The Hoosier Life Survey (HLS) is the nation’s most comprehensive statewide public-opinion survey of environmental change to date. The survey offers state-specific insights on public attitudes toward environmental change, personal values, trust in news media, attitudes toward a variety of kinds of risk, and more.
Between August and December 2019, the HLS team reached out to 10,000 Hoosiers across Indiana. In total, more than 2,700 Hoosiers—representing 90 of the state’s 92 counties—responded.
Taken together, respondents’ answers show what Hoosiers think about environmental change—its origins, its extent, its impact on their families. The survey also indicates how Hoosiers learn about the issues vital to their future—who they trust, who they listen to, and who they’d like to hear more from.
The HLS highlights how much Indiana residents are already doing—or are prepared to do—to build resilience against environmental change. And it reveals the role of political and personal values—along with social, demographic, and economic differences—in shaping Hoosiers' approach to a global challenge.
The survey from which data for this report was drawn was sent out to 10,000 Hoosiers between August and December 2019. The survey focused on gathering a broad range of information related to Indiana residents’ views of their community, environmental changes and risk, climate change beliefs, the household- and community-level actions they were taking or supported being pursued, and their personal values. Surveys were sent to Indiana households using a spatial stratified sampling approach. To ensure adequate coverage of people across the entire state and for later geographically specific analysis, our team developed eight within-state regions, defined by clusters of counties. Each of Indiana’s 92 counties was included in a region. From each region, 1,250 home addresses were drawn at random from the United States Postal Service’s list (for a total of 10,000), which was purchased from a private address-based sampling vendor.
In mailing surveys to these households, a modified Dillman approach was used with a total of five mailing waves. In an initial wave of mailings, households received a cover letter informing them about the survey, noting the confidentially of their responses and asking them to fill out the survey online. A link to the online survey and user ID number were provided in the cover letter. Roughly two weeks later, a reminder postcard was sent to all sampled individuals who had yet to respond. After approximately another two-week period, respondents who had yet to fill out the survey online were sent a paper booklet version of the survey and another cover letter requesting their participation. A final mailing wave, containing another booklet and cover letter, was sent to all remaining non-participants after another two-week period.
Both the initial contact for the web-based survey and the mail-based version contained $2 pre-incentive payments. Upon completing the survey, respondents could request a $20 Amazon or Walmart gift card.
In total, our response rate was just over 27 percent. To ensure accurate population estimates for this analysis, survey weights were used. Weighting incorporates: (1) a base weight adjustment for unequal probabilities of selection due to disproportionate stratified sampling by region and due to the number of adults in the household, (2) a differential nonresponse adjustment to correct for unequal response rates by stratum/region, and (3) a calibration adjustment to 2018 American Community Survey estimates on gender, age, education, race, and Hispanic origin in the Indiana adult population. Weights were trimmed and scaled to the unweighted number of respondents.