From Alabama’s 1st Congressional District to Wyoming’s At-large District, these reports show that from rural towns to the most densely-populated cities, outdoor recreation is a vital economic force that not only creates billions in spending and millions of good-paying American jobs, but also creates healthier communities, healthier economies and healthier people.
“One-hundred and forty-five million Americans, