Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Most Americans Feel Less Safe

The 55 percent majority of Americans say they feel less safe than they did five years ago, according to a Lloyd's Register Foundation poll undertaken in partnership with Gallup. The poll explored attitudes toward and perceptions of risk in 142 countries around the world, interviewing 150,000 people. 

The World Risk Poll was fielded in 2019, well before Covid-19 became one of the major risks faced by the public each day. Yet most Americans at the time reported feeling less safe. The United States is an anomaly in this regard. Worldwide, a smaller 36 percent of the public reported feeling less safe in 2019 than five years earlier. 

Perhaps the cause of this anomaly is the fact that Americans are more likely than the average global citizen to report a harmful experience in the past two years. Fully 25 percent of Americans say they have experienced harm from violent crime in the past two years, for example, compared with an 18 percent global average. More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) say they have been harmed by severe weather in the past two years versus 22 percent worldwide. An even larger 40 percent of Americans say they have experienced harm from mental health problems, double the 20 percent global average. 

The U.S. public is also more worried than average about issues such as climate change. Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans say climate change is a very serious threat to the United States over the next 20 years. Worldwide, a smaller 41 percent of the public regards climate change as a very serious threat to their country. Americans are also more worried about receiving false information when online. Fully 67 percent of internet users in the U.S. worry about this versus 57 percent of internet users worldwide. 

Source: Gallup, Did You Risk Your Life Today? and The Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll 

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