Social Issues That Affect Us


Issues are topics that affect many people, and debate on these issues is common. Topics include global issues, such as climate change, immigration, and women’s rights, and local issues, such as poverty.

Affordability of Health Care

The affordability of health care is one of the most important social issues in the U.S. today, and two-thirds of Americans consider it a very big problem. A smaller share – about one in ten – views it as a moderately big problem (6%).

Terrorism and the deficit are also big problems for Americans, but older adults tend to assign more importance to them than younger people do. For example, 57% of those ages 65 and older say terrorism is a major problem for the country.

Drug Addiction

In contrast to the other three issues, fewer than half of those ages 30 and older view drug addiction as a very big problem. Only about a third of those younger than 30 say it is a problem, and only about 20% of those ages 55 and older see it as an issue.

Despite significant progress, global health and well-being remain challenging issues that require a broad range of solutions. Among the most prominent are climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and poverty.

These global issues are not insurmountable, but they need a lot of attention from many groups and organizations to address. Some of them have already begun to improve, while others will take years or decades to fully resolve.