- The study conducted in 2018 reveals that the primary fear among US adults is government corruption, with about 74 percent of participants expressing this concern.
- Other significant concerns include environmental issues like pollution (water and air), extinction of species, and climate change, personal security, financial instability, health-related costs, and illnesses or death in loved ones.
- Comparatively, the fear of government corruption has increased by 13% since 2016 and more concern is shown towards environmental issues compared to previous years.
- Contrary to popular belief, only about 18% of respondents agree with the notion that immigrants are more likely to commit crime than American citizens.
- The study also highlighted beliefs in paranormal activity with over 75% of respondents agreeing to the existence of at least one such occurrence, with haunted places and alien visits being the most common.
An intriguing survey reveals insight into the primary fears of individuals living in America, with corruption within government administration heading the list. These findings, however, are not entirely limited to political anxieties, as environmental concerns also make a significant appearance.
Understanding the American Fear Psyche
This study, conducted in mid-2018, utilized a nationwide sample population of 1,190 US adults and assessed their responses on approximately 94 topics. Results showed that about 74 percent of the participants declared they were either “afraid” or “very afraid” of government corruption.
Key Concerns Unveiled
Additional areas of concern addressed by participants extended to environmental and personal security, including pollution of aquatic bodies such as oceans, rivers, and lakes (61.6%); pollution of drinking water supplies (60.7%); financial instability for the future (57%); considerable illness in loved ones (56.5%); death of a loved one (56.4%); airborne pollution (55%); extinction of species, both plant and animal (54%); global warming and climate change (53.2%); and high health-related costs (53%).
Fear Trends Observed
Earlier perceptions of fear have notably changed since 2017. For instance, the current top 10 fears were held by more than half of the surveyed population, a clear increase from the previous year when only five of the top 10 fears reached the half populace mark.
Further shifts in concerns over the years were noticed. A significant 13% increase was observed in the apprehension towards corrupt government officials since 2016. Strikingly, there were no notable differences detected in this fear across political divides.
Another trend was the noticeable urgency towards environmental issues. None of the environmental concerns made it to the top 10 list in 2016. However, 2018 showed a different story with five environmental concerns being part of the list.
An Unforeseen Challenge to Mainstream Beliefs
This survey puts to test the commonly held belief regarding the criminal proclivity of immigrants. A minuscule 18% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that immigrants are more likely to commit crime than American citizens.
Disaster Preparedness and Alien Beliefs
Among disaster readiness and people’s readiness to evacuate, the survey revealed that a large number of respondents (21%) or their family members have had to abruptly vacate their homes due to a disaster. Yet, a higher percent of the population cited reasons of why they would or could not vacate their homes. Some of these reasons were protecting their property from looting, unwillingness to abandon pets, surviving past storms without evacuation, financial concerns, health and transportation issues.
Surprisingly, the survey also stated that over 75% of the American population believes in at least one paranormal occurrence in contrast to a previous figure of 64%. The most prevalent supernatural notion entails places being haunted by spirits (58%), pursued by beliefs in ancient civilizations, for instance, Atlantis (57%). Also, over 41% of respondents are convinced that aliens have made visits to the Earth in the past and continue to do so.
For individuals looking for ways to manage anxiety and stress related to these fears and beyond, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides useful tips and advice.