the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy was set up to work with federal policymakers to advance evidence-based reforms in major U.S. social programs: 2001
  • Year the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) was introduced by President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB): 2002
    • Out of about 1,000 programs assessed, number found to be effective in 2008: 19%
    • Percentage of programs that could not be assessed due to insufficient data: 17%
    • Amount spent on the Even Start Family Literacy Program, rated ineffective by PART, over the life of the Bush administration: more than $1 billion
  •  Year Washington State legislature began using Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s estimates on how “a portfolio of evidence-based and economically sound programs . . . could affect the state’s crime rate, the need to build more prisons, and total criminal-justice spending”: 2007
    • Amount invested by legislature in these programs: $48 million
    • Amount saved by the legislature: $250 million
  • Number of U.S. States in a pilot group working to adapt The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, based on the Washington State model, to make performance-based policy decisions: 14
  • Net savings in health care expenditure by using the Transitional Care Model, which meets the Congressionally-based Top Tier Evidence Standard: $4,000 per patient
  • Number of states that conducted “at least some studies that evaluated multiple program or policy options for making smarter investments of public dollars” between 2008-2011: 29
  • Number of states that reported that their cost-benefit analysis influenced policy decisions or debate: 36
  • Date the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum proposing new evaluations and advising agencies to include details on determining effectiveness of their programs, link disbursement to evidence, and support evidence-based initiatives: 2007
  • Percentage increase in resources for innovation funds that use a tiered model for evidence, according to the President’s FY14 budget: 44% increase
  • Amount President Obama proposed in his FY 2013 budget to allocate in existing funding to Performance Partnerships “in which states and localities would be given the flexibility to propose better ways to combine federal resources in exchange for greater accountability for results”:  $200 million
  • Amount of U.S. federal program funding that Harvard economist Jeffrey Liebman suggests be directed towards evaluations of outcomes: 1%
  • Amount of funding the City of New York has committed for evidence-based research and development initiatives through its Center for Economic Opportunity: $100 million a year


  • How many of the 30 OECD countries in 2005-6 have a formal requirement by law that the benefits of regulation justify the costs: half
    • Number of 30 OECD member countries in 2008 that reported quantifying benefits to regulations: 16
    • Those who reported quantifying costs: 24
  • How many members make up the Alliance for Useful Evidence, a network that “champion[s]  evidence, the opening up of government data for interrogation and use, alongside the sophistication in research methods and their applications”: over 1,000
  • Date the UK government, the ESRC and the Big Lottery Fund announced plans to create a network of ‘What Works’ evidence centres: March 2013
  • Core funding for the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth: £1m p.a. over an initial three year term
  • How many SOLACE Summit members in 2012 were “very satisfied” with how Research and Intelligence resources support evidence-based decision-making: 4%
    • Number of areas they identified for improving evidence-based decision-making: 5
    • Evaluation of the impact of past decisions: 46% of respondents
    • Benchmarking data with other areas: 39%
    • assessment of options available: 33% 
    • how evidence is presented: 29% 
    • Feedback on public engagement and consultation: 25%
  •  Number of areas for improvement for Research and Intelligence staff development identified at the SOLACE Summit: 6
    • Strengthening customer insight and data analysis: 49%
    • Impact evaluation: 48%
    • Strategic/corporate thinking/awareness: 48%
    • Political acumen: 46%
    • Raising profile/reputation of the council for evidence-based decisions: 37%
    • Guidance/mentoring on use of research for other officers: 25%


Index: Trust in Institutions

The Living Library Index – inspired by the Harper’s Index – provides important statistics and highlights global trends in governance innovation. This installment focuses on trust in institutions and was originally published in 2013.

Trust in Government

  • How many of the global public feel that their governments listen to them: 17%
  • How much of the global population trusts in institutions: almost half 
  • The number of Americans who trust institutions: less than half
  • How many people globally believe that business leaders and government officials will tell the truth when confronted with a difficult issue: Less than one-fifth
  • The average level of confidence amongst citizens in 25 OECD countries:
    • In national government: 40%, down from 45% in 2007
    • In financial institutions: 43%
    • In public services such as local police and healthcare: 72% and 71% respectively

Executive Government

  • How many Americans trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always or most of the time” in September 2013: 19%
  • Those who trust the “men and women … who either hold or are running for public office”: 46%
  • Number of Americans who express a great deal or fair amount of trust in:
    • Local government: 71%
    • State government: 62%
    • Federal government: 52%
  • How many Americans trust in the ability of “the American people” to make judgments about political issues facing the country:  61%, declining every year since 2009
  • Those who have trust and confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle international problems: 49%
  • Number of Americans who feel “angry” at the federal government: 3 in 10, all-time high since first surveyed in 1997


  • Percentage of Americans who say “the political system can work fine, it’s the members of Congress that are the problem” in October 2013: 58%
  • Following the government shutdown, number of Americans who stated that Congress would work better if nearly every member was replaced next year: nearly half
  • Those who think that even an entire overhaul of Congress would not make much difference: 4 in 10 
  • Those who think that “most members of Congress have good intentions, it’s the political system that is broken” in October 2013: 32%

Trust in Media

  • Global trust in media (traditional, social, hybrid, owned, online search): 57% and rising
  • The percentage of Americans who say they have “a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the mass media”: 44% – the lowest level since first surveyed in 1997
  • How many Americans see the mass media as too liberal: 46%
    • As too conservative: 13%
    • As “just about right”: 37%
  • The number of Americans who see the press as fulfilling the role of political watchdog and believe press criticism of political leaders keeps them from doing things that should not be done: 68%
  • The proportion of Americans who have “only a little/not at all” level of trust in Facebook to protect privacy and personal information: three in four
    • In Google: 68%
    • In their cell phone provider: 63%

Trust in Industry

  • Global trust in business: 58%
  • How much of the global public trusts financial institutions: 50%
  • Proportion of the global public who consider themselves informed about the banking scandals: more than half
  • Of those, how many Americans report they now trust banks less: almost half
  • Number of respondents globally who say they trust tech companies to do what’s right: 77%, most trusted industry
  • Number of consumers across eight markets who were “confident” or “somewhat confident” that the tech sector can provide long-term solutions to meet the world’s toughest challenges: 76%