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Data: The Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll Report; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

A new global risk poll surveyed tens of thousands of people in 142 countries to determine what people worry about when it comes to risk and safety.

Why it matters: The poll offers a telling snapshot of how people around the world perceive the risks they face, which often turn out to be different than the risks they are actually experiencing.

By the numbers: The poll, which was carried out by Gallup and the Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), found that people around the world were most worried about the effects of severe weather, violent crime and food.

Be smart: The survey found that what people around the world thought was a major risk didn't always line up with the risks they were actually experiencing, notes Sarah Cumbers, director of evidence and insight at LRF.

  • That was especially true of violent crime, where nearly twice the percentage of respondents reported being very worried about violence as those who had actually experienced it.
  • 43% of Americans were worried about violent crime, even though the U.S. murder rate in 2019 — the year the survey was done — was lower than it was in 1960.
  • By contrast, respondents tended to underplay less dramatic but more common threats like malfunctioning appliances and mental health.

The bottom line: Availability bias means we tend to pay more attention to risks that demand lots of attention — like the violence that plays heavily in the media. But we risk ignoring the threats that are statistically more likely to get us.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 1, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BlackRock unveils new way to assess climate investment risk

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Investors will be able to see what impact a warming world and the transition to cleaner energy sources could have on their portfolios in a tool BlackRock unveiled Tuesday.

Why it matters: The move by BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, is one of the most concrete signs investors are getting more serious about acting on risks they’ve been saying for years they’re worried about.

Nov 30, 2020 - Health

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.