Corruption is a major issue for Afghans with confidence in public institutions at a record low in the country, according to a new survey.
Women's rights, unemployment and security were also issues that worried Afghan citizens, according to new research by the The Asia Foundation, a US based development organisation.
Check out the survey here.
Asia Foundation spokesman Mark Kryzer said corruption remained a major challenge in the country with confidence in public institutions at a record low in the nine-year history of the survey.
Sympathy for the Taliban had crept up to 35 per cent, up from 30 per cent last year.
It appears the Afghan people are apprehensive and maybe you could say a bit fearful in some areas but surprisingly cautiously optimistic in other key areas particularly as they relate to the election.
Asia Foundation spokesman Mark Kryzer
"When we ask why do you have sympathy, the most often given response is corruption in the current government. So it is a major issue," Mr Kryzer told Radio Australia.
Despite these concerns the Afghan people were surprisingly optimistic about the future ahead of fresh elections expected in April next year.
"It appears the Afghan people are apprehensive and maybe you could say a bit fearful in some areas, but surprisingly cautiously optimistic in other key areas, particularly as they relate to the election," Mr Kryzer said.
Mr Kryzer said more than half of those surveyed said they expected the next election to improve their lives and expressed confidence in the direction of the country.
"Again why is that? Are people just as you would in any democracy, any election, tired after the same administration for 11 years and looking for improvements? It's really hard to say," he said.
"People responded with the visibility of new schools, the visibility of infrastructure projects like new roads, irrigation canals... those were some of the reasons given for some optimism."
US forces invaded Afghanistan soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington and together with Afghan fighters toppled a Taliban-led government which harboured Al Qaeda leaders.
Their presence has generated deep enmity among some Afghans who resent what they see as US violations of their sovereignty.
There are 47,000 US forces in Afghanistan.
The US has been in discussions with Afghan officials about keeping a residual force of about 8,000 troops after the end of the NATO combat mission next year.
Mr Kryzer says some Afghan citizens still expressed fear for their safety with concerns the unemployment rate will soar when NATO forces pull out.
"There is still a good deal of fear. More people than last year have fear for their own personal safety or that of their family members on a daily basis," Mr Kryzer said.
Concerns about women's rights was also up this year, with women stating their biggest concerns were illiteracy, unemployment and forced marriages.
"However if you look at all the respondents in the survey, 90 per cent agree everyone should have equal rights under the law and equal opportunity to education. I think that's a relatively positive sign," Mr Kryzer said.
The survey polled 9,260 men and women across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan.