In every country surveyed, more say their country will be better off in the future if it is open to changes regarding its traditions and way of life than say their country will be better off sticking to its traditions. This ranges from a high of 68% in the UK who are open to changes to a low of 51% in France.
Those on the left are consistently much more likely than those on the right to say their country will be better off if it is open to traditions changing. This difference is particularly stark in the U.S., where those on the left are 60 percentage points more likely than those on the right to be open to changes regarding traditions. However, differences of 20 percentage points or more are present in the UK, Germany and France.
Younger people – those ages 18 to 29 – are more open to changes to tradition than older adults in every country but Germany, and in the U.S. and France, this divide is particularly large.
Education is also related to openness to change. In all countries surveyed, those with a postsecondary education or above are more likely than those with a secondary education or less to say their country will benefit from being open to changes. This difference is largest in Germany, where 68% of those with more education say their country should be open to changes, compared with 55% of those with less education.
Support for populist parties is also related to attitudes about tradition and change. In Germany, for example, AfD supporters are 31 percentage points more likely than nonsupporters to say their country will be better off if it sticks to its traditions and way of life. This difference is also present between supporters and nonsupporters of the Brexit Party (Reform UK) and France’s National Rally.
Supporters of France’s left-wing populist La France Insoumise party, on the other hand, are less likely to say France will be better off in the future if it sticks to its traditions and ways of life than nonsupporters.