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Strategy The 10 most critical problems in the world, according to millennials

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The World Economic Forum conducted a survey of 26,000 millennials around the globe to gauge their priorities, concerns, and attitudes on world issues.

Millennials are worried about climate change. play

Millennials are worried about climate change.

(Oli Scarff/Getty)

  • World Economic Forum surveys people every year about the biggest problems facing the world.
  • Climate change is the millennial generation's top concern for the third year in a row.
  • Millennials are also concerned about large scale conflict, wars, and inequality.

For the third year in a row, millennials who participated in the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Survey 2017 believe climate change is the most serious issue affecting the world today.

Nearly half (48.8%) of the survey participants chose climate change as their top concern, and 78.1% said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment.

Survey respondents were also in near unequivocal agreement over the cause of climate change. Over 91% of respondents answered "agree" and "strongly agree" with the statement "science has proven that humans are responsible for climate change."

Despite the dire state of the world today — and the stereotype that millennials' are selfish and apathetic — the generation aged 18 to 35 cares deeply about global issues, and they're determined to tackle them.

Below are the top-10 most concerning world issues, according to millennials.

10. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment (12.1%)

Chinese workers wait for job opportunities inside a local employment center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China. play

Chinese workers wait for job opportunities inside a local employment center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty)


9. Safety / security / well being (14.1%)

A man in Helsinki waves the Finnish flag. Finland is rated one of the happiest countries on earth, according to the World Happiness Report. play

A man in Helsinki waves the Finnish flag. Finland is rated one of the happiest countries on earth, according to the World Happiness Report.

(Reuters/Vesa Moilanen)


8. Lack of education (15.9%)

Students attend school in a temporary classroom in Nepal one year after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 9,000 people. play

Students attend school in a temporary classroom in Nepal one year after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 9,000 people.

(Paula Bronstein/ Getty)


7. Food and water security (18.2%)

A protester in Flint, Michigan, holds up a sign criticizing the city's water contamination crisis that became a federal emergency and required aid from the National Guard. play

A protester in Flint, Michigan, holds up a sign criticizing the city's water contamination crisis that became a federal emergency and required aid from the National Guard.

(Bill Pugliano/Getty)


6. Government accountability and transparency / corruption (22.7%)

Demonstrators wear masks depicting Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during a protest calling for the impeachment of Rousseff near the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, December 13, 2015. play

Demonstrators wear masks depicting Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during a protest calling for the impeachment of Rousseff near the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, December 13, 2015.

(REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino)


5. Religious conflicts (23.9%)

In Germany, Yazidi protesters with friends and family in Iraq and Syria call for action to stop ISIS' violent siege. play

In Germany, Yazidi protesters with friends and family in Iraq and Syria call for action to stop ISIS' violent siege.

(Carsten Koall/Getty)


4. Poverty (29.2%)

Weeks before the 2016 Olympic Games commence, children play in a garbage dump in one Rio de Janeiro's largest favela complexes, which suffers from poverty and violence. play

Weeks before the 2016 Olympic Games commence, children play in a garbage dump in one Rio de Janeiro's largest favela complexes, which suffers from poverty and violence.

(Mario Tama/Getty)


3. Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8%)

The income gap between top and bottom earners is getting wider in the US. play

The income gap between top and bottom earners is getting wider in the US.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


2. Large scale conflict / wars (38.9%)

Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government fire a shell at Islamic State fighters' positions in Sirte, Libya August 15, 2016. play

Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government fire a shell at Islamic State fighters' positions in Sirte, Libya August 15, 2016.

(Ismail Zitouny/Reuters)


1. Climate change / destruction of nature (48.8%)

Protesters calling for massive economic and political changes to curb the effects of global warming hold a sit in around the Wall Street Bull statue on Broadway on September 22, 2014 in New York City. play

Protesters calling for massive economic and political changes to curb the effects of global warming hold a sit in around the Wall Street Bull statue on Broadway on September 22, 2014 in New York City.

(Andrew Burton/Getty)


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