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Survey Reveals What Really Scares Americans: #1 on the List May Surprise You

Mac Slavo
October 22nd, 2018
Comments (58)
Read by 7,061 people
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Every year, Chapman University conducts a Survey of American Fears. The annual survey provides an in-depth examination into the concerns of average Americans, tracking changes and trends over the years.

The survey asks participants about topics including government, health, environmental concerns, disaster preparedness, the paranormal, and personal anxieties.

What’s the number one thing Americans fear?

For the fourth year in a row, that dishonor goes to government corruption. That fear far exceeds any other that was asked about in the survey. In 2018, 73.6% said they fear corrupt government officials. In 2017, it was 74.5%, and in 2016, 60.6%.


Image credit: Chapman University

“It is worth noting that the fears regarding corruption and the environment have increased significantly following the election of President Trump in 2016 and all top 10 fears continue to reflect topics often discussed in the media,” said Christopher Bader, Ph.D., professor of sociology.

Pollution of oceans, rivers, and lakes, polluted drinking water, money worries, and loss of loved ones also are of high concern.

Here are some of the other fears Americans have:

  • Cyber-terrorism: 52.5%
  • The US being involved in another world war: 51.6%
  • Islamic extremists: 49.3%
  • White supremacists: 49.3%
  • Economic/financial collapse: 49.2%
  • Identify theft: 46.6%
  • Corporate tracking of personal data: 46.3%
  • Government tracking of personal data: 46%
  • Widespread civil unrest: 43%
  • Nuclear weapons attack: 42.9%
  • Random mass shooting: 41.5%
  • The collapse of the electrical grid: 39%
  • Pandemic or major epidemic: 38.6%
  • Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition: 37.8%
  • Nuclear accident/meltdown: 36%

For the full list, click here.

The survey also explored the reasons people do not evacuate when a disaster is heading their way. The most commonly cited reason by 43% of Americans is that they want to protect their homes from looting. “Tragic overconfidence” and “Pets” followed with 34% each. You can read the full report here: Fleeing Death: Disaster Evacuations in America.

As for political division, the survey revealed something that concerns the researchers: “What frightens Republicans the most doesn’t even register for Democrats, and vice versa. We see that bifurcation increasing, and that frightens me,” Bader said.

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Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 7,061 people
Date: October 22nd, 2018

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.


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  1. Kevin2 says:

    In the local newspaper here in SW Florida a survey was reported. The question was what is your main worry. The number one concern was the loss of air-conditioning. Terrorism or mass shootings were down on the last.

  2. Stuart says:

    My No.1 fear?
    Nosy people calling me on the phone and asking me a bunch of questions about s*it that’s none of their business.
    Just call me paranoid ’cause I can’t figure out how to up-load a gunshot wound to them.

    • laura ann says:

      Stuart: don’t answer the damn phone, let it go to voice mail. Calls will slow then stop. In fact I don’t take any calls during the day unless it’s for service people coming to fix something and call back to set up a time. No time for chit chat anyway.

      • Stuart says:

        Sounds like good advice.

        • The Deplorable Renegade says:

          Stuart, Laura Ann is right. You DON”T have to answer the phone if the number on your caller ID is one you don’t recognize or if something like UNKNOWN NAME from anywhere in the country or even in your area is calling. You can also block out those numbers. The calls will slow down if not stop altogether. I get those same bogus calls every week. Nothing but scammers and you don’t have to talk to them at all. it’s YOUR phone and YOU pay the bill so it’s YOUR decision to make. Being paranoid is on occasion a good thing when you’re looking out for your own interests.

    • Genius says:

      #1. Government in all it’s forms
      #2. Nuclear contamination in all it’s forms
      #3. Stupid people and their stupid actions
      #4. Overpopulation and resource wars/depletion
      #5. Pollution of everything including chemtrails

      That’s the main strain on the brain….

  3. rellik says:

    The biggest threat to my health, safety and welfare is the government. The Federal, state, and local governments are all bad here in Hawaii. I don’t know that they are corrupt, but they certainly are tyrants.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Rellik, government is what I consider to be PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1. No. 2 would be libturds. Everything else is further down the list. I noticed the term ‘white supremacists’ on the list in the article. Sounds like someone needs to go find a country that works for them.

  4. The Dane says:

    My No.1 fear is stupid people !

    Stupidity is all it takes to destroy anything.

    That’s why we can’t have nice things anymore.

  5. Wojo says:

    Two concerns: Our federal/state governments over reaching and demanding more of our money in taxes, and not being held accountable. Which leads to taxation without representation. Second is an EMP. Personally I would take the EMP over the first cause after that the government is non-existent.

  6. out_of_time says:

    #1 Fear? Easy one:
    I’m right…
    We’re about to experience the fall of the US – economic and societal collapse. The trigger? Who knows, and does it matter? Are you ready? I think I am, so… I’m probably not.

    Good luck.

  7. Nicus says:

    Any survey used to effect policy is subject to manipulation. Half the population is afraid of white supremacists… Really? You’d think there was a klan rally on every street corner.

    If you squint your eyes and round the numbers a bit it looks like roughly half the people are afraid of EVERYTHING!

  8. White Supremacy causes people to freak when it is obvious that black violence dwarfs anything any white person could ever muster.

