Visualising Trust in Europe

Trust Within Europe [PDF] summarises the results of Political Capital’s research on the nature and tendencies of political trust in Europe. It provides in-depth analysis and recommendations on how to build and strengthen trust. The visualisation of levels of distrust within Europe below was developed from the findings of this study.


The biannual Eurobarometer survey includes questions about whether respondents “tend to trust” or “tend not to trust” a number of institutions.

This visualisation shows a map of “extreme distrust” in May 2015, the most recent round of the survey. Extreme distrust means that a respondent to the survey tended not to trust all four political institutions they were asked about: political parties, their national government, their national parliament, and the EU.

The colour of each country indicates the percent of its population that is extremely distrustful.

Click on a country to find out more about how levels of extreme distrust have changed over the years.

Of course, trust goes beyond these four institutions. The Eurobarometer survey has asked about a number more over the years, including the legal and justice system, police, the army, the UN, the press, TV, radio, and the Internet. By clicking on the country, levels of trust in the various additional institutions are also available—just click on the name of the institution to display in the list at the bottom of the chart.

All charts are downloadable by selecting the icon in their top-right corner.


We’ve taken a closer look at how levels of trust have changed in five countries: Lithuania, Spain, Slovakia, Greece, and Finland. Watch the videos below to hear from citizens of each of these countries on a particular institution.