What Scares Americans: Going Broke, Terrorism and Sometimes Zombies

A new survey discovered Americans' biggest fears.

ByABC News
October 15, 2015, 5:24 PM
A new survey reveals what is really keep Americans up at night.
A new survey reveals what is really keep Americans up at night.
Getty Images

— -- Is the thought of going broke keeping you up at night? Or maybe it's a fear of robots taking over your job? Or a zombie apocalypse?

If you have any of these fears, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you are far from being alone -- thanks to a new survey.

The survey of America's Top Fears 2015, released by Chapman University, reveals that people are generally afraid of some expected events, including terrorism, bio warfare and identity theft, as well as some more obscure options, such as a fear of zombies or even Obamacare.

The kinds of fears were broken down into different domains, including crime, personal anxieties, daily life and natural disasters. A sample of 1,541 American adults were surveyed about various fears ranging from a fear of judgment over their appearance to a fear of nuclear attacks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as we head into an election year, the top fear reported was a fear of corruption of government officials, with 58 percent of people surveyed reporting being "afraid or very afraid" of that possibility. Other fears included in the top ten list were cyber-terrorism, tracking of personal information, terrorism economic collapse and bio warfare.

Conspicuously missing from the top ten fears was the most inevitable of life's realities -- death. Instead, more people fear reptiles (33 percent) and public speaking (28.4 percent) than the percentage of people who fear dying (21.9 percent).

The survey also revealed that some Americans fear the supernatural, with 9.7 percent of people have a strong fear of ghosts and 8.5 percent dreading zombies.

Robots are also unnerving for many and made multiple appearances on the list, with people fearing a workforce being replaced by robots (28.9 percent), artificial intelligence (22.2), and simply robots themselves (23.9 percent).

Among the least reported fears was fears of being judged by others on age (5.9 percent), gender (4.5 percent) and how you dress (4.2 percent).

Also, 6.8 percent of people reported a deep fear of clowns. So, if you're planning on scaring people this Halloween, the zombie outfit trumps clowns -- and the Nixon outfit trumps them all.