Ipsos’ latest Perils of Perception study shows which key facts the online public in Malaysia get right about the society and which they get wrong.
Malaysians estimate that half of Malaysia (49%) are unemployed and looking for work, with the actual figure being as low as 3% (46% gap).
Malaysians strongly overestimate the share of the country’s energy that comes from renewable sources. The average guess puts the renewable share at 39%, while the reality is only 5%.
The study also showed that Malaysians underestimate the size of the country’s economy relative to others, with an estimation that the country’s economy is ranked 120 out of the almost 200 countries in the world, while the actual ranking is 37.
In addition, Malaysia greatly overestimates the levels of growth of its elderly population.
The average guess is that 57% of the population will be above 65 years old 2050, while the actual projection is only 16%.
All other countries overestimate their future elderly population, although none to the same degree as Malaysians.
“Malaysians believing that half of the population is currently unemployed and that majority are going to be 65+ when we reach 2050, shows the extent of our overestimation, irrespective of the facts.
There are many different reasons why we are far from social and economic facts.
These can include external influences on us, such as what we hear in the media or emphasised in online platforms, but our own internal biases are just as important, (which) include the tendency to focus more on negative stories,” said Ipsos Malaysia managing director Arun Menon.