Trust in Government

As part of its work on measuring what drives trust in democratic government, the OECD is exploring the various ways governments can strengthen trust - an especially important task as countries emerge from the global pandemic and face new global challenges.

Public trust leads to greater compliance with a wide range of public policies, such as public health responses, regulations and the tax system. It also nurtures political participation, strengthens social cohesion, and builds institutional legitimacy. In the longer term, trust is needed to help governments tackle long-term societal challenges such as climate change, ageing populations, and changing labour markets.


What drives public trust in government?

OECD work has identified five main public governance drivers of trust in government institutions. They capture the degree to which institutions are responsive and reliable in delivering policies and services, and act in line with the values of openness, integrity and fairness.

Recent revisions to the Framework - intended to guide public efforts to recover trust in government during and after crises - identify two additional dimensions that play a role in generating public trust. These are:

  • cultural, socioeconomic and political drivers, and;
  • government’s capacity to address global and intergenerational issues

These various drivers interact with each other to influence people’s trust in public institutions.


2024 Trust Survey

As agreed in the 2022 OECD Ministerial meeting on “Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy”, the Trust Survey will be repeated every two years.

Nearly 60 000 respondents, representative of the adult population in 30 OECD countries, participated in the 2nd edition of the OECD Survey on Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions that was carried out in late 2023: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

The results will be presented on 10 July 2024 at 13:30 pm (CEST), followed by a high-level panel discussion. Register here to follow the webinar.

OECD Trust Survey Report

Building Trust to Reinforce Democracy: Key Findings from the 2021 OECD Survey on Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions
This report presents the main findings of the first OECD cross-national survey of trust in government and public institutions, representing over 50,000 responses across 22 OECD countries.

Participating countries were: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

See also: Survey design and technical documentation

Download the Summary brief in English, en français, en español.

Presentation of the key findings

Key resources

Country studies

Brazil trust report cover

Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in Brazil
Brazil's public governance efforts have been seen as a model for other Latin American countries in areas such as civil service reform, open and digital government. However, in line with regional trends, trust in government and public institutions in Brazil has consistently declined in recent decades, hindering inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as social cohesion. The COVID-19 and other emerging crises have further exacerbated this trend and highlighted the need to strengthen the resilience of public institutions. Brazil is the first country in Latin America to undertake an OECD study on the main drivers of trust in public institutions, as part of a broader effort in building trustworthy relationships between the people and institutions. This report provides novel evidence on Brazilian people’s expectations and evaluation of government’s reliability, responsiveness, openness, integrity and fairness, based on the OECD Trust Survey. Based on this evidence, it identifies opportunities to further enhance trust, including improving the delivery and responsiveness of public services, enhancing foresight, planning, and preparedness to address long-term challenges, and promoting communication and engagement between the government and the people.

Lessons from the OECD Trust Survey in Portugal
This paper presents the results of the OECD Trust Survey implemented in Portugal. It identifies the main areas for improvement and guidelines for action to help Portugal reinforce trust and democracy and enhance public governance to address future challenges.



©Victor Maschek/

Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is considered effective as it protected people’s lives with limited disruption to society and the economy. A key factor in achieving these results was a focus on collective goals, grounded in the high-trust relationship that exists between New Zealanders and their public institutions. Still, high levels of trust should not be taken for granted. As new challenges emerge and old ones reappear, people in New Zealand expect the government to build on the lessons from the pandemic to improve service delivery and the resilience of public institutions. This report provides recommendations for further strengthening trust, including making public services more responsive, integrating long-term thinking into policy making, countering the spread of mis- and disinformation and reinforcing New Zealand’s integrity system.

Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in Norway
Trust in public institutions is a cornerstone of the Norwegian administrative and political model. It has also been a crucial element in Norway’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preserving and strengthening this “trust capital” will be essential for Norway in addressing future trade-offs and challenges, such as ensuring the sustainability of the welfare model, coping with climate change and maintaining social cohesion. This study examines the main determinants of trust in Norway’s national government, local government and public administration.

Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in Finland
Public trust is a cornerstone of the Finnish administrative and political model, it has also been a key element of Finland's successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preserving and strengthening the Finnish trust capital will be of essence for facing trade-offs and challenges ahead, particularly during the recovery phase following the pandemic. Through the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods this study examines the key determinants of trust in government, the local government and the public administration in Finland. Overall, it finds that responsiveness of public services and reliability of policies are key determinants of trust in institutions in Finland.

Understanding the Drivers of Trust in Government Institutions in Korea
The erosion of public trust challenges government’s capacity to implement policies and carry out reforms. While Korea has achieved and maintained rapid economic growth and development, and performs comparatively well in several existing measures of the quality of public administration, trust in government institutions is relatively low. This pioneering case study presents a measurement and policy framework of the drivers of institutional trust and explores some policy avenues Korea could take to restore trust in public institutions.

In focus