According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association:
In a recent report, economic data reinforces the fact that outdoor recreation is a powerful driver of national and local economies and it is growing faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.
NMMA said that this is the second consecutive year that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has released formal, national-level data, a notable milestone for the industry now identified as a unique sector of the economy. For the first time, BEA also released preliminary data on the outdoor recreation economy at the state level for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Having a rich set of both state and national data on outdoor recreation to draw upon will inform decision-making by businesses, policymakers, and managers of public lands and waters.
Highlights from BEA’s new report on the outdoor recreation economy:
- Outdoor recreation accounts for 2.2% of U.S. GDP, generating $778 billion in gross economic output and supporting 5.2 million American jobs.
- In terms of gross economic output, boating/fishing, RVing, motorcycling/ATVing, hunting/shooting/trapping and equestrian sports are the five largest conventional outdoor recreation activities.
- Outdoor recreation’s share of GDP is larger than a host of traditionally recognized industries, including mining, utilities, farming and ranching and chemical products manufacturing.
- The top five states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of each states’ total GDP are Hawaii, Montana, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming.
- The top five states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of total U.S. GDP are California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas.
BEA’s report once again shows that the outdoor recreation economy is a powerhouse contributor to our country’s economic well-being while outdoor recreation is critical to the well-being of Americans. Boating and fishing are the top contributor to outdoor recreation’s economic prowess, which comes as no surprise considering 141 million Americans take to the water each year. With the majority of boat owners having an annual household income of $100,000 or less – and the fact that recreational boat sales are on track to deliver the second highest sales performance we’ve seen in 11 years – we’re confident that boating will continue to significantly contribute to the outdoor recreation economy into the future.