The following is a cross-post from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
The U.S. outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($427.2 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) also shows that inflation-adjusted (real) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, faster than the 2.4 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy. Real gross output, compensation, and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than for the economy as a whole.
With this release, BEA introduces prototype statistics on outdoor recreation for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These new statistics show that the relative size of the outdoor recreation economy ranged from 5.4 percent of GDP for Hawaii to 1.2 percent of GDP for the District of Columbia.
Other value added by activity highlights include the following:
- Boating/fishing was the largest conventional activity for the nation as a whole at $20.9 billion in current-dollar value added. At the state level, this was the largest conventional activity in 29 states and the District of Columbia, led by Florida ($2.7 billion) and California ($1.8 billion).
- RVing was the second-largest conventional activity nationally with $16.9 billion in current-dollar value added. It was also the largest conventional activity in nine states, led by Indiana ($2.9 billion) and Ohio ($599.5 million).
- Snow activities was the sixth-largest conventional activity at the national level with $5.6 billion in current-dollar value added. At the state level, snow activities was the largest conventional activity in Colorado ($1.5 billion), Utah ($549.2 million), and Vermont ($175.9 million).
- Guided tours/outfitted travel, part of the other core activities category, accounted for $12.9 billion and was also one of the fastest growing activities in 2017, growing 11.4 percent.
Outdoor Recreation by Industry
Today's data also show the role that different industries play in the outdoor recreation economy, including their impact on value added, gross output, employment, and compensation. The arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services sector was the largest contributor to the U.S. outdoor recreation economy in 2017, accounting for $112.9 billion (national table 10). At the state level, this same sector was the largest contributor to outdoor recreation for 26 states and the District of Columbia.
Other value added by industry highlights include the following:
- Retail trade had the second largest sector contribution to outdoor recreation nationally, accounting for $95.7 billion of current-dollar value added. Retail trade was the largest contributor to outdoor recreation value added in 17 states, including Texas ($8.5 billion), Washington ($2.8 billion), and Ohio ($2.7 billion).
- Manufacturing contributed $51.7 billion nationally to the outdoor recreation economy in 2017 and was the third largest outdoor recreation sector. At the state level, manufacturing was the largest sector for outdoor recreation value added in Indiana ($4.7 billion), Wisconsin ($2.0 billion), Louisiana ($1.6 billion), and Kansas ($684.2 million).