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Outdoor Recreation Economy Report

by DC Staff

Outdoor Recreation Economy Report

Outdoor recreation generates more than $887 billion in annual consumer spending and supports more than 7.6 million jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) “The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report at:

Southwick Associates, the leading market research and economics firm in the outdoor industry, conducted the research and analysis for the report.

Key findings of the report include: 

Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic sector. At $887 billion spent annually, it is larger than education ($278 billion), gas and fuels ($304 billion), household utilities ($313 billion) motor vehicles and parts ($465 billion) and pharmaceuticals ($466 billion).

Supporting 7.6 million jobs, outdoor recreation creates more jobs than real estate, rentals and leasing (2.1 million) and education (3.5 million) combined. It also supports more jobs than the food and beverage industry (4.7 million), finance and insurance (6 million), construction (6.4 million) and computer technology (6.7 million).

Outdoor recreation generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue a year and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenues.

Nearly 331 million people visit U.S. national parks each year.

The report also touches on the health and societal benefits of outdoor recreation including evidence that suggests that investments in outdoor recreation and programming could significantly reduce crime rates, improve educational outcomes for many children and actually lower long-term individual and public health care costs by reducing stress and obesity rates.