Trust in others, legal system and politics; European comparison

Trust in others, legal system and politics; European comparison

Personal characteristics Countries Periods Evaluation of trust in Other people (score) Evaluation of trust in Legal system (score) Evaluation of trust in Police (score) Evaluation of trust in Politicians (score) Evaluation of trust in Parliament (score) Evaluation of trust in Political parties (score) Evaluation of trust in European Parliament (score) Evaluation of trust in United Nations (score) Percentage of people with trust in Other people (%) Percentage of people with trust in Legal system (%) Percentage of people with trust in Police (%) Percentage of people with trust in Politicians (%) Percentage of people with trust in Parliament (%) Percentage of people with trust in Political parties (%) Percentage of people with trust in European Parliament (%) Percentage of people with trust in United Nations (%)
Total Belgium 2010 5.0 4.9 6.0 3.9 4.5 3.9 5.0 5.3 43 43 64 24 34 23 45 48
Total Belgium 2012 5.1 4.9 6.1 4.3 5.0 4.2 5.1 5.5 46 44 66 31 44 30 47 53
Total Belgium 2014 5.0 5.0 6.0 4.1 4.8 4.1 4.8 5.2 43 47 66 29 43 28 42 47
Total Bulgaria 2010 3.5 2.5 3.9 2.0 2.4 2.0 4.8 4.9 20 11 25 7 9 6 40 40
Total Bulgaria 2012 3.4 2.3 3.6 1.8 2.1 1.8 4.3 4.6 18 10 23 4 7 4 32 39
Total Bulgaria 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Finland 2010 6.5 6.9 8.0 4.4 5.4 4.5 5.1 6.6 72 79 93 34 51 36 46 74
Total Finland 2012 6.6 7.0 8.1 4.8 5.9 4.9 5.0 6.5 74 79 93 41 61 41 44 73
Total Finland 2014 6.7 6.8 7.9 4.6 5.6 4.7 4.7 6.2 76 75 90 38 55 39 39 66
Total Hungary 2010 4.5 4.6 5.1 3.1 4.2 3.1 4.7 5.1 32 36 44 15 29 14 37 45
Total Hungary 2012 4.8 4.7 5.3 3.3 3.9 3.2 4.2 4.9 42 38 46 20 26 18 28 38
Total Hungary 2014 4.2 4.6 5.3 2.9 3.9 3.0 4.8 5.4 30 38 47 17 26 16 41 49
Total Ireland 2010 5.3 5.1 6.5 3.1 3.7 3.1 4.1 5.3 47 44 68 13 21 11 26 46
Total Ireland 2012 5.2 5.2 6.6 3.1 3.6 3.0 4.4 5.5 48 46 73 15 21 13 33 51
Total Ireland 2014 5.2 5.3 6.3 3.3 3.8 3.3 4.6 5.4 48 48 66 17 24 16 37 51
Total Iceland 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Iceland 2012 6.0 5.8 7.8 3.9 4.2 3.5 4.2 6.3 59 60 90 23 31 18 33 68
Total Iceland 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Kosovo 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Kosovo 2012 3.7 3.2 5.6 2.1 3.1 2.3 5.3 6.1 22 19 49 11 19 12 48 59
Total Kosovo 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total The Netherlands 2010 6.0 5.9 6.3 5.2 5.4 5.3 4.9 5.6 67 64 73 52 55 53 43 58
Total The Netherlands 2012 6.0 6.1 6.4 5.1 5.3 5.1 4.8 5.7 65 67 77 50 52 48 45 61
Total The Netherlands 2014 6.0 6.0 6.4 4.9 5.2 4.9 4.5 5.5 66 67 77 46 53 45 38 60
Total Norway 2010 6.7 6.9 7.2 4.9 6.0 4.9 5.0 6.7 74 76 82 38 61 37 37 74
Total Norway 2012 6.7 7.2 7.2 5.1 6.3 5.2 4.9 6.7 75 82 83 44 66 43 35 76
Total Norway 2014 6.6 7.2 7.4 5.3 6.7 5.3 5.0 6.7 73 81 85 48 76 47 38 74
Total Ukraine 2010 4.2 2.3 2.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 29 6 10 4 6 5 25 26
Total Ukraine 2012 4.5 1.9 2.0 1.7 1.8 1.9 3.9 3.9 38 7 9 4 7 5 29 29
Total Ukraine 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Austria 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Austria 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Austria 2014 5.0 5.7 6.5 3.5 4.7 3.4 3.6 4.4 42 55 68 19 37 18 23 33
Total Poland 2010 4.4 4.3 5.4 2.7 3.4 2.5 4.7 5.3 30 27 49 9 17 8 36 46
Total Poland 2012 4.1 3.7 5.3 2.2 3.0 2.2 4.2 5.0 26 20 46 6 13 6 29 41
Total Poland 2014 3.9 3.5 5.1 2.0 2.8 2.0 3.6 4.6 23 19 42 5 11 4 20 35
Total Slovenia 2010 3.9 3.1 5.0 2.3 3.0 2.2 3.7 4.1 24 16 40 6 13 5 21 28
Total Slovenia 2012 4.6 3.3 5.3 2.3 3.0 2.3 3.8 4.2 35 18 49 7 15 7 23 29
Total Slovenia 2014 4.1 3.1 5.5 1.9 2.8 2.0 3.4 4.2 25 18 51 4 14 4 21 28
Total Slovakia 2010 4.5 3.5 4.5 2.8 3.2 2.7 4.4 4.8 31 18 30 8 13 7 31 36
Total Slovakia 2012 3.8 3.2 4.1 2.8 3.1 2.7 3.7 4.2 24 15 27 10 15 10 22 27
Total Slovakia 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Spain 2010 5.1 4.4 6.3 2.7 4.3 2.7 4.5 5.0 41 33 68 11 30 10 31 41
Total Spain 2012 5.1 3.7 5.9 1.9 3.4 1.9 3.9 4.7 44 25 59 7 21 7 26 38
Total Spain 2014 4.8 4.0 6.3 2.2 3.7 2.2 3.8 4.8 38 29 65 8 24 7 26 41
Total Switzerland 2010 5.6 6.3 7.0 5.0 5.8 4.8 4.6 5.3 53 64 79 42 56 36 33 49
Total Switzerland 2012 5.7 6.5 7.2 5.2 6.1 5.0 4.7 5.5 54 70 82 45 63 41 35 51
Total Switzerland 2014 5.7 6.6 7.2 5.3 6.2 5.1 4.5 5.4 53 72 82 47 66 43 33 48
Source: ESS, Statistics Netherlands
Explanation of symbols

