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

Audiences are growing!

In 2010, 32 percent of the adult population attended a performing arts event (up from 28 percent in 2009); 13 percent visited an art museum (up slightly from 12 percent). These are the first increases since 2003.