Last Updated: 21 June 2022, Author: AceOdds.com

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#AceOddsOf... The Nation's Most Common Fears and Anxieties Actually Happening

We at AceOdds know all about the anxieties that a crackin’ game of sport can bring up in us, as well as the joy and elation too. We’ve never been the people to shy away from doing the big ol’ data crunching and working out the odds for sporting and gaming events such as the champions league, how premier league referees can affect games and of course, our trusted free bet calculator is always there to provide the best sport betting insight. 

Equipped with skills like this, we wanted to explore our own anxieties and trust us, some of them are slightly bizarre, and work out the odds of them actually happening (in most cases, slim, thankfully!) We also asked the public via a survey what their biggest fears and anxieties were so we didn’t feel so alone. Turns out a lot of us are anxious about similar things. 

But in all seriousness, mental health isn’t a joke so we’ve left some really useful links to sites that have health and support on all topics covered in this post. 

Odds of being kind making the world a better place 1/100. 

With data covering animals, sex and relationships, and accidents in and outside the home just to name a few, we found out that many of the top fears are highly unlikely to occur, and some of the lesser shared fears are far more common than you might think!

Our study found that 83% of women, 72% of men and 9% Non Binary have at least one anxiety or self described ‘irrational’ fear. 

Ages 45 to 54 were the most anxious, 83% with at least one fear, but the youngest group (18-24) have thought about their worries more. 

The North East scored the highest (33%) making it the most anxious location, however this could be set to change now that their main two football teams, Newcastle United FC & Sunderland AFC, are starting to have a change of fortune on the field.

The least anxious are people from Northern Ireland with a whopping 24% not having a fear at all. Looking at some of their Gaelic football players, that checks out.  

  AceOddsOf
Anxieties % of people with the anxiety Odds of Happening
Plane Crash     26%11,000,000/1
Bitten by snakes36%3,500,000/1
Falling off ladders28%2,300,000/1
Train crash26%500,000/1
Kidnapping22%100,000/7
Being stung41%57,825/1
Being bitten by an animal47%20000/3
Fear of getting an STI9% of the over 65’s14283/2
Being killed in a road accident26%8,000/1
Getting hacked41%3722/1
Getting cancer23%4/10 UK cancer cases are avoidable
Cheating16%3/1
Death32%1/1

What causes the UK the most anxiety? 

So what are the top areas for UK fears? 47% of Brits are afraid of being bitten, but luckily the odds of it happening are 20000/3. Hacking is another anxiety, with 40% of Brits concerned with it, but the odds of that happening is only 3722/1. 

Ladders are another cause of concern, with 28% of brits scared of falling off them. While ladders account for around 40% of falls from height accidents, thankfully the odds of dying from falling off a ladder is 1 in 2,300,000.

Kidnapping is a worry for Londoners (32%) but in the UK, the odds are in our favour at 100,000/7. 

Is there a UK anxiety hot spot?  The North East scored the highest with many fears (33%) but London and the East Midlands tied with 84% of each region having at least one fear. We really aren’t in it alone. 

Regional Fears - Which Are The Most Anxious?

Do you have anxiety?

  No. of Anxieties
Location: Yes Many Yes 1 or 2 No none Not sure
East Anglia 17% 60% 15% 9%
East Midlands 18% 66% 12% 3%
London 25% 59% 12% 3%
North East 33% 32% 7% 27%
North West 27% 55% 13% 5%
Northern Ireland 11% 60% 24% 5%
Scotland 24% 54% 19% 3%
South East 21% 53% 14% 11%
South West 16% 57% 21% 6%
Wales 29% 46% 6% 18%
West Midlands 19% 55% 23% 3%
Yorkshire & the Humber 16% 59% 12% 13%

Of over 2000 respondents, the fear of being scammed online was stronger in older generations (age 45 to 65+ all scoring over 40%) than younger generations (18 to 44 all scoring below 40%), suggesting that older generations do not trust the internet as much as their younger peers.

Biggest Anxieties: The Digital World by Age

Do you have any anxiety around:

  Age Range:
Anxiety 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Being hacked  30% 40% 40% 43% 44% 41%
Being scammed 31% 36% 35% 41% 46% 42%
Phone being stolen or broken 30% 34% 26% 29% 25% 24%
Calls from unknown numbers           29% 27% 21% 24% 20% 26%
No internet connection 29% 30% 15% 15% 11% 21%
Getting catfished 26% 26% 11% 11% 7% 13%
Getting bank app notifications 26% 22% 10% 8% 5% 11%
Receiving email 25% 20% 8% 7% 6% 10%
Breaking new bulletin alerts   17% 22% 11% 7% 6% 11%
Other - please state 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
N/A - no worries about the digital world 7% 9% 28% 27% 31% 18%
Prefer not to say 10% 3% 3% 1% 2% 5%

Younger people are far more afraid around animals with 88% under 25s being afraid of at least one animal. This could suggest that younger people have less engagement with the outdoors. Even young celebs suffer animal fears! Kylie Jenner has a fear of butterflies which was revealed when she visited a London Zoo’s butterfly garden in Keeping Up With The Kardashians. A trip which ends up with Kylie ducking and screaming in fear from what is usually described as beautiful and elegant butterflies. We wonder what she thinks of Ladybirds?

