March 15, 2010 / 1:43 PM / 9 years ago

Poll charts rising U.S. environmental satisfaction

A woman walks through heavy snow as she carries her coffee on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans have grown more content about current environmental quality over the past year, though 53 percent still rate conditions as only fair to poor, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.

Forty-six percent of the 1,014 adults surveyed March 4 to 7 described current U.S. environmental conditions as excellent or good. That was up from 39 percent in March 2009 and was the highest positive environmental rating measured by Gallup since 2002.

The percentage of Americans who say the environment is only fair to poor was down from 61 percent last year.

The year-on-year changes were within the polling data’s 4 percentage point margin of error.

Only 2 percent viewed the environment as the most important problem facing the United States today, while the number who expect it to become the main priority in 25 years slipped slightly to 11 percent.

Gallup said American contentedness about the environment is up across the political spectrum of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Most Democrats and independents continue to register concerns about environmental problems, with only Republicans registering a majority of those who view the environment as excellent or good.

Gallup said the public’s environmental outlook improved sharply last year after President Barack Obama’s inauguration. But the data has remained largely unchanged since then, with 41 percent anticipating improvement and 48 percent expecting conditions to worsen

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Walter Bagley

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