Green demographics are hard to come by. Most of the green consumer research deals with lifestyles’ segmentation, and is not very reliable, nor actionable from a marketer or green strategist’s point of view. I found three surveys with demographic information worth looking at. All were conducted in March-April 2008, and deal with attitudes and self-reported behaviors.
First, is a Pew Survey of Americans’ attitudes towards global warming:
These results make sense, and reinforce the widespread notion of green citizens as part of the more progressive crowd of Democrat, younger, more educated folks, who live in big cities on either coast.
Second, is a Burst Media Survey of U.S. adult Internet users, asking about extent of green behavior in daily lifestyle – as published in eMarketer report:
Although the survey seems to confirm Pew findings, indicating a skew towards younger demographics, one needs to take into consideration the following two caveats: first is the fact that behaviors are self-reported, and second, as pointed out in the eMarketer writeup, ‘the vast majority of respondents across all age groups put themselves in the “somewhat” category—leaving open the possibility that different perceptions among respondents of “somewhat” and “completely” could color the survey findings’.
Third, is a poll by Harris Interactive, amongst U.S. adult Internet users, that goes deeper into specific ‘environmentally conscious activities’ – also in eMarketer report:
The Harris Poll results are further supported by an AARP/Focalyst survey, cited in eMarketer report, that 70% baby boomers use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands.
Why such an apparent discrepancy between the first two surveys and the Harris Poll? Could it be that the older folks are more likely to walk the green talk, and to take actions that do matter? Or was it the way the questions were phrased? It may be that not otherwise environmentally inclined people will engage in green-like behaviors that do save them money – energy efficiency related activities -, or are perceived as better for their personal health – buying organic products -. What do you think?