Animal Instincts: Fears by Age

Do you have any anxiety around..

  Age Range:
Animal 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Spiders 28% 42% 38% 46% 29% 32%        
Snakes 30% 33% 38% 37% 34% 39%       
Rats 28% 31% 28% 34% 35% 39%
Insects/Creepy Crawlies 26% 32% 25% 35% 24% 29%
Mice 24% 26% 20% 23% 18% 24%
Dogs 42% 29% 19% 16% 11% 23%
Frogs/Toads 24% 23% 15% 13% 10% 20%    
Cats 29% 22% 12% 12% 9% 15% 
Birds 19% 19% 11% 7% 8% 14%
Fish 22% 20% 9% 8% 5% 11%
Other - please state 1% 1% 3% 4% 4% 2%
None of the above 12% 14% 19% 18% 27% 20%

Snakes and spiders tie for scariest animal (36% each), but in the UK, it is more likely you will die of a snake bite (3,500,000/1) than a shark’s bite (300,000,000/1).

Those with a fear of insects need not worry too much; being stung by bees, wasps and hornets were 57,825 to 1, and the UK's flying insects population has declined by 60% in 20 years. 21% of people worry the animals are planning something behind their back! Sadly, the animals keep these plans under wraps so we haven’t worked out the odds yet, but our moles are on it.

The younger generations are scared by more than the older generations- whether that is due to the internet’s access to information, or the rising trend of anxiety disorders, but there is one fear they share; ladders.

Relationship Woes

When it comes to relationships do you worry about any of the following..

Anxiety:%
Partner dying32%
Getting cheated on23%
Performance in the bedroom18%
Getting divorced17%
Being in a relationship16%
Never falling in love16%
Never getting married15%
Never having a sexual partner14%
Never having children14%
Other - please state0%
N/A - no relationship worries in particular30%
Prefer not to say4%

Understandably, one’s partner dying scored high, with 32% of people fearing it, but getting cheated on comes second, with it being a worry for 23% of people. Death is 1:1, but being cheated on is 3:1. 

Accident and Emergency: Fact or Fiction?

Are you anxious about accidents when using any of the following..

Anxiety:%
Ladders28%
Planes26%
Cars26%
Theme Park Rides26%
DIY Tools20%
Lifts19%
Escalators18%
Kitchen Items16%
Gym equipment13%
Other - please state1%
N/A - don't worry about having an accident on/with anything in particular27%
Prefer not to say4%

While the data shows that 28% of people are worried about falling off ladders. Despite ladders accounting for around 40% of falls from height accidents, the odds of dying from falling off a ladder is 1 in 2,300,000.

Next, plane accidents (26%) and car accidents (26%) came joint second, but the risk of being in a plane crash is 11,000,000/1. The odds are 8,000/1 for being killed in a road accident. 

Still worried? Public transport is the safer route with the odds of 500,000/1 for being killed in a train crash, and buses are even safer than trains, with the odds of being killed 13 million to one.

Health Scares

When it comes to your health are you anxious about any of the following…

Anxiety:%
Getting a terminal illness41%
Losing your memory37%
Losing your sight35%
Weight loss/gain28%
Breaking a bone22%
Hearing loss22%
Losing a limb or organ19%
Operation going wrong19%
Going bald or losing your body hair18%
Getting burned16%
Getting an STI/STD13%
Other - please state2%
N/A - none in particular11%
Prefer not to say1%

Those aged 25 to 45 are the most worried about their health, but 9% of the over 65’s polled have a fear of getting an STI, with the odds of it happening being 14283/2. 

Getting a terminal illness is one of the top fears, with 43% of people worried about it. New figures released by Cancer Research UK show that 4 in 10 UK cancer cases are avoidable. The most common 'preventable cause' was found to be tobacco smoke, which is thought to have a hand in around 15 percent of all diagnoses.

Are you anxious of anything in this list? Or did any of our odds help make you feel less worried? Let us know and continue the conversation over on our Twitter account.


Using data commissioned by AceOdds through OnePoll, we have analysed the most common fears of the UK and calculated the odds of them happening. 

Use our free bet calculator to work out your winnings over at: https://www.aceodds.com/bet-calculator.html

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Anxiety UK:

  • 03444 775 774 (helpline) 
  • 07537 416 905 (text)
  • anxietyuk.org.uk

No Panic

  • 0300 7729844
  • nopanic.org.uk

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Last Updated: 21 June 2022, Published: 21 June 2022