    Either this is BS or America is full of S

    • Kevin2 says:


      At the street level that statement is correct, black violence is multiple times greater Than white. The market crashes to a great degree over grossly unethical (formerly felony illegal) activity and whites who disproportionately lost the greatest amount (guess its that saving / investing part of “white privilege”) did not riot. Now at the governmental/financial/business (call it the nexus GFB) end, dominated by whites, one can say that the crimes committed under color of legality (and illegality), the worst being war, are so much greater that words cannot describe. Blacks haven’t murdered on the scale of whites not because of empathy for their fellow man (including their own race) nor ethics but rather the lack of opportunity to carry it out.

      I don’t distrust the person that would steal a million; I distrust the person that would steal $5.

    • Anonymous says:

      America is full of sh—

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      BeulahMan, I’m sure you know that ‘white supremacy’, ‘white privelege’, ‘white guilt’, etc. are all part of the illegitimate campaign the apes and other minorities are waging against our people. Although blacks are only 13% of the total population they are responsible for the majority of crime in the US, especially in the urban areas. The FBI and DOJ crime statistics tell a very interesting story. No one owes any of the minorities, especially the apes, a damn thing. They don’t have the numbers to win so they need to be careful what they wish for. It will backfire on them.

  9. Bill McGill says:

    my biggest fear is surveys that serve no purpose other than to expand your government profile.
    FEAR THIS …../´¯/)
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

  10. repr sleepr says:

    My hope is those coming up through Mexico to our border will all drown now that Willa just reached hurricane strength.

  11. Anonymous says:

    EASY… Economic collapse!!! Stock market crash. 🙁

    • Genius says:

      Ehhh that would only be #1 if you were stupid enough to have your currency in the market and weren’t prepped. Let me dig up one of my poems for ya!…

      Trader Bob bought some stocks
      Stashed in a safe with many locks
      “I’ll be rich” he’d always say
      Against all odds he’d make his play
      I’ll retire and live the dream
      The market seemed to go full steam
      Then one day it all went down
      And his portfolio ate the ground
      His worthless papers were no good
      He never listened like he should
      Now a broke and homeless man
      The victim of a foolish plan
      He sat and cried “it’s all so cruel”
      A broken, sad and desperate fool…..

      Yer welcome 🙂

  12. tazweiss says:

    I noticed where they said that fear of government corruption has increased since Trump came into office. Anyone care to speculate which libtard universities responded with the most feedback.

  13. Beaumont says:

    If you want people to have a political awakening, teach them how to catch that proverbial fish, and eat for a lifetime. Teach them how to find potable water, and where to dispose of their bodily waste, in a dignified, hygienic way. Make just one, useful thing, well — just one thing — and tell me you’re under the leadership of competent, mental adults. Compare the food you feed yourself, to the food they feed you, and tell me which side is a wild person.

  14. southside says:

    My biggest fears are; corrupt government,illegals invading our borders,social breakdown,and running out of coffee

  15. Yahooie says:

    Here’s the methodology went. ht tps://

    Interesting that the participants tended to be well educated. Seems that those with less education tended to not respond to the survey.

    In the link to the original article, there is a chart comparing 2018, 2017 and 2016. In the top 10, the fear of the ACA (ObamaCare) was replaced this year by the fear over high medical bills. Looks like people have had their fill of the Un-Affordable Health Care Act.

  16. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Yahooie, the individual mandate for ACA expires at the first of 2019. That’s supposed to be the final nail in the coffin for Obamacare. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with health care and health insurance afterwards.

  17. Hard rock says:

    When I saw 49.3 % worried about white supremacy, that done it for me! I’m afraid that if people don’t open their eyes, and look at what is happening to this nation, and start worrying about really problems, and stop worrying about the bull—- from the media ? They have just about brainwashed all of the youth? Read the 10 quotes of Lenin and look at what’s happened today. It is scary!!! God bless the USA, and God bless you”ll

  18. MY #1 fear?

    I’m on my way to work and then suddenly discover myself on the grassy knoll in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/63 and in the next microsecond I realize it’s neither a fantasy NOR a dream but the result of either some human or divine intervention

    and in the NEXT microsecond I see the President’s limousine turning the corner onto Elm and I ALSO see the UMBRELLA man

    and knowing this is neither a dream NOR a fantasy but REAL, I realize I have a CHANCE to CHANGE what happened that day

    so I start running the FASTEST I can wondering if I can reach the limo in time before any shots commence, let alone the final head shot

    and as I’m running I can’t decide whether to tackle the umbrella man whose raised umbrella ‘tells’ the gunMEN to shoot


    to run directly toward the President to take a GIANT leap to THRUST my body onto him to stop ALL the consequent evil the men who killed him foisted on our country

    at the same time not knowing if I would fail or succeed and get past his ‘protective’ detail who had received an order to keep more than the usual distance from him

    and also not knowing, whether I succeeded or not, HOW would I EVER explain who I was

    and how I got there

    and how I “knew” what was to happen

    and what would happen to me as I’m being interrogated

    and how could I EVER prove what I know about the “future” I tell them I “know” about.

    That’s what I fear.

    Because in my estimation, 90% of ALL the evil we are facing is because President Kennedy’s death UNLEASHED such UNTOLD forces of darkness, too many to list here, that have culminated in not only our fractured world but the fractured existence of each of us on this planet.

    Not that Mr. Kennedy was some Saint or Prophet, but his Presidency was a threat to so many dark forces.

    – the Lone Ranger

  19. Redlist Renegade says:

    Wow ! I would have thought that Hitlery Clinton and Hitlery after death would have been right at the Top of the list !!!

  20. It’s good that people have figured out that corruption is something to fear. Unfortunately, it’s a little late.

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