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  • Ryan Wittler

What We’re Scared of Happening in the Next Year

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A new Ipsos poll of people in 28 countries has found that as COVID vaccines have become more available and pandemic measures have been lifted, what people around the world find most threatening has changed.

Some highlights:

Survey respondents considered eight possible threat scenarios, assessing them based on how real of a threat they are to occur within the next 12 months and how confident they are that their government can adequately respond to them.

Globally, 75% of respondents said the threat of being hacked for fraudulent or espionage purposes was a real threat in the next 12 months, once again taking the top spot (74% reported it as a threat in 2020).

The threat of a health epidemic fell to the number two spot, with 70% of respondents naming it as a real threat, down from 78% last year before COVID vaccines were available.

Rounding out the top five was the threat of a natural disaster (69%; up four points from 2020) and the threat of a nuclear or chemical attack (66%; down one point).

Lacking confidence:

According to Ipsos, the three threats with the widest gap between the level of public concern and confidence in government to address it were:

  • Cyberattacks (75% concern vs 45% confidence, for a difference of -30 points)

  • Nuclear or chemical attacks (66% vs. 44% for -22 points)

  • A health epidemic (70% vs. 51% for -19 points)

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