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Public perception of environmental issues across socioeconomic characteristics: A survey study inWujin, China

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Abstract

In developing countries, there is controversy over the correct perception regarding environmental and developmental issues. Few studies have examined the perception of low-income nationals in regards to social and environmental issues. This paper looks at the relationship between socio-demographic factors and the groups’ perceived priority regarding environmental and social issues in Wujin County. The results indicated that most residents, specifically the young, government employed and the urban community consider environmental issues to be serious, especially in relation to air pollution and water pollution. Furthermore, many residents feel it is important to rank environmental problems that are related to other social and economic issues, and that environmental protection must be set as a priority in Wujin County. Compared to social issues, environmental concern was greater among the young, government employed, and the urban community, because of their higher education and affluence. In addition, 66.2% of residents consider environmental protection to be more important than economic development. Thus, environmental protection must be set as a high priority in Wujin County, in order to face the many social and environmental challenges inherent in development.

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Correspondence to Bing Zhang.

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Bi, J., Zhang, Y. & Zhang, B. Public perception of environmental issues across socioeconomic characteristics: A survey study inWujin, China. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng. China 4, 361–372 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-010-0017-4

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Keywords

  • socio-economic characteristics
  • environmental perception
  • sustainable development
  • policy making