Germans are on average much more optimistic and less plagued by fears than in the past. Overall, the mood is as good as it has been for 25 years, according to the evaluation of the representative survey "The fears of the Germans" from the summer of this year, which was presented in Berlin.
Since 1992, R + V Versicherung has commissioned the survey. Especially the fears of terrorists and the policies of US President Donald Trump are plaguing fewer people today than a year ago. But 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, one difference is getting bigger again: In East Germany, all fears are more widespread than in West Germany.
Overall, more than one in two of the approximately 2400 German citizens aged 14 and over who are questioned fear that the state is overwhelmed by the large number of refugees and that there are more tensions between Germans and foreign immigrants. The fear of Trump's policies is called similarly. The issue of rising rents was first surveyed and landed in sixth place, climate change only in twelfth place.
The lowest value since 1994
The proportions of people with different fears decreased significantly compared to 2018. On average, all fears felt 39 percent of respondents felt. This is the lowest level since 1994. Three years ago it was still 52 percent.
Of the respondents, 56 percent (previous year: 63 percent) said that the country was overwhelmed by the large number of refugees and that the further influx of foreigners leads to tensions (55 percent). 55 percent fear that Trump's policies will make the world more dangerous. A year ago, it was still 69 percent.
This is followed by the fears of overburdening politicians (47 percent), extremism (47 percent), priceless rents (45 percent) and life as a care case (45 percent). Higher taxes due to the EU and rising prices are also an important issue for just over 40 percent of respondents.
Fears are much more severe in the West than in the East
The great fear of the past few years has dropped further: terrorist attacks only fear 44 percent of respondents. Two years ago, it was still 71 percent - after the bloody attacks in 2016 in France and Germany.
The fears of climate change and more extreme weather played a role compared to other fears only for 41 percent of people. Even fewer fears exist in the face of a stable economic situation. Almost one in four Germans (24 percent) is afraid of losing their job. This value has never been so low since the beginning of the survey. 23 percent of people are afraid of crime, five percentage points less than a year ago.
The differences between West and East Germany are particularly evident in the change in the values of recent years. The number of people with fear of terrorism, Trump's policies and problems by foreigners sank in the whole of Germany - but much more in the West than in the East. Several years after Trump's election, after the big terrorist attacks and the many refugees in the West, more people have lost their acute fear of these problems than in the East, where the fears seem to last longer.