When Obama left office in January, he told the incoming President Donald Trump that North Korea was the biggest problem he would face. A nuclear power technically at war with the US, North Korea is a military dictatorship with a history of empty threats and war crimes.
US millennials, however, disagree. In a Whatsgoodly poll of 3495 US Millennials, only 31% thought that North Korea is the US’s worst enemy. Russia received 19% of the vote, and the Islamic State received fully 50% of the vote.
These three powers represent entirely different threats to the American people. North Korea is a “rogue nation” with nuclear weapons, but they have virtually no incidents of actual attacks on US citizens (Otto Warmbier being a potential exception). However, they have the potential to cause millions of American deaths with a single nuclear weapon aimed at Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Russia is a global superpower, historically and ideologically aligned against the US. They also have the capacity to decimate the US (and entire world) with their nuclear arsenal, though hopefully such cold war histrionics are behind us. Russia is not directly responsible for any US citizens’ deaths in the past decade, but they are without a doubt the most powerful group on this list.
ISIS is a terrorist organization masquerading as a state, with the explicit purpose of forming a United Middle Eastern Nation opposed to western society. While they have wreaked havoc in the region (2,043 people killed as of February 2017), and inspired some attacks in the US, it is difficult to claim any attacks on US soil as orchestrated by ISIS. Of course, ISIS (and terrorism in general) gets more press time than either North Korea or Russia, and so ranks highest on this list.
It is worth noting all of these numbers pale next to seemingly “mundane” problems like heart disease, which kills over 600,000 US citizens each year, or even car accidents, which killed 35,092 US citizens in 2015.
Methodology: Results for this survey were collected from 3495 US millennials between June 25, 2015, and June 25, 2017. For results based on the total sample of US millennials, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Whatsgoodly is the largest social polling app for millennials on topics from market research to politics.