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The World Worry Index

What keeps people up at night? What do they fear online? Are government decisions and media coverage reflecting genuine risk? One of the major findings from the World Risk Poll, The World Worry Index, has allowed us to plot and analyse people’s worries on a global scale for the first time ever, and the ground-breaking results can help us make the world a safer place. 

The World Worry Index shows the countries that worry the most about a range of everyday risks, and what they worry about.  Everyday risks measured by the poll include: severe weather, violent crime, food you eat, electrical powerlines, mental health issues, water you drink and household appliances.

Across the world, the top three countries where people worry most are all in Africa – Mozambique, Guinea, and Malawi – with all three countries worrying most about severe weather.

The countries who worry least are Sweden, Singapore and Uzbekistan. The top worry is different in each country: in Sweden people are most worried about violent crime, in Singapore it is unsafe food and in Uzbekistan, severe weather.

Looking at the results globally, 34 per cent of people were very worried about experiencing serious harm from severe weather, and 32 per cent from violent crime. Twenty-one per cent were concerned about harm from the food they eat, and 18 per cent about harm from water they drink. Twenty per cent were worried about being harmed by powerlines.

“The insight from the World Risk Poll shines a light for the first time on the links between happiness and feeling safe and free from the worries that risks create.” Jeffrey Sachs, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, publishers of The World Happiness Report.

The World Risk Poll surveyed 150,000 people in 142 countries, including people in remote regions where little to no data exists. The World Risk Poll is a unique opportunity to fill many data gaps and gather data from countries across the world to understand more about the risks people worry about, fear they will experience or have experienced themselves.  In the first global study of worry and risk, Lloyd’s Register Foundation has set a benchmark for insight, and the breadth of the research provides a more accurate picture of global attitudes toward risk and safety than has ever been achieved before, giving a voice to thousands across the world. 

To download the full report and for more key findings including The Experience of Harm Index, visit The Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll website.

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