MAPSTATS

What do Europeans think of their air quality?

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Share of people who think that over the last 10 years the air quality in their country has deteriorated (%)

A relative majority of Europeans think air quality has deteriorated in the last 10 years

Respondents were asked about the air quality in their country over the previous ten years. Almost half (47%) think that it has deteriorated, while a third (33%) say that air quality has stayed the same, and 13% say that it has improved. The remainder (7%) do not know.

Respondents in Ireland and the Czech Republic are the most positive about air quality in their country, with 33% and 31% respectively saying that it has improved in the past ten years. The proportion that say air quality has improved is also relatively high in Malta (28%), the Netherlands (24%) and Germany (23%).

By contrast, at least six in ten respondents in Cyprus (69%), Spain (68%), France (62%), Italy (61%), Greece (60%) think that the air quality has deteriorated in their country. Respondents are most likely to say that the air quality has stayed the same in their country in Finland (60%) and Latvia (53%).

Socio-demographic analysis highlights a number of differences:

§ Men are more likely than women to think that air quality has improved over the last ten years (16% vs. 10%), while women are more likely to think it has deteriorated during this time (49% vs. 44%).

§ Older respondents are slightly more likely they are to think air quality has improved: 14% of 40-54 year olds and 15% of those aged 55 or over, compared with 9% of those aged 15-24.

§ The longer a respondent remained in education, the more likely they are to think that air quality has improved over the last ten years: 17% of those who completed their education aged 20+ think that air quality has improved, compared with 11% of those who completed their education aged 15 or younger.

§ In terms of socio-professional category, managers are the most likely to think that air quality has improved (21%), while house persons (8%) and unemployed respondents (9%) are least likely to say this.

§ People who have difficulties paying their bills are more likely to think that air quality has deteriorated over the last ten years (62% of those who have difficulties most of the time, compared with 43% of those who never/almost never have difficulties).

§ Individuals who feel that protecting the environment is very important to them are more likely to say that air quality has deteriorated (51% vs. 32% of those who say that protecting the environment is not important to them).

source: Eurobarometer 468

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