Outdoor recreation economy nears $1 trillion in economic output

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account report, showing 2021 economic impact data for the outdoor recreation industry. According to the report, the outdoor recreation industry generated $862 billion in economic output in 2021. This led to the creation of 4.5 million jobs, equal to 3 percent of all workers in the United States. USA. The total value of economic output is 1.9 percent of the nation’s total GDP. Across all 50 states, the outdoor recreation economy contributed between 4.8% and 1.3% of their individual GDPs. Hawaii saw the largest impact on state GDP, while New York and Connecticut were the lowest.

The American Game Fishing Association recognizes the significant value of outdoor recreation in the United States, and we are proud to be part of an industry that plays a critical role in growing our nation’s economy. The outdoor recreation industry’s contribution to the US economy is greater than the amount contributed by other notable industries, such as oil and gas drilling, mining, agriculture, and computers and electronics .

Contributions to US GDP by industry. Image courtesy of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

In 2020, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the outdoor recreation economy contributed just $689 billion in gross domestic production, equal to 1.8 percent of US GDP before the pandemic, the outdoor recreation economy typically equated to 2.2 percent of GDP. We are getting closer to closing the gap.

The outdoor recreation industry is also ahead of the country in overall economic growth, as we saw an increase of 18.9 percent from 2020 to 2021 compared to just a 5.9 percent increase in the overall economy. Our industry also experienced a 13.1 percent increase in job growth from 2020 to 2021, equal to 3.1 percent of the nation’s total job growth.

Among the various outdoor recreation segments, boating and fishing contributed $50.4 billion in economic output. This makes fishing and boating the most important economic drivers among conventional outdoor recreation activities.

Fishing and boating lead mainstream outdoor recreation activities among current dollar value added.

The economic impact of our industry is also an indicator of how important it is for Americans to have access to clean water and abundant fisheries. ASA will continue our work with Congress, federal agencies, and at the state level to ensure outdoor participation continues to grow.

The growth our industry has seen in 2021 indicates that outdoor recreation continues to be a priority for all Americans in terms of time and money spent. Outdoor recreation will continue to have a major impact on our nation, even in the face of general economic uncertainty. ASA is committed to promoting participation in outdoor recreation and getting more Americans outdoors and on the water.