The 2020 Trust Barometer is Edelman’s 20th annual trust and credibility survey, measuring trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies. The Barometer surveys more than 34,000 respondents across 28 countries.

This year's findings reveal Britain is at its lowest ever position in a global table of trust among the mass populations of 28 countries. Only Russia is a less trusting society. 

The study reveals that 3 in 5 Britons say they are losing faith in democracy as an effective form of government, and over half believe that capitalism does more harm than good. 

2020 Trust Barometer

Institutions are seen by Brits as less competent and more unethical compared to the global average. The public blame politicians for creating an environment of fear for their own political gain.  

But while the public ferociously condemn political leaders who lie—with a quarter of people even wanting them jailed—a significant proportion of them take a much more pragmatic attitude and tolerate deceit if it supports causes they believe in and gets things done. Strikingly, this moral flexibility and complicity is almost twice as likely to be found among the better-informed and wealthier people in society than in people on the lowest incomes.  


  • 53% of people think that capitalism does more harm than good in the world 
  • The NHS (85%), tackling crime (84%), improving the standard of living (80%) – are concerns shared by all demographics in society  
  • Increasingly Brits think the country is on the right track, and 4 in 5 agree on the priorities for reform
  • 61% say people are divided on the key issues facing the UK today
  • 49% are unsatisfied with the progress on tackling crime and progress on improving healthcare quality and accessibility
  • 72% believe government does not understand emerging technologies enough to regulate them effectively
  • Three-quarters of Brits fear losing their jobs: fears include the gig-economy, automation and globalisation 
  • 45% feel their views are not represented in British politics
  • 62% of employees would like the opportunity to shape the future of society