On November 18, 2014 The Asia Foundation released the tenth in a series of public opinion surveys of the Afghan people. These are the broadest and most comprehensive surveys conducted in Afghanistan, and together they provide a barometer of Afghan public opinion over time.
Use this map to learn more about the 2014 survey, or past surveys; explore by region, year, or specific survey questions, or, download the full dataset for a more complete picture. Survey data from 2006 to 2014 is available here for review and download.
Click anywhere on the screen to gain new insights into Afghanistan and the Afghan People.
The Asia Foundation’s 2014 Survey of the Afghan people, the tenth in a series, attempted to measure how Afghan citizens assess their country’s situation in general. Respondents were asked whether they think things in Afghanistan today are going in the right direction or the wrong direction.
In 2014 55% of Afghans say their country is moving in the right direction, down from 57% in 2013, while 40% say it is moving in the wrong direction, up from 38% in 2013. Despite yearly fluctuations, the long-term trend since 2006 shows an increase in the perception that the country is moving in the right direction. Overall optimism in 2014 is highest in the East, South East, and South West regions. Since 2013, the percentage of Afghans in the East and West regions who say the country is going in the right direction has increased. The largest decreases over the past year in the percentage of people who say the country is going in the right direction are found in the Central/Hazarajat and South West regions.
Q: What is the biggest problem facing Afghanistan as a whole?*
Afghanistan in 2014: A Survey of the Afghan People is The Asia Foundation's tenth annual public opinion survey in Afghanistan. The longest-running and broadest nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions, the survey has gathered the views of 65,558 Afghans on a wide range of issues central to the country's growth and development since 2004. The survey series is unique in its broad scope and long duration, tracking long-term trend lines on questions of keen interest to Afghans and the international community alike.
The national mood in Afghanistan this year is one of cautious optimism, reflecting citizens' hopes and fears across the country. In 2014, a large proportion of the Afghan public remains most concerned about insecurity, corruption, and unemployment. This year's survey polled 9,271 Afghan citizens, including 50.1% male and 49.9% female respondents, from 14 ethnic groups across all 34 provinces in the country.
In-person surveys were conducted between June 22 and July 28, 2014, following the June presidential run-off election in Afghanistan. These surveys were conducted by a team of 909 experienced Afghan interviewers (474 male and 435 female), who were deployed across the country. Survey results are weighted to be nationally representative using the 2013-2014 Afghan Central Statistics Office's (CSO) population estimates for provincial, as well as urban and rural, population distributions. This year, the margin of error is +/- 1.5% at the 95% confidence level with a p=.05 and a design effect of 2.17 for the probability sample.
The Foundation's longstanding research partner, ACSOR-Surveys, conducted the survey based on current population data from the Afghan government's Central Statistic Office, and Sayara Research provided independent, third-party monitoring for quality control. Eureka Research provided a qualitative research component (a new feature this year) based on using 125 in-depth interviews in five provinces. Together, the Foundation and its survey partners implement quality control processes for the survey guided by principles of validity, reliability, timeliness, and integrity.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women's empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. In addition, our Books for Asia and professional exchange programs are among the ways we encourage Asia's continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.
Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Working with public and private partners, the Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2013, we provided nearly $114 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at over $10 million.
The Survey of the Afghan People is a major project of The Asia Foundation each year, requiring coordination of multiple inputs and of numerous Asia Foundation staff and Foundation partners. The survey report was produced under the overall guidance of Afghanistan Acting Country Representative Abdullah Ahmadzai and Deputy Country Representative Judge Najla Ayubi, and led by Zach Warren, the Director of Surveys and Research, working with the survey team, Shahim Ahmad Kabuli, Shamim Sarabi, Sayed Masood Sadat, and Maryam Sherzai.
ACSOR-Surveys worked closely with the Foundation in planning, conducting, or monitoring all survey fieldwork, and the Foundation is grateful for their cooperation in ensuring the best practices were followed in a challenging fieldwork environment. Sayara Research, Inc., provided excellent monitoring support for all fieldwork and enumerator trainings in real time. Additional thanks are due to Eureka for providing qualitative research support for key questions.
“Visualizing Afghanistan”, The Asia Foundation’s survey data mapping project, was led by John Karr, Director for Digital Media & Technology Programs at The Asia Foundation. Jon Jamieson, Senior Producer for Digital Media & Technology Programs, served as project manager, with support from Tomas Apodaca. Rob DiCiuccio and Definition LLC contributed to development of the site for 2014.
The Asia Foundation thanks the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Department for International Development (FCO/DFID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their support to this survey and also for supporting Afghan capacity development in research methods and data analysis.