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Based on preliminary insights into the data, at present, people in Germany perceive the coronavirus pandemic to be the biggest challenge their society has faced. Only climate change comes close (as shown in the graph on the right).

The breakdown of the data by age reveals a clearer picture: younger respondents found climate change a more significant challenge than the pandemic by a large margin. 49% of respondents aged 18-25 answered “climate change” to the following question: “In your view, which is the biggest challenge the society has faced in recent history?” 30% of them chose the coronavirus crisis (see figure below).

Contrary to this, 52% of respondents aged 45 and older have chosen the coronavirus crisis among the five given answer choices. In addition to the two aforementioned options, respondents could also select: financial crisis, reception of refugees, or terrorism. 33% of the respondents from the same age group have chosen climate change. 

How will this change as the crisis evolves? Will concerns normalise as we get used to life with corona? Or will they grow as the pandemic spreads?

Data is based on 3251 observations from March 23 – April 3, 2020. Data in both figures are weighted by age, gender, and state of residence in country-level population.

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