Advance in the crisis: German trust increases, but global infodemic spreads mistrust

After almost a year of the coronavirus pandemic, trust in government, business, media and NGOs has continued to grow in Germany, as shown by the 21st Edelman Trust Barometer. This is in stark comparison to global results – based on a survey of 33,000+ respondents across 28 countries – which show year over year a sharp decline in trust among many institutions.




Defying the crisis: Social institutions continue to gain trust despite pandemic
In the global trust ranking of the general public, Germany ranked 14th out of 27 countries and achieved 53 index points, compared to 46 index points in the previous year. Despite an overall increase in trust in Germany, individual institutions are still struggling to convince Germans to rate them as trustworthy and many now fall into the neutral trust range.

First time at the top: Government is the most trusted institution in Germany
Government is seen as the most trustworthy institution in this country (59%; +14%points), now followed by businesses (54%; +6%points), the media (52%; +3%points) and NGOs (46%; +3%points). The trust gap between the informed and general public has also halved in Germany (2021: 10 points).

Ethical and competent: companies now meet both criteria
Institutions in Germany are seen as more ethical compared to the previous year. In terms of competence, companies and the media show a slight decline. For all institutions, it is now important to use the positive momentum.

Misinformation is fundamental challenge: Only 1 in 5 respondents have a good information hygiene 
42% (globally: 57%) say that they like to pass on information they find exciting. Only one in five (globally: 29%) of those who share information they find exciting have good information hygiene.

Confronted with mistrust: Media face a question of trust
59% of Germans (globally: 61%) feel that media are not doing a good job when it comes to objective and non-partisan reporting. Furthermore, 42% (globally: 59%) say that news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than informing the public. Alarmingly, 43% (globally 59%) of respondents say journalists and reporters deliberately seek to mislead people by providing false and exaggerated information.

Click here to go to the global  TRUST 2021 Website.


About Edelman Trust Barometer

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 21st annual trust and credibility survey. The survey was powered by research firm Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI) and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between October 19 and November 18, 2020. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 33,000 respondents, which includes 1,150 general population respondents across 28 countries and 200 informed public respondents in each country, except China and the U.S., which have a sample of 500 informed public respondents each and Nigeria which has 100 informed public respondents. All informed public respondents met the following criteria: aged 25-64, college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week.


Press contact

Anna-Lena Schildt, Senior PR & Marketing manager of Edelman Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 80 90 36 770 ; 

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