Thursday, October 20, 2016

Who's Afraid of Clowns?

Not many of us are afraid of clowns, according to the Chapman University Survey of American Fears. Only 7.8 percent of adults report being "afraid" or "very afraid" of clowns, which places this fear close to the bottom of the 79 things that frighten Americans—ahead of only "others talking about you behind your back" (6.8%). Of course, Chapman University fielded its survey last April, months before the first clown sightings and subsequent mass hysteria.

According to the Chapman survey, the number-one fear is of corrupt government officials. Fully 60.6 percent of Americans are "afraid" or "very afraid" of public corruption. Also ranking among the top 10 fears...

41.0% are afraid of a terrorist attack
39.9% are afraid of not having enough money for the future
38.5% are afraid of terrorism
38.5% are afraid of government restrictions on firearms and ammunition
38.1% are afraid of people they love dying
37.5% are afraid of economic/financial collapse
37.1% are afraid of identity theft
35.9% are afraid of people they love becoming seriously ill
35.5% are afraid of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

Interestingly, more people are afraid of Obamacare (35.5%) than of high medical bills (33.1%). More are afraid of public speaking (25.9%) than of dying (19.0%). And more are afraid of whites no longer being the majority in the U.S. (17.9%) than of 17 other items including computers replacing people in the work force, germs, zombies, strangers, ghosts, and clowns.

Source: Chapman University Survey of American Fears, America's Top Fears 2016

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