Four in 10 Americans say their air quality is currently being affected by wildfires

Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
July 07, 2023, 8:24 PM GMT+0

When Canadian wildfires were affecting many Americans' air quality last month, about one-third said their air quality had been affected by wildfires, including a much higher share in the Northeast. The recent Canadian fires have had an even broader reach, the latest Economist/YouGov poll finds: 42% of Americans now say their air quality has been affected, including at least 70% in both the Midwest and Northeast. In the Midwest, the number of people who say they're being affected has risen 31 percentage points since last month. Fewer people in the South and the West say they have been affected by the latest round of fires.

Overall, 59% of Americans say the climate is changing and people have played a role, including 84% of Democrats and 32% of Republicans. Fewer (30%) believe climate change is mostly or entirely responsible for the extent of recent wildfires, including 52% of Democrats and 11% of Republicans.

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on July 1 - 5, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Unsplash (Marcus Kauffman)

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