Nearly half of Americans think that they would survive a zombie apocalypse as long as they stay out of cities, stick together and arm themselves with shotguns.
Last night saw the return of 'The Walking Dead', AMC's hit drama focusing on the struggles of former Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes as he navigates a post-apocalyptic South infested with zombies. The series, which is now in its 4th season, is just one of the many zombie-themed films, TV shows and books to become popular in recent years. Recent research suggests that that popular interest in zombies is associated with dissatisfaction and economic unheaval.
The latest research from YouGov shows that just under half of Americans (45%) think that they would survive a Zombie apocalypse, with men (58%), people out West (53%) and under-30s (51%) being the most optimistic about their fate. Women (34%), people aged over 65 (36%) and people in the Midwest (38%) are the most pessimistic about their chances of surviving.
When Americans were asked what was the best way to survive, the most popular response was to keep mobile, with 35% saying that this was the best strategy. 28% say that setting up camp in a rural area was a good idea while only 8% said that taking refuge in an urban hideout was the best idea. These responses differed quite significantly according to region, however, with people in the Northeast being the most likely to want to either keep mobile or hideout in a city, while people in the West were the most likely to want to set up a rural camp.
Regardless of where people would ride out the apocalypse, people overwhelmingly think that being in a group is best way to ensure survival. Only 5% would go it alone, while 42% want to be part of a small group and 32% part of a large group.
Turning to weapons, a shotgun is the clear favorite anti-zombie weapon among Americans, particularly in the Northeast. 42% of Americans say that a shotgun would be best, followed by 8% who said a baseball bat, 6% who chose either a virus or a crowbar and 4% who said a sledgehammer.
Americans are largely skeptical of the federal government's ability to handle the zombie apocalypse, with 19% saying that they think they would be effective and 66% saying that they would not be. Everyone - including a majority of Democrats - say that the federal government would be ineffective, but Republicans and Independents are much more likely to doubt the federal government's ability to handle a zombie apocalypse.
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Full poll results can be found here.