Nerdshala-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

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Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they are More likely to encounter noise pollution and litter, a new axios-ipsos poll finds.

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big picture: Our national survey shows that black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants – and notice water boiling in the past year or more than 24 hours Have dealt with the loss of running power.

  • In particular, most Americans are not aware of the disparities: 57% of all respondents and 42% of black respondents said that all Americans, regardless of skin color or wealth, suffered the consequences of pollution and environmental pollution equally. Huh.
  • The survey was conducted for an Nerdshala Deep Dive on environmental manifestations of systemic racism, to be released this afternoon as part of our “Hard Truths” series.

more than seven in 10 people of color And half of white respondents said they would support the creation of a national fund to pay for health care costs for people living with pollution-related illnesses.

  • But there is no mandate to raise most people’s income taxes to pay for better air and water quality in any racial or ethnic group, or to raise gasoline taxes to expand to renewable energy or electric vehicles. .
  • Seven in 10 Americans – including 65% of white respondents – said they favor raising taxes on corporations or the very wealthy to improve the environment.

By numbers: 70% of white respondents rated the air quality in their neighborhood as almost always good or mostly good.

  • This compares with 48% for Black respondents, 44% for Hispanic respondents, and 50% for Asian American respondents.
  • There were comparable gaps in other measures: 70% of white respondents, 61% of Asian American respondents, and only 48% of Hispanic respondents and 43% of black respondents said the quality of their tap water was good.
  • 11% of black respondents said they do not know what their water quality is, the highest percentage of all groups.

Between the lines: To see how location overlaps with race and ethnicity, Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson also truncated the data to only look at respondents living in urban areas.

  • They found that whites living in urban areas were still 15-20 percentage points more likely than people of color to experience good environmental conditions in their communities.
  • The data shows that the education of the respondents makes a difference in their place of residence, but, again, not to the exclusion of caste. Three-quarters of white respondents with a bachelor’s or higher degree said that their communities have good air quality, while only six in 10 black or Hispanic respondents with a bachelor’s or higher degree are black or Hispanic.
  • The disparities were even more pronounced for less educated respondents. Two-thirds of white Americans with a high school education reported a good quality of life in their neighborhood – compared with 46% of Black high school graduates and 35% of Hispanic high school graduates.
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What are they saying: “The data just reinforces the story of two Americas,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos US Public Affairs.

  • “Race is the primary rift in American society, whether you look at political attitudes, educational outcomes, or even environmental consequences.”
  • “There’s this subtle disparity: What’s the cumulative effect of kids playing behind a highway instead of overly green space? A lot of urban planning in the 40s, 50s and 60s was to keep African Americans out. So you just wonder.” Do, how much are black Americans exposed to these things because it was engineered that way?”

Methodology: This Nerdshala/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel® on September 9-15, 2021. The survey is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 2,184 general population adults aged 18 years or older.

  • For results based on the entire sample of adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.


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