The five social issues in the U.S. that I hypothesized included economic inequality, inaccessible medical care, gun violence, poorly allocated government spending, and the current methods for handling immigration. The major five social issues in the world I thought of were climate change, poverty, inequality and racism, income gaps and economic instability, and sustaining human rights. Some of the issues that are faced in the U.S. overlap with those that are seen internationally, including inequality, poverty, climate change, and lack of available resources to low-income citizens such as medical care, education, or well-paying jobs. Other issues are more specific to the U.S., such as gun violence and disproportionate military spending.
According to the Pew Research Center (2019), the top five issues in the U.S. include the affordability of healthcare, drug addiction, affordability of college education, federal budget deficit, and climate change. According to a group of interviewed millennials, the top five social issues in the world are religious conflicts, poverty, income inequality and discrimination, large-scale conflicts, and the destruction of nature (Loudenback & Jackson, 2018). Some of the issues that are seen internationally are seen in smaller but similar proportions in the U.S., such as poverty and the affordability of medical care, living expenses, and other economic disparities being fueled by income inequality or prejudice. Additionally, discrimination can be fueled by differences in religion, but it seems that it is a more common factor in prejudice worldwide than in the U.S. where other factors such as race, gender, or another identity may be more influential. What surprised me was how high climate change and the worsening condition of nature had been scored on both the lists of U.S. and world problems. Additionally, I underestimated how much education costs and drug addiction can influence the social landscape. I find that the lists made me conscious of conflicts that are incredibly prevalent but often overshadowed by larger political disagreements.
Loudenback, T., & Jackson, A. (2018). The 10 most critical problems in the world, according to millennials. Business Insider.
Pew Research Center. (2019). Views of the major problems facing the country. Pew Research.