IRI Poll: Jordanians Encouraged by Stability; Concerned about High Prices and Refugee Numbers

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Amman, Jordan – A poll conducted in Jordan (PDF) (Arabic version (PDF)) by IRI finds that Jordanians have moderated their views on the current state of the country since IRI’s last poll in March 2013, although more people still feel that the country is going in the wrong direction (48 percent) than the right direction (39 percent).  Right direction responses increased seven percent since March 2013. 

People who felt that the country is on the right track primarily credited stability and security (61 percent), while people who felt Jordan is going in the wrong direction said so because of high prices (36 percent), corruption (14 percent) and poor economic conditions (12 percent).  Yet the poll finds that a significant amount of Jordanians (46 percent) believe that their household situation will be somewhat better or much better over the coming 12 months.

In part due to increasing confidence in the direction of the country, when asked why rallies in support of reform have decreased over the past year, respondents said the protests were neither effective nor had they produced any positive results (23 percent), while an additional 23 percent were not sure or didn’t know.  Others pointed to fear of a loss of security in Jordan (seven percent), and concern that Jordan could follow the path of neighbors engulfed in war (12 percent).

Syrian Refugees Worrying Citizens

The Syrian refugee crisis weighs more heavily on the minds of Jordanians than in previous surveys, with 13 percent of respondents citing it as the single biggest problem facing Jordan, up from four percent in March 2013.  More than two out of five Jordanians (43 percent) support closing the borders to Syrian refugees, while nearly a third (32 percent) agrees with limiting the number of refugees.  About one quarter (23 percent) believes the borders should remain open.  Overall, Jordanians believe that the influx of Syrian refugees has significantly affected real estate prices, job opportunities for Jordanians and the quality of public services. 

Nuclear Power Plant

IRI probes important issues in its polling to help inform the public debate based on citizens’ views.  The current poll probes nuclear power, an important energy issue that could directly affect economic policy questions facing the Jordanian government.  The poll finds that public opinion is mixed on the debate over the government’s proposed nuclear project.  As a net energy importer, Jordan spent nearly $7 billion on its energy needs in 2012, accounting for about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.  According to government projections, nuclear power could satisfy close to 30 percent of the nation’s electricity demand by 2030.  The poll finds that while many Jordanians (54 percent) are in favor of the project, most (76 percent) have little to no familiarity with its specifics. 

Methodology

The survey, fielded from November 30-December 6, 2013, consisted of a randomly selected sample of 1,000 Jordanian citizens eligible to vote and is a representation of the Jordanian population by age, gender, geographic location, income and education.  The margin of error for the national sample does not exceed plus or minues three percent at the 95 percent confidence level and a 99 percent response rate. 

In analyzing the survey data IRI focused on a number of specific demographics among the Jordanian population that stood out on certain issues because they differed from the national average, including women, young people (aged 18-24), middle-income earners (600-999 Jordanian dinars), and respondents living in the north of the country closest to Syria. 

IRI’s Jordan program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, utilizes public opinion polling data to inform decision makers, political parties and civil society of citizen priorities.  In concert with national and municipal public opinion polls, IRI is developing the capacity of Jordanian civil society organizations to understand and conduct survey research.  This is the 11th national poll IRI has conducted in Jordan in partnership with Middle East Marketing and Research Consultants.

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