The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 23rd annual trust and credibility survey. The research was produced by the Edelman Trust Institute and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between November 1st and November 28th, 2022. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 32,000 respondents across 28 countries.



Social fabric weakens amid deepening divisions


A lack of faith in societal institutions triggered by economic anxiety, disinformation, mass-class divide and a failure of leadership has brought us to where we are today – deeply and dangerously polarized.

  • Business is the only institution seen as competent and ethical.
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents globally say that their countries are more divided today than in the past.
  • CEOs are obligated to improve economic optimism and hold divisive forces accountable.


Economic optimism collapses


People now fear for their economic future without a trust safety net. Only 40% of respondents say they and their families will be better off in five years, a 10-point decline from 2022.


Distrust breeds polarization

Very few would help, live near, or work with someone who disagreed with their point of view:


would help them if they were in need.


would be willing to live in the same neighborhood.


would be willing to have them as a coworker.

Explore the findings


Great expectations result in heightened risk for business


Even among those who see their country as polarized, my employer is the only trusted institution. 


While people want business to do more on social issues, it risks being politicized when engaging on contentious issues.


Explore the findings


The Way Forward



Business is expected to act

As the most trusted institution, business should leverage its comparative advantage to inform debate and deliver solutions on climate, DEI, and skill training.


Collaborate with government

Business and government can build consensus and collaborate to deliver results that push us towards a more just, secure, and thriving society.


Restore economic optimism

Invest in fair compensation, training, and local communities to address the mass-class divide and the cycle of polarization.


Advocate for the truth

Be a source of reliable information, promote civil discourse, and hold false information sources accountable.

The Trust 10



Business is seen
as competent and ethical


Business has increased its ethics score for the third straight year, rising 20 points since 2020. It is the only institution viewed as both competent and ethical.


Institutional imbalance


Globally, there is an 11-point gap between trust in business and trust in government: 62% trust business, while only 51% trust government.


Mass class divide
on trust


Those in the top quartile of income are more trusting than those considered low income. Double-digit trust inequality exists in 21 of 28 countries surveyed.

Highlights from the Europe supplementary study


Business seen as ethical and competent

The study find that business remains more trusted than government by a good margin, with 53% of European respondents trusting business to do the right thing, as compared to only 44% for government, a full 9 points behind business. In Europe, trust in government is at its lowest in Germany where only 34% trust it, a stat which does not bode well for Europe’s largest economy.



Countries are more divided today

Europe is deeply divided on many critical issues, but united in its negative economic outlook, its distrust of government, and its disdain for CEOs and politicians, and its belief that business should be doing more to address key societal issues like climate change, healthcare, economic inequality, energy shortages and trustworthy information.


CEOs are expected to take more action

In Europe, trust in government is at its lowest in Germany where only 34% trust it, a stat which does not bode well for Europe’s largest economy. On the other end, Ireland is the most likely to trust its government, at 47%. Finally, trust in government leaders is also low across the continent, with only 35% of Europeans saying that they trust government leaders to do what is right.

"It’s now up to business to step up its efforts to work with government to restore economic optimism with solutions on issues from climate to skills."

Amaia Betelu, Acting President Edelman Global Advisory

Edelman Analysis: This year’s study reveals a continent that is becoming ever more pessimistic, not only about its economic future but also about its leader’s ability to tackle rising polarization.

What does this mean for your business? 

Please reach out to learn more about the Edelman Trust Barometer.