BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Halloween is upon us, and in celebration, many individuals like to spend October indulging in the more frightening side of entertainment. While haunted houses and horror films are a great way to celebrate the spooky season, it’s important to remember that fear isn’t something that only applies to ghosts and ghouls — and in fact, that most human fears are both year-round and far more psychological. This means that this month is also a perfect time to learn about America’s greatest fears.

In order to determine what Americans around the country are the most terrified of, home security website Safehome conducted an online poll of over 2,500 adults living in the United States regarding how afraid they were of certain scenarios — with potential answers ranging from ‘Not Afraid’ to ‘Very Afraid’. The number of responses for each scenario was then weighted based on the 2020 U.S. Census, multiplied by their weight, and summer together, then normalized, multiplied by 100, and rounded to determine the situation’s overall ‘Fear Score’. When these overall scores were compared to one another, it was determined that the most common fears across the United States are as follows:

RankScenarioFear ScorePercentage of Respondents Afraid or Very Afraid of Situation
1Loved Ones Dying9968%
2Loved Ones Becoming Seriously Ill9868%
3Personally Becoming Seriously Ill8657%
4Not Having Enough Money for Retirement8355%
5Mass Shootings/Gun Violence8354%
6Loss of Physical Mobility8254%
7Corrupt Government Officials7852%
8Chronic Diseases7550%
9High Medical Bills7448%
10The U.S. Becoming Involved in Another World War7446%

While these may be the most common fears across America, they are by no means the only worries that are gripping the country. As part of the study, SafeHome collected data related to specific categories of fears — particularly those related to topics like personal health, crime, and politics.

Crime Concerns

Crime is a constant concern in both major cities and more rural areas — especially with the growing number of incidents of both physical violence and digital scams occurring around the country. This only helps to boost the overall Fear Score of many similar crimes, rendering criminal activity a frequent fear in all of its forms. Notably, the average Fear Scores for many of these crimes tend to vary depending on where the surveyed individuals live. In general, those in urban areas tend to report high levels of concern regarding criminal activity.

Crime FearFear ScorePercentage of Respondents Afraid or Very Afraid of SituationRural Dwellers Average Fear ScoreUrban Dwellers Average Fear Score
Mass Shootings/Gun Violence8354%7691
Identity Theft 6034%N/AN/A
Robbery or Burglary6034%5666
Being Physically Assaulted5633%5267
Walking Alone at Night5532%5163
Hate Crimes5432%4769
Credit Card Fraud5328%4661
Police Brutality5231%4768
Being Sexually Assaulted4628%5757

Peculiar Politics

As one may expect in the tense governmental climate the country finds itself in, many Americans find themselves fearful of the fate of their government and rights. Political concerns, the study found, were some of the most common among all surveyed individuals — with ideas including corruption, civil unrest, specific candidacies, and government decisions proving to be some of the country’s most frequently feared.

Political FearFear ScorePercentage of Respondents Afraid or Very Afraid of Situation
Corrupt Government Officials7852%
The U.S. Becoming Involved in Another World War7446%
Trump Being Re-Elected7147%
Corporations Influencing Government7145%
Widespread Civil Unrest6640%
Restriction of Women’s Rights6141%
Increasing National Debt6036%
Government Tracking Personal Data/Spying5935%
Biden Being Re-Elected5031%
Illegal Immigration into the U.S.3620%
Firearm Restrictions3018%
Transgender Rights Initiatives2314%

The Horrors of Health

After the Pandemic shook the world to its core, it only stands to reason that sickness is at the forefront of many American’s fears — and naturally, health concerns were quite frequently listed as some of the most common in Safehome’s survey. Notably, while both men and women showcased their concerns regarding personal health, it was also identified that women, in general, tend to have greater fear of threats related to their own personal health.

Personal Health FearFear ScorePercentage of Respondents Afraid or Very Afraid of SituationPercentage of Men Afraid of SituationPercentage of Women Afraid of Situation
Becoming Seriously Ill8657%50%65%
Loss of Physical Mobility8254%49%60%
Chronic Diseases7550%41%58%
Getting Old6239%29%44%
Another Pandemic like COVID-196237%36%42%
Mental Illness5735%29%40%

Creeping Climate

While none of them reached the top ten, it’s worth noting that concerns regarding the environment, too, made frequent appearances on the list of America’s most frequent fears, and were equally split among all genders and age groups — but were also observed to be especially common among those living in urban areas. The study notes that this could be due to the different political leanings in each territory, as Republicans (who are far more common in rural areas) tend to consider the environment a lower priority.

Environmental FearFear ScorePercentage of Respondents Afraid or Very Afraid of Situation
Pollution in Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes6943%
Climate Change6844%
Natural Disasters6538%
Extinction of Plants and Animals6440%
Losing Access to Clean Water6037%
Air Pollution6036%
Losing Home to a Natural Disaster5936%
Plastic Waste4625%
Asteroid Impact2814%

Despite how common many of these fears are across America, it is worth noting that anxiety levels have lowered between this year’s study and last year’s overall results — which means that not everything is truly as terrible as we may perceive it to be. In order to view the full study or the fear studies of previous years — including complete data regarding over 70 of America’s most common fears — visit this page on Safehome’s website.