How Americans feel about the environment, by region

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
April 21, 2020, 2:47 PM GMT+0

A quarter of Americans are climate skeptics.

That’s according to a YouGov scale that measures how American consumers feel about sustainability, as the world celebrates Earth Day on April 22. YouGov’s measure comprises five attitudes about sustainability, from skeptic to enthusiast.

The data shows political and age divisions to be sure, but environmental attitudes differ greatly by region. The Pacific region — which includes Washington State, Oregon, California, Hawaii and  Alaska — has the highest percentage of environmentally conscious people. The midwest lays claim to the highest rate of climate skeptics.


Here’s how YouGov defines each segment:

Enthusiasts: Engaged environmentalists who are happy to pay more for products that are good for the environment and their health and interested in issues related to sustainability;

Concerned pragmatists: Those who care about the environment and make an effort to protect it, but the key factor that affects their purchase decisions is price;

Passive supporters: Those who recognize climate change is a problem and agree that people should do more to protect the environment, but sustainability is not entrenched in their lifestyle;

Indifferent: Those who are unconcerned, disengaged and uninterested in sustainability issues;

Skeptics: Those who have negative views on environmental sustainability, are skeptical about climate change and prioritize economic and political issues over the environment.

Pacific region

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington



Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming


West North Central

Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri


East North Central

Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin


Middle Atlantic

New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania


New England

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont


South Atlantic

Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia


East South Central

Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee


West South Central

Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas



Methodology: Results are based on a sample size of 31,201 US adults. Segments are based on results to 13 sustainability-related questions.

Explore more data & articles