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Americans are expecting the worst of the future, with the country rapidly changing. They also agree that politicians likely won't know how to handle the new world, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.

Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Americans fear:

  • Terrorism: 60% think that a terrorist attack as bad or worse than 9/11 will happen in the next 30 years.
  • Inferior education: 77% worry about whether public schools will be able to provide a quality education to future students.
  • Little or no retirement money: 85% said that by the time they retire they expect to receive no benefits or less benefits from Social Security.
  • Jobs taken by robots: 82% said robots and computers will probably or definitely do much of the work performed by humans today.
  • An old America: More than half say that the elderly outnumbering children in the U.S. will be bad for the country, and the majority say that responsibility for their care will fall on family members and older people themselves.
  • Inept politicians: More than 80% are worried about the way D.C. politics works — including almost half who said they are "very worried."

Between the lines: Americans are starkly divided over growing diversity and the threat of climate change.

  • Diversity: 59% of Republicans and 46% of whites said that a majority nonwhite population will weaken American culture, vs. 18% of African-Americans and 25% of Hispanics. 42% of Democrats and 30% overall said American customs and values would be strengthened.
  • Climate change: 60% of Democrats said they are "very worried" about climate change, vs. 15% of Republicans.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
48 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Japan vows deeper emissions cuts ahead of White House summit

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan on Thursday said it will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, per the AP and other outlets.

Why it matters: The country is the world's fifth-largest largest carbon dioxide emitter and a major consumer of coal, oil and natural gas.

The global race to regulate AI

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk."

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.