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The Top 10 Fears in America 2022

In 2021 Chapman University surveyed adults on 95 fears. It turns out that the majority of Americans suffer from tremendous fear. Many–perhaps as high as 85 percent of the population–live with a sense of impending doom. (This is) a classic sign of clinical anxiety.

The survey follows trends over time and identifies new fears as they emerge. The survey is a nationally representative sample that gives us insight into what terrifies America. Fears are ranked by the percent of Americans who reported being afraid or very afraid.

Top 10 Fears of 2022 % of Very Afraid or Afraid

1. Corrupt government officials 62.1

2. People I love becoming seriously ill 60.2

3. Russia using nuclear weapons 59.6

4. People I love dying 58.1

5. The U.S. involved in another world war 56.0

6. Pollution of drinking water 54.5

7. Not having enough money for the future 53.7

8. Economic/financial collapse 53.7

9. Pollution of oceans, rivers, and lakes 52.5

10. Biological warfare 51.5

A general overview of America’s top 10 fears in the 2022 survey suggests that Americans’ fears center on five main topics: corrupt government officials (number 1), harm to a loved one (numbers 2 & 4), war (numbers 3, 5, & 10), environmental concerns (numbers 6 & 9), and economic concerns numbers 7 & 8).


Jeff Meyers, Truth Changes Everything, (Baker Books, 2021), p. 204; The Voice of Wilkinson, “The Top 10 Fears in America 2022 Did your fears make the list?” Chapman University (10/14/22

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