According to a representative survey, the fear of sharply rising living costs is the biggest concern of people in Germany. Almost two thirds (65 percent) of those surveyed said they were afraid of rising prices, according to the long-term study “The Fears of Germans”, which was published on Thursday.

Concerns about a more expensive life also landed in second and third place in the rankings: Six out of ten German citizens (60 percent) are afraid that housing will become unaffordable and almost as many (57 percent) fear that the state will permanently increase taxes or benefits shortens.

The survey “The Fears of Germans” has been regularly commissioned by R V Insurance for more than 30 years and is considered a small seismograph of sensitivities surrounding politics, the economy, family and health. For this year’s survey, around 2,400 people aged 14 and over were interviewed by pollsters between June and August. Participants were asked to rate given topics on a scale from one (not afraid at all) to seven (very afraid). The ranking is determined from this.

According to the information, the fear of rising living costs is regularly at the top of the greatest fears, including last year. Germany recorded the highest inflation since the founding of the Federal Republic. As a result, life has become dramatically more expensive. This year too, increased prices are making themselves felt, not least at the supermarket checkout. “People feel their livelihoods are threatened and their standard of living is at risk. This fuels fears of decline,” said political scientist Isabelle Borucki, who accompanied the study as a consultant.

Compared to 2022, two fears have increased particularly sharply according to the survey: the fear that Germans and German authorities could be overwhelmed by refugees (plus 11 percentage points) and the fear that coexistence in Germany will be affected by a further influx of migrants could be (plus 10 percentage points). The fears take fourth and twelfth place in the ranking. “Everything that is unknown scares us,” said psychologist André Ilcin to the German Press Agency. That’s why some people are afraid of things that haven’t happened yet. A confrontation with the unknown would help to reduce fears.