How Many Preppers and Survivalists are there in the USA? (2023 Survey Results)

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Our study reveals almost 150 Million Americans Are Self-Described ‘Survivalists’.

A survivalist is described as someone who prepares for emergencies, disasters, and other situations where access to food, water, shelter, and other essential resources may be limited or non-existent.

Survivalists often stockpile emergency food kits, water, medical supplies, and other necessary items, and they may also develop skills such as hunting, fishing, gardening, and self-defense in order to increase their chances of survival in a crisis.

Some survivalists also choose to live off the grid or in remote areas in order to avoid dependence on modern infrastructure and systems. The term “survivalist” is also sometimes used interchangeably with “prepper.”

“The stats don’t lie – two in three Americans have been affected to some degree by an extreme weather event. Even if the worst-case scenario doesn’t ever transpire, preparing thoroughly will give you peace of mind on a day-to-day-basis”

Paul Simpson. Primal Survivor

State with the highest proportion of preppers

It is noteworthy that Hawaii has the largest percentage of survivalists among its population, with 80% (equivalent to 892,000 individuals) having made preparations for an extreme event.

This can possibly be attributed to the state’s physical isolation and susceptibility to natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, which could potentially hinder access to supplies and resources, thus necessitating the need for residents to be ready for emergency situations.

Furthermore, the state’s extensive military presence, with multiple bases and installations, may have fostered a culture of preparedness and vigilance in Hawaii.

State with the lowest proportion of preppers

Meanwhile, Rhode Island seems to be taking a more laid-back approach, with only 17% of the population having taken steps to prepare for disaster.

What exactly are survivalists preparing for?

Extreme natural weather events are the primary concern for 54% of individuals who identify as survivalists, according to our survey.

Economic instability (16%) and international conflict (14%) follow behind as other significant concerns.

Notably, news about Chinese spy balloon incursions into US airspace have motivated 34% of respondents to become more involved in prepping, while 13% are most anxious about another pandemic.

The pandemic has also led to a 54% increase in individuals who previously did not consider themselves survivalists but are now more likely to join the movement. Domestic political uncertainty is the focus of only 3% of respondents. 

The survey revealed that recent news about Chinese spy balloons incursions into US airspace has prompted 34% to become more engaged in prepping.

Another 13% are most concerned about another pandemic. Indeed, of those who did not consider themself a ’survivalist’ before the pandemic, 54% say they are more likely to join the movement now. Finally, 3% prepare for domestic political uncertainty. 

Are we prepared for an extreme event?

Despite the growing number of survivalists, the majority of Americans are ill-prepared for extreme events.

In fact, the average respondent can only survive for one week without assistance, and 17% would not last beyond two days.

FEMA recommends a Disaster Supplies kit, including three days of bottled water and non-perishable food, an emergency radio, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a whistle, and warm clothing.

For 57% of those surveyed, prepping has become a mainstream movement.

*Methodology and Analysis

We commissioned an online panel survey of 3,000 adults based on age, gender, and geography. Internal data sources are used to obtain population data sets. We used a two-step process to ensure representativeness through stratified sampling and post-stratification weighting. 

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