Nature and Biodiversity

International threats: what’s the world most scared of?

Mark Jones
Head of Digital Content, The World Economic Forum
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Global climate change is the top threat perceived by citizens around the world, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. It comes top of a list of six global threats put to respondents and emerged as the leading concern in most countries in Latin America and Africa. Meanwhile, people in Europe and the Middle East were more likely to cite ISIS as their number one anxiety.

Global economic instability is the second biggest concern in half of the 40 countries surveyed.


Worries about Iran’s nuclear programme do not rank as highly – apart from in Israel and the United States. The same is true of cyberattacks, with South Koreans and Americans most worried.

Anxiety about tensions between Russia and its neighbours, and territorial disputes between China and surrounding countries, largely remain regional concerns.

The data comes from a survey conducted in 40 countries among 45,435 respondents from 25 March to 27 May 2015. Respondents were asked whether they were “very concerned” about each issue. Here’s the full set of responses:

ISIS Concern High in Europe, Middle East; Climate Change in Africa, Latin America


Author: Mark Jones is Commissioning Editor for the World Economic Forum.

Image: A coke plant is seen in the town of Avdiyivka near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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