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Over one in three in Australia and Korea are stressed by finances

Money and self-pressure are the leading major causes of stress in APAC; Japanese are the least stressed people

Singapore, December 7, 2015 – Australians and Koreans are more stressed out by finance matters than their counterparts in the region, as well as internationally. In a recent GfK survey, 35 percent of respondents in these two countries indicated that the amount of money they have to live on is a major cause of stress for them — significantly higher than the international average which stands at only 29 percent. Hong Kong, Japan, and China—the three other APAC markets included in the survey - attained 23, 22 and 19 percent respectively.

With the pressure of Christmas shopping already underway, GfK has released findings from a 22-country survey looking at the major causes of stress in people’s daily lives. The online study asked over 27,000 consumers to identify major causes of stress from a given list. Overall, almost three in ten (29 percent) people cite the amount of money that they have to live on, making this the leading major cause of stress internationally. This is followed by the pressure that people put upon themselves (27 percent), not getting enough sleep (23 percent) and not having time for the things they want to (22 percent). The amount of work people have to get done in the day (cited by 19 percent) comes next, completing the top five most common major causes of stress internationally.

“The survey, which was conducted mid this year (before the latest terrorist attack in Paris), shows that consumers in Asia – like most countries – rate money and self-pressure as leading major causes of stress,” observed Michael Mueller, APAC COO for Consumer Experience at GfK. “On the other hand, very few people in the region see the threat of crime as a major cause of stress; an indication of the strong confidence level in the security system of these markets.”

At the other end of scale, people in Japan appear to be the least stressed. Response levels for each of the stress factors presented in the survey were lower than the global average. For instance, the top three major contributors of stress in the country are all substantially lower when compared to the regional average: amount of money to live on (22 percent), health (13 percent) and pressure people put upon themselves (13 percent). In addition, half of the Japanese respondents (48 percent) say none of the items listed are a major cause of stress—the highest among all the markets surveyed.

Meanwhile, Koreans appear to be a nation of worriers, with more than one in five respondents from the country indicating their high stress level for six of the factors. On top of the top three stress factors aligned with the general findings, a greater percentage of Korean respondents compared to the international average are also concerned about their health (25 percent), taking care of a family member (beyond normal parenting) (22 percent), and the amount of work to get done in the day (21 percent).

“The business of stress management and reduction is growing, especially in some developed markets where competition between individuals to get ahead is more intense,” commented Mueller. “Everyone experiences some degree of stress at some point in their life and the ability to identify and effectively offer the right stress buster to counter these stress inducing factors may prove very lucrative,” he concluded.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was carried out over the summer 2015 and the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.

1The survey question asked: “Please indicate which of these things are a major cause of stress in your life: The amount of money you have to live on / Your children / The amount of work you have to get done in the day / The people you have to work with / Your spouse / Getting to and from the places you have to go each day / Your parents / Pressure you put on yourself / Your health / Not getting enough sleep / The threat of crime / Not having time for the things I want to do / Threats from the outside world (natural disaster, terrorism, etc.) / Taking care of a family member (beyond normal parenting), who is ill, elderly, or has other needs or problems (e.g., financial, housekeeping, etc.)”

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


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