11 Points

11 Things Americans Are Most (and Least) Afraid of Happening in 2016
written by Sam Greenspan

So everyone's afraid of everything. That's a given. But everyone can't be equally afraid of everything, because then where would we squeeze in the time we need to eat pie?

A company called AYTM recently ran a nationwide survey to rank Americans' fears. As far as I can tell, they did it because they wanted to show off their ability to make graphs (seriously, go to that link, they made one billion graphs). Unfortunately, none of the one billion graphs actually put the data in order, but look at all those graphs! Graphs on graphs on graphs! You get a graph! You get a graph! You get a graph!

I manually took the data out of the graphs and put it into more manageable words so we could all enjoy it. Sans graphs! Yellow graphs! Pie graphs! Graphs built out of the bones of other, weaker graphs!



Here are the top 11 things Americans are most worried about happening this year...
  1. Refugees will flood the U.S., 35.6 percent. If you're going to choose the word "flood," why not go full pun and say, "Some dam refugees will flood the U.S." I like puns more than graphs.

  2. Something bad will happen to a friend or loved one, 36.9 percent.

  3. Governments will violate my privacy with increased surveillance of my actions, 38.2 percent.

  4. Hillary Clinton will be elected the next president, 39.5 percent. Three out of five people aren't afraid of that, which is by far the best compliment any presidential candidate could get in 2016.

  5. The U.S. economy will slump back into recession, 42.3 percent.

  6. Another huge financial crisis will happen, 43.9 percent. These two seem very similar, but since everyone's increasingly becoming afraid of the word "huge," there's the edge.

  7. The so-called Islamic State will grow in threat and size, 44.1 percent.

  8. Islamic extremists will strike the U.S. in a massive attack, 44.7 percent.

  9. Donald Trump will be elected the next President, 45.2 percent.

  10. Terrorists will strike with a massive attack on one of the developed countries, 47.2 percent. ISIS, ISIS, Trump, ISIS also happens to be the format sheet for every cable news network.

  11. Another mass shooting will happen in a school or public place, 51.1 percent. Considering (at least) one happened in between when the survey was taken and released, this seems awfully valid.

And now, the 11 things Americans are least afraid of happening this year...
  1. A deadly virus will wipe out a big part of Earth's population, 23.7 percent. Apparently Zika isn't causing the SARS/bird flu/disco fever level of paranoia yet.

  2. I'll be alone, 23.2 percent.

  3. My identity will be stolen by computer hackers, 22.5 percent. Most likely mediocre hackers who somehow tricked you into clicking on an email from Bank of Umerica.

  4. I'll be in an accident (like a car or plane crash), 20.5 percent.

  5. I'll gain weight, 20.1 percent.

  6. Obamacare will be repealed, 18.5 percent. There was also the choice that "Obamacare will be reinforced," which 32 percent of people were very afraid of. Guaranteed health care is coming to get you and eat your children!

  7. I'll work so much that I won't have time for other things, 17.6 percent.

  8. I'll be physically assaulted or threatened, 17.5 percent.

  9. Machines with artificial intelligence will take over the world, 16 percent. One out of six people think this is the year their toaster is finally going to fight back.

  10. A huge meteor will strike Earth, 14.3 percent.

  11. Earth will be attacked by aliens, threatening all human existence, 9.4 percent. While it came in last out of more than 40 fears -- 1/11th of the population is still pretty sure aliens are going to destroy the Earth this year.


This post was originally published on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal.

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