The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) released the state-level Outdoor Recreation Economy Report featuring economic data for all 50 states across the United States, the largest and most comprehensive state-by-state report of its kind. The data underscores a growing economic force that generates billions in consumer spending and directly contributes millions of good-paying, American jobs in communities across the country.
Earlier this year, OIA released its national Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, which found that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and directly sustains 7.6 million American jobs. The state report offers a deeper look into a thriving sector that’s helping to create healthier economies and healthier communities.
All 50 state reports can be viewed here.
“The outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive across rural and urban America,” said REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke. “These new state-by-state numbers show how Americans from every corner of the country love to spend time outdoors. People from all backgrounds continue to hike, camp, boat, fish, ski, and paddle. You name it. It’s a rich part of the nation’s heritage. And when we follow our passion and opt outside, we create economic activity across all 50 states. This is a sustainable, growing sector of the economy—one that drives positive return-on-investment throughout the country.”
With the outdoor recreation economy poised to continue to grow, there are actions that can be taken to support its positive economic impact. OIA urges elected policymakers to do the following:
- Adequately fund state and local parks and trails to make them attractive and accessible to families and friends seeking to get outside.
- Take steps to raise awareness of the importance of the outdoor recreation economy.
- Develop and plan urban areas in a way that means every citizen can get outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their home.
- Support policies that encourage outdoor innovators to start businesses.
Outdoor Industry Association issued the first Outdoor Recreation Economy state-level report in 2012 and has made significant improvements to the report since then. This second edition of the state report takes a broader view of the growing industry and its shifting demographics. The sample that was drawn for this study was designed to represent the U.S. population on the basis of gender, age, education and race.
Respondents were solicited through Survey Sampling International (SSI), a longtime leader in survey research. The report was made possible through the generous support of REI, Patagonia, The North Face, W.L. Gore, People for Bikes, The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and The Outdoor Foundation.