People around the world have grown far more cynical about the idea their governments have their best interests at heart, according to polling from Pew.

By the numbers: When Pew last asked this question in 2002, majorities in nearly all countries polled believed their government was run to benefit all people. Amid the current populist wave, there is far more doubt.

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Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

Zoom in: Italy saw the most remarkable decline in people's belief that the country was run for all, falling from 88% in 2002 to 30% in 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Italy's mainstream parties have rapidly lost support to populists.

  • Germany, which is also undergoing extreme political fragmentation, also saw a massive drop (86% to 48%).
  • Lebanon, which has been gripped by protests over corruption and poor government services, saw a plunge from 78% to 26%.
  • The U.S. and U.K. saw similar drops, both from around 65% to around 45%. Canada's drop was much smaller (59% to 56%) while France started low but ticked up slightly (40% to 44%).

Bucking the trend were the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as Japan (albeit from a low starting point).

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