< Go to Homepage

Americans’ Top Fear in 2017 Is Government Corruption

Chapman University sociologists have been studying the nation's fears for years.

Health By

Three Chapman University sociologists have been looking at what Americans are afraid of since 2014. Back then, the biggest fear was walking alone at night, but this year, it’s government corruption.

Smithsonian writes that Christopher Bader, Edward Day and Ann Gordon started the American Fear Survey to try to find out whether Americans “really understood the state of crime” in the U.S. It is a public opinion survey that asks participants to rate how fearful they are of a variety of subjects.

Day says that this year, “fear has really gone up.” Previously, the majority of Americans would only respond “afraid” or “very afraid” to one item. But this year it was five, according to Smithsonian. 

This is the third year in a row that corruption of government officials has topped the list, but the first year that it has been number one. Previous lists had more to do with disasters and crime.

“The list this year is fundamentally different in the sense that it’s showing a great fear of some of the things happening in this presidency,” said Bader, according to Smithsonian. 

Another first for this year was environmental concerns appearing in the top ten list of fears. Pollution of oceans/rivers/lakes, pollution of drinking water, global warming/climate change, and air pollution were all in the top 10, according to Smithsonian. These surveys were done before the California wildfires and Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Fear of North Korea using weapons came in at number nine this year, and not having enough money for the future was number five. American Healthcare Act/Trumpcare was number two.

But on the bright side, Bader said, fears about clowns and zombies are both down — though he told Smithsonian that this survey was done before It was released in theaters.

Read full story at Smithsonian