Ten percent of world population fears 2012 apocalypse, belief strongest in China

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Around ten percent of the world’s population might as well stop paying attention to politics and personal finances, as they expect the apocalypse to come any day now.

The Mayan calendar purportedly “ends” in 2012, which some have speculated marks the end of the world.

In a brilliant contribution to scholarship, Reuters/Ipsos polled residents of 21 different countries, asking respondents when they expected the world to end. Ten percent indicated that the day is coming soon, in 2012.

Eight percent say they have been suffering “anxiety or fear” as a result of this.

A full fourteen percent of global respondents believe the world will end “during [their] lifetime.”

Belief in the Mayan calendar’s supposed doomsday prophecy is strongest in China, where 20 percent of the population is preparing for the end of the world.

Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Korea and Japan harbor the next highest levels of superstition, with 13 percent of their populations anticipating doom this year. Closer to home, 12 percent of Americans are awaiting the impending apocalypse.

Russians are suffering the most stress worrying about their potential doom, according to the polls, with 14 percent of respondents reporting anxiety. The next most anxious countries are Poland, China, Turkey and Japan.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Germans and the Indonesians; just 4 percent of their populations believe that 2012 marks the end of the world.

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