Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account

Did you know that the outdoor recreation economy makes up
2.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product?

Outdoor recreation fuels the U.S. economy. It accounts for a higher percentage of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) than mining, utilities or the manufacturing of chemical products. Outdoor recreation’s annual gross output was $735 billion – and of that, $36.9 billion came from fishing and boating.

These numbers come from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) who have developed their first statistics showing how outdoor pursuits like fishing, boating, camping and biking ripple through the U.S. economy.

The new report brings the economic importance of outdoor recreation to the surface. A factory making fishing lures, a family traveling to fish a bucket list location or a charter captain updating his boat’s electronics are woven invisibly into BEA’s broad national statistics. The new account pulls these threads of data together in one place, with expanded detail, creating a picture of the outdoor recreation economy that would otherwise remain hidden.

The new data adds to public understanding and informs decision-making by policymakers, business people and the managers of public lands and waters. Simply put – it is a very powerful tool.


Watch highlights from the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s presentation of the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account from September 20, 2018.