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The 7 Biggest Problems With America Today

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In history books, the chapter on 2022 is going to be a long one — and the year’s only getting started.

A new Gallup poll asked more than a thousand Americans to name the single most important problem facing the country today. Because the question was open-ended rather than multiple-choice, there was a wide diversity of answers.

We’ve rounded up the most common responses, each of which was cited by at least 5% of the people polled.

Following are the biggest problems in America today, according to the 1,017 survey respondents, all of whom were adults living in the U.S.

Immigration

U.S. border inspection station
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 5%

In addition to asking about the most important problem, the Gallup poll also asked people how much they worried about specific problems. When it came to illegal immigration, 41% said they worry about it a great deal while 23% said they don’t worry at all.

Race relations/racism

Anti-racism protestors marching
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 5%

On the subject of race relations, 41% said they worry a great deal about it, and 29% said they worry a fair amount. Just 13% were unconcerned about race relations in America.

Unifying the country

Hands together in unity
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 5%

Race is certainly one problematic divide in America, according to poll participants, but others thought the problem was bigger. Five percent of participants said unifying the country was the biggest problem to tackle today.

Situation with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 9%

Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine has caused a host of problems, from a humanitarian crisis to higher gas prices and uncertainty. And there may yet be other issues such as cyberattacks to worry about.

Economy in general

Federal Reserve
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 11%

This broad answer was especially popular. When asked to rank the economy today, 44% of participants said it was in poor shape and an additional 35% said “only fair.”

High cost of living/inflation

surprised shopper
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 17%

Inflation was the second-most popular answer in the poll. That’s not surprising since dramatic price increases are causing many people anxiety and forcing them to rethink their habits. Check out “6 Ways Inflation Is Making People Change Their Lifestyles.”

The government/poor leadership

Washington D.C.
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Respondents who said this is the most important problem facing the U.S. today: 22%

The biggest problem of all in America? Apparently, it’s the people who are supposed to fix things. More than 1 in 5 of the people polled by Gallup cited poor leadership as the nation’s top issue.

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