Table description


This table provides information on how much inhabitants of various European countries aged 15 years or older trust other people, the legal system and politics. Figures are from 2002 onwards. The question concerning trust in other people is: Overall, do you think most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful?. Trust in the legal system and politics is determined by asking people how much they trust a number of political and organisational institutions, viz. national parliament, the legal system, the police, politicians, political parties, the European Parliament and the United Nations.
The figures in this table are based on the European Social Survey (ESS). The ESS is conducted every two years commissioned by the European Committee, the European Science Foundation and various national organisations for scientific research.

Data available from: 2002

Status of the figures:
Figures of 2016 are preliminary. Figures of 2002 until 2014 are definite.

Changes as of 31 January 2019.
The preliminary figures of 2014 are corrected and made definite. Figures of 2016 are new.

When will new figures be published?
New figures will be published at the end of 2019. This will be an addition of 2016 figures for several countries for which no data are available at present. In addition, preliminary figures of 2018 will become available.

Description topics

Evaluation of trust in
Trust in other people and in a number of political and organisational institutions in terms of a mark from 0 to 10, where 0 equals no trust at all and 10 equals complete trust.
Other people
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?’ 0 means you can’t be too careful, and 10 means that most people can be trusted.
Source: ESS
Legal system
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust the legal system?’ 0 means you do not trust the legal system at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Police
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust the police?’ 0 means you do not trust the police at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Politicians
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust politicians?’ 0 means you do not trust politicians at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Parliament
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust national parliament?’ 0 means you do not trust national parliament at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Political parties
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust political parties?’ 0 means you do not trust political parties at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
European Parliament
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust the European Parliament?’ 0 means you do not trust the European Parliament at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
United Nations
Figures show the average score in answer to the question: ‘Can you give a score from 0-10 for how much you personally trust the United Nations?’ 0 means you do not trust the United Nations at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS

Percentage of people with trust in
The percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the questions about trust in other people and a number of political and organisational institutions, where 0 means no trust at all and 10 means complete trust.
Other people
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?’ 0 means you can’t be too careful and 10 means that most people can be trusted.
Source: ESS
Legal system
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust the legal system?’ 0 means you do not trust the legal system at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Police
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust the police?’ 0 means you do not trust the police at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Politicians
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust politicians?’ 0 means you do not trust politicians at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Parliament
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust the national parliament?’ 0 means you do not trust the national parliament at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
Political parties
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust political parties?’ 0 means you do not trust political parties at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
European Parliament
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust the European Parliament?’ 0 means you do not trust an institution at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS
United Nations
Figures show the percentage of people assigning a score of 6 or higher in answer to the question: ‘How much do you personally trust the United Nations?’ 0 means you do not trust the United Nations at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.
Source: ESS