Diversity & Sustainable Living: Global Public Opinion Research on How Different Populations Engage on Sustainability

These are the key findings from GlobeScan’s latest global opinion research report on how different populations engage on sustainability:

The composition of minority groups varies across markets surveyed

  • Globally, among the 30 markets surveyed, around 20 percent say they are part of one or more minority groups. Some markets are very diverse, such as India, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, where more than 30 percent are self described minorities. Hong Kong, Italy, Portugal, and Russia are the least diverse of the markets surveyed.
  • People belonging to ethnic and/or religious minority groups generally tend to lean politically conservative, while LGBTQI+ and other minority groups tend to lean more progressive.
  • Not surprisingly, those who belong to a minority group are usually also more concerned about discrimination against minority ethnic, racial, or religious groups as a global problem. However, this is not the case in all markets surveyed.

People in minority groups are more concerned about discrimination

  • Those who say they belong to one or more minority groups are more likely to say that discrimination against minority ethnic, racial, or religious groups is a “very serious” global issue and are also more likely to feel “greatly” personally affected by such discrimination.
  • Although minority females are slightly more likely than minority males to say they are greatly personally affected by discrimination, this varies widely by market with many claiming similar levels of discrimination between minority males and females and some showing the reverse pattern with males feeling more affected.

Minority groups are disproportionally affected by issues like climate change and air pollution

  • Those who say they belong to one or more minority groups are more likely to be greatly affected by environmental issues like climate change and air pollution, as well as the COVID 19 pandemic, economic recession, lack of access to healthcare, and discrimination.
  • In 25 out of the 31 markets surveyed, minorities feel more personally affected by climate change, with large differences in the USA, the UK, and Germany between minorities and non minorities in terms of feeling “greatly” affected. For air pollution, differences are largest in Argentina, China, Germany, India, Japan, the USA, and the UK.

Those belonging to minority groups are more engaged on sustainability

  • Perhaps as a result of being more directly affected by issues like climate change and air pollution, those who say they belong to one or more minority groups are also more likely to say that they would like to make significant changes to be more sustainable. More than half of minority respondents (55%) would like to change their lifestyle “a great deal” to be more environmentally friendly compared to 44 percent of others.
  • Minority respondents are also more likely to say that they have made major changes in the past year to become more environmentally friendly almost one third (32%) compared to one in five (20%) of others. This is the case in almost all markets surveyed, showing a clear pattern of higher sustainability engagement among minority populations around the world.