While the push for 'greener' and more eco-conscious living seems to have increased, the number of Americans who identify as environmentalists has fallen drastically in the last 25 years.
In an article from Gallup, Jeffrey M. Jones writes 78% of Americans identified themselves as environmentalists 25 years ago, compared to just 42% in 2016. Jones reasons that part of the decline in self-identifying environmentalists, as with many other social issues, is the heavily fractured political climate of today's society. The environment has become a divided issue with increasing emotions around the effects of climate change.
One reason for the decline is that the environment has become politicized as an issue, especially in terms of the debate over climate change and how to address it. In 1991, the same high percentage of Republicans and Democrats -- 78% -- considered themselves environmentalists. Today, 27% of Republicans think of themselves that way, compared with 56% of Democrats, a partisan gap of 29 percentage points.