Zoos are collections-based institutions similar to museums, though their collection is a living collection. They are often viewed as a source of civic pride, can be the site of a variety of activities, and may be viewed by the general population as ‘entertainment.’ They may represent a large, institutional presence in a community, drawing significant annual visitors, or exist on a more modest scale. Regardless they are viewed as part of the ecology of arts and culture in a community.

This indicator estimates the percentage of adults – those 18 and over – that attended zoos and/or aquariums in the prior 12 months. It uses data from 2009, 2010, and 2011 from Scarborough Research. It is limited to the 525 counties where Scarborough gathered data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 25.30%. Median county indicator value = 23.50%.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

Consumer arts spending steady at $150 billion!

Since 2002, consumer spending on the arts has remained in the $150 billion range, though as a share of all expenditures it has slipped from 1.88% in 2002 to 1.45% in 2010. Following four years of decreases, musical instrument sales rebounded, growing from $5.9 billion in 2009 to $6.3 billion in 2010.