Americans See Terrorism as World's Biggest Threat to Security

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A new survey from the Media and Public Opinion Research Group finds that almost one third of Americans see terrorism as the biggest threat to global security, while 10% say that US is the world's greatest threat.

The most recent poll from the Media and Public Opinion Research Group asks what Americans consider to be the biggest threat to world security and finds that almost one third (30%) of Americans are worried about terrorism.

As for traditional states as threats, similar number of respondents identify North Korea (10.2%), Iran (11.6%) and China (10%) as the world’s biggest threats right now. Incidentally, the United States receives a similar amount of blame from Americans (10.3%).

Younger people are the most likely to point to the US as a global security threat. 18.1% of respondents aged 20-29 choose the US, a portion that decreases as age groups increase, down to only 5.2% of those over 60.

The escalation of some conflicts are also cause for worry. Though the Syrian civil has arguably received more news coverage recently, more Americans think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a bigger threat to world security: 6.5% compared to 2.3% choosing the war in Syria.

Obama supporters and detractors are uncharacteristically similar in opinion on this question. The only answer that receives more than a 5 percentage point discrepancy between the two groups is environmental disasters. 15.3% of respondents who approve of Obama’s job performance are most concerned about environmental disasters, compared to only 1.8% of those who disapprove of the president.

Data was collected from a survey of 501 respondents over the month of May 2013. The margin of error is 4.38%.

To view the complete data set, including this question, as well as opinion on poverty and the president, see MPO’s monthly report at

About MPO Post:

MPO Post is the news site of Media and Public Opinion (MPO) Research Group. MPO Post offers ongoing news and analysis about public opinion in the United States, with special emphasis on the media, politics, economy and international affairs. News stories on this site are based on findings from unique monthly statistically significant surveys and are not available elsewhere.

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Whitney Cox
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