Globalisation and the power of the US pose a more serious threat to the world than war and terrorism, according to a BBC poll.
Corruption came second on a list of the biggest problems facing the world, the survey of BBC viewers worldwide found.
Conflicts - war and terrorism - ranked third, with 50%, followed by hunger, 49%, and climate change with 44%.
BBC World asked 1,500 viewers of its news and international channel for the biggest problems in the world with 52% saying the US and globalisation.
Respondents from Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia, ranked the power of the US and large corporations as the biggest worry (52.3%).
BBC World's head of research and planning Jeremy Nye said: "We were a little surprised that global superpowers and corruption were ranked top but we will track whether they are gaining from topical interest or are of greater long-term significance."
Wars and terrorism were ranked as the top concerns in Europe and the Middle East despite ranking third overall.
Illiteracy was ranked sixth overall with 38% followed by nuclear proliferation, also 38%, and the persecution of minorities with 36%.
Lack of drinking water and basic sanitation was ranked 12th, with 20%, while 16% rated migration as the most important problem.