Though numerous foreign-policy analysts point to Pakistan, with its deadly mix of extremists and nuclear weapons, as possibly the most dangerous country in the world, the American public does not perceive the threat to be on par with other notable international concerns. Only 50% say political instability in Pakistan as a “major threat” to the well being of the United States. While the number seeing instability in Pakistan as a major threat is up nine points since May 2008, that is dwarfed by the 18-point rise in the number of Americans seeing North Korea’s nuclear program as a major threat (from 53% to 72%). The top major threat to the U.S. remains Islamic extremist groups; 78% say it is a major threat. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.