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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

These are the biggest threats facing the world right now

It ranges from Isis to climate change.

WHAT KEEPS YOU awake at night?

If you live in Europe, it’s most likely to be threat of attacks by the so-called Islamic State group, but in other areas such as Latin America and Africa the potential chaos that climate change could cause is worrying people.

These are the findings of new research by the Pew Search Centre, put together in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place later this year.

It surveyed more than 45,000 people across the world, asking what their top concern was.

This ranges from climate change, Isis, economic stability, and cyberattacks to the threat of single nations such as China, Iran, and Russia.


The latter three are limited to bordering countries – Russia is the biggest concern in Ukraine (62%) and Poland (44%) for example.

While Ireland was not surveyed, the top perceived threats to Europe as a whole were Isis (70%), Iran’s nuclear programme (42%), and global climate change (42%).

Apprehension is greatest in Spain (77%), the report said. It also topped in countries like Lebanon and – not surprisingly – Syria.

Cyber-attacks worry South Korea and United States, while economic instability is among the top threats in Latin America.

The fears also vary by age…


“Global economic instability also figures prominently as the top concern in a number of countries, and it is the second biggest concern in half of the countries surveyed,” the report read.

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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