Measuring the global market for traditional medicine
September 7th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Measuring the global market for traditional medicine

While the advancement of science means that modern medicine has become the mainstream choice, alternative medicine systems like homeopathy are still widely practised in some parts of the world. Are global consumers open minded about traditional medicine?

Latest data from YouGov Global Profiles shows over two in five global respondents are open to trying alternative medicine (46%).

South Africa (63%) and India (61%) register the highest share of consumers who agree with the statement – “I am open minded about homeopathy/alternative medicine.”

Consumers in APAC are not as likely as global respondents to agree with the statement. Only around a third of consumers in Hong Kong (35%) and China (30%) agree with the statement. Following further behind is Japan where only one in ten consumers agree (11%), the lowest of all markets.

In the Americas, around half of consumers in most markets say they are open minded. The US registers the highest share of consumers in agreement (58%), followed closely by Mexico (57%). South American countries are also not far behind – in Brazil (56%), Colombia (54%) and Argentina (50%) half or more of consumers are open-minded. Canada (44%) is the only country in this region to register less than half of the population who agree, lower than global respondents.

France (57%), Germany (55%) and Great Britain (51%) are the only European countries in this survey where over 50% of their consumers are open to experimenting with medicines. However, Germany and Great Britain also have over a third of consumers who are not interested in trying alternative medicine (36% and 32% respectively), making these countries more polarised. Japan is the only other country to register more than three in ten consumers who wouldn’t be open-minded about non-science-based medicinal methods (36%).

Breaking down the data by gender reveals that men and women in UAE are equally open-minded about alternative medicine – 52% agree. There’s a slight difference between American women (61%) and men (54%) in agreement. However, British women (61%) are far likelier than men (39%) to be willing to try traditional medicine.

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Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.