Egyptians Optimistic Post-Revolution

by Bryant Ott and Mohamed Younis

Post-revolution survey reveals areas in need of attention

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Egyptians transition from nearly three decades under former President Hosni Mubarak's rule, Gallup surveys conducted in late March and early April show they do so with a growing optimism about their future lives.

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When asked to rate their current lives and their lives five years in the future on a 0-to-10 ladder scaled based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, Egyptians forecast that, five years from now, their lives will be an average of 5.7. This is up from 4.9 in fall 2010. In contrast, they rate their current lives worse than before, at 3.9. This is down from 4.4 last fall and the lowest level Gallup has measured in recent years.

Egyptians' Optimism Tempered by Dissatisfaction With Local Conditions

In the cities and areas where Egyptians live and work, optimism gives way to dissatisfaction with economic conditions. Despite being three times as likely to say they believe the country's economy is getting better (46%) than they were in fall 2010 (15%), Egyptians are twice as likely to say the economic conditions in their communities are getting worse (53%) than they were one year ago (25%).

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The job market is likely one of the issues contributing to their economic concerns. Most Egyptians (81%) continue to say it is a bad time to find a job in their local communities. Relatively small numbers are satisfied with the availability of good affordable housing where they live (20%) and with the availability of quality healthcare (36%).

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After the revolution, 28% Egyptians said they approve of the leadership in their city or area, compared with 47% in spring 2009. This decline may reflect Egyptians' greater sense of freedom to express their opinions. Factor in Egyptians being twice as likely now as in 2010 to say they do not feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live (39% vs. 17%), and the collective status of Egyptians' lives shows a population in flux.

Perhaps Egyptians will consider these issues when casting their ballots in the country's presidential election, tentatively scheduled for November 2011. The recent survey finds 89% of Egyptians eager to participate in what 91% believe will be an honest and fair election. This represents a drastic improvement in Egyptians' opinions about the honesty of elections and their willingness to vote. Less than 30% said they had confidence in elections in 2010, and about one-quarter of eligible voters routinely participated in elections during the latter years of Mubarak's rule.

These, and other changes, are detailed in a new report, Egypt From Tahrir to Transition. In addition to examining Egyptians' optimism for the future and opinions about their current lives, the report includes recommendations for leaders in the United States and Egypt to help the country transition to a strong and stable democracy, and offer a positive example to the region.

Read the complete report.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews in Egypt with approximately 1,000 adults in each survey administration, aged 15 and older, from 2007 to 2011. Surveys took place in July 2007; in 2008, they were conducted April 23-May 18; in 2009, surveys took place March 7-22 and Aug. 11-19; in 2010, they were conducted March 13-23 and Sept. 25-Oct. 26; and in 2011 surveys were conducted March 25-April 2. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±3.1 to ±3.5 percentage points. The questionnaire was translated into Arabic. The translation process starts with an English version. A translator who is proficient in the English and Arabic languages translates the survey into the target language. A second translator reviews the language version against the original version and recommends refinements.

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

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