The nuclear threat still worries the planet's inhabitants

26 January 2024

Two-fifths of respondents (40%) around the world consider the risk of using nuclear weapons high. An almost equal share (37%) assesses this risk as moderate, and only 14% see no risk from the use of nuclear weapons. The rest found it difficult to answer. Unfortunately, there was no significant reduction in nuclear concerns over the year.

In general, survey participants in Latin America and the African continent are more alarmed about the nuclear threat. Residents of the global East and India view the problem more calmly.

These are the general results of the global survey* “End of the Year” by the international association of research agencies Gallup International, conducted at the end of 2023 in 40 countries. In Russia, the study was conducted by ROMIR.

Among the countries where residents consider the nuclear threat to be minimal, Iran is the leader - every third respondent (33%) in this country indicated this answer. Three out of ten respondents (30%) in Armenia are of the opinion that the likelihood of using nuclear weapons is low. Almost the same number of respondents chose this answer in Pakistan (29%).

And the most pronounced pessimistic sentiments regarding the use of nuclear weapons are in countries such as Indonesia and Nigeria - 72% each, Ecuador and Syria - 69% each, and Argentina - 68%. Two-thirds of respondents in Italy (67%) also rated a possible nuclear threat as highly likely.

Russia as a whole demonstrates a fairly optimistic attitude towards the issue of the nuclear threat. Thus, 20% noted that the risk is high, 40% perceive the threat as medium, and 11% assess the risk as low. In the US, the mood is a little more worrying. A third of Americans consider the risk of a nuclear threat to be high (34%), medium – 52%, and low – 9%.

President of ROMIR, Doctor of Sociological Sciences Andrei Milekhin comments: “Unfortunately, major nuclear powers did not take part in the survey. However, we note that the United States, like Europe as a whole, treats the problem of the nuclear threat quite warily. The global East, including the Middle East and India, is more relaxed. And Russia, according to the tradition of most world polls, is located somewhere in the middle with its sentiments.”

In October-December 2023, as part of the “End of the Year” project, more than 40 thousand people were surveyed in 40 countries. In each country, surveys were conducted using national or city samples. It is not possible to check the quality of primary information collection for a number of countries. In Russia, the research company ROMIR surveyed 1,500 respondents from a national representative sample.

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