It is not the “scary clown” epidemic that makes Americans afraid, but more mundane fears, such as corrupt government. Unfair officials terrify people more than terrorism or economic collapse, according to a new survey.
Over 60 percent of adult Americans have confessed that they are “very afraid” of corrupt government officials. That fear is holding its leading position for the second year in the row and is followed by terrorism and money-related concerns.
“People often fear what they cannot control, and we find continued evidence of that in our top fears,” Christopher Bader, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Chapman University, said in a public release.
The Chapman University Survey of American Fears ranked the nation’s top 10 fears. They included restrictions on firearms and ammunition (38.5 percent), identity theft (37.1 percent), deaths or serious illness of their loved ones (38.1 percent and 35.9 respectively).
There are 35.5 percent who said that they were afraid or very afraid of Obamacare.
“The 2016 survey data shows us the top fears have shifted from last year’s, which were heavily based in economic and ‘big brother’ type issues to include more health and financial fears this year,” Bader said.
In 2015, the second greatest fear was cyber-terrorism, followed by corporate tracking of personal data.
This year, a terrorist attack is the second most feared, compared to its fourth position in 2015. Obamacare and gun control also haven’t come up since last year’s survey.
The actual list of things Americans are afraid of is much longer and includes fears related to natural disasters or even technology, for example cyber-terrorism or the government using drones. Then there were fears of immigration, including concerns of white people being outnumbered.
Clowns, which have been spooking Americans since August, are far from the top of that list, with only 7.8 percent.
The survey asked 1,511 people nationwide between May 5 and 18, 2016.