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Living on the Other Side of Change: Trending the World with Roper Reports®

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The past four decades have seen extraordinary transformations in consumers’ lives – and the pattern of dramatic change continues. DVDs are giving way to YouTube and Netflix, which are reinventing the relationships between viewers, media brands, and content. And in the workplace, “cradle to grave” has given way to “work for hire,” with assumptions about employment and retirement continuing to evolve.

Now celebrating its 40th year, Roper Reports® continues to trace these changes through gold-standard research, allowing us to identify trends across these and many other extraordinary shifts in American and global life. We are sharing new findings from this rich resource through our new 40th anniversary storytelling platform, Trending the World: 40 Years of Roper Reports®. A collaboration of GfK’s Consumer Trends and Data Visualization teams, Trending the World will focus on one key area each month from our 40 years of data – taking us through the end of the year, and beyond.

Our first “chapter” is, quite appropriately, about how comfortable consumers are with change. A growing body of Roper research suggests that people in the US are adapting faster to change, and are frustrated when business, government, and other institutions don’t anticipate and respond to how they are changing.

Almost 2 in 3 Americans feel “we need more changes today, not less” and are disappointed at “the lack of meaningful change” that has taken place in the past decade; both of these metrics are up markedly from 2004. Decreasing numbers, meanwhile, feel various groups are creating change “for the better” in our society, with particularly notable drops for government leaders, business and industry leaders, and religious groups.

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