December 21, 2009 — In Kabul, on October 27, The Asia Foundation released the results of its fifth survey of Afghan public opinion: Afghanistan in 2009: A Survey of the Afghan People. The survey was conducted nationwide throughout all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, and is a comprehensive, firsthand assessment of public perception on security, the economy, governance, democratic values, and the status of women. In-person interviews with 6,406 respondents took place between June 17 and July 6, prior to the national elections, and were administered by local Afghan survey teams totaling 648 men and women.
The survey provides a striking snapshot of public opinion in Afghanistan and insights about the problems Afghans face and the direction in which they believe their country is moving. The survey respondents pointed to insecurity-attacks, violence, and terrorism-as the biggest problem facing the country, followed closely by unemployment, a poor economy, and corruption. Findings also indicate that 42 percent of Afghans think the country is headed in the right direction (compared to 38% in 2008, 42% in 2007, 44% in 2006, and 64% in 2004*); while 29 percent feel it is moving in the wrong direction (32% in 2008, 24% in 2007, 21% in 2006, 11% in 2004*). The remaining 21 percent have mixed feelings (23% in 2008, 25% in 2007, 29% in 2006, and 8% in 2004*).