Outdoor Recreation Makes Up 2.2 Percent of U.S. GDP

A September 20 report from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicates that outdoor recreation activities make up 2.2 percent ($247.2 billion) of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Boating/fishing” was the largest conventional activity for the nation as a whole at $20.9 billion in current dollar value added, surpassing RVing, motorcycling, hunting and snow activities. Dollar value includes all economic contributions by marinas, boat dealers, repair shops, in-state boat manufacturers and additional impacts.

At the state level, the BEA report cited boating/fishing as the largest conventional activity in 29 states and the District of Columbia, led by Florida ($2.7 billion) and California ($1.8 billion). Adding to the report, BEA statistics show the top five states where outdoor recreation (as a whole) accounted for the largest percentage of total U.S. GDP are California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and New York.