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 2012, 2013, and 2014 from Scarborough Research. It is limited to the 518 counties where Scarborough gathered data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 25.84%. Median county indicator value = 24.22%.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

The nonprofit arts grow – despite a recession!

The number of nonprofit arts organizations has grown annually, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, nonprofit arts organizations grew 49% (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32% (1.2 million to 1.6 million).