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Teens Rank the 9 Biggest Threats They Are Facing

Climate change fails to make the top 5
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2021 11:35 AM CDT
Updated Aug 28, 2021 1:20 PM CDT
Teens Rank 9 Biggest Threats to Their Generation
Surveyed teenagers see political divisions as the greatest perceived threat.   (Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages)

(Newser) – Teenagers are perhaps less concerned with climate change than you might think, ranking it sixth in a list of the nine greatest threats to their generation, according to a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll. The national survey of 1,349 teens aged 14 to 18, conducted online in May and June, identifies greater perceived threats from political and social unrest. How they ranked the nine greatest threats, along with the percentage of respondents who viewed each as a major threat, minor threat, or not a threat, in that order:

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  1. Political divisions (59%; 33%; 8%)
  2. Cost of health care (57%; 33%; 9%)
  3. Racial discrimination (57%; 28%; 14%)
  4. Gun violence (57%; 27%; 15%)
  5. Terrorism (53%; 40%; 7%)
  6. Climate change (49%; 31%; 20%)
  7. Lack of career opportunities (34%; 46%; 20%)
  8. Immigration (30%; 38%; 32%)
  9. Access to education (28%; 40%; 31%)

The survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, found Black, Asian, and Hispanic teens are more optimistic about the future than white teens, but found high levels of optimism overall. (Check out the Post for more, including insight into teenagers' priorities for the future, their expectations of achieving a good standard of living, and their thoughts on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)

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