What Americans Fear the Most


If there’s one country that does fear well, it’s the U.S. As a people, we enjoy being hysterical about stuff. To better understand this tendency, every year Chapman University surveys a bunch of Americans, providing them with a list of potentially scary subjects and asking the respondents to rate each on a scale of 1 (not at all scary) to 4 (very scary). This year’s Chapman University Survey on American Fears, based on a nationally representative sample of about 1,500 Americans, is now out, and here are the items that garnered the highest percentages of 3s and 4s:

Illustration: Chapman University

The graph is an interesting reminder of how tricky it is to quantify something like fear, especially on a four-point scale. You can be “very scared” of both corporate tracking of personal information and terrorist attacks, and yet only one carries with it the risk of death or dismemberment.

For those who want to know more, details are here and the methodology (PDF) is here.

What Americans Fear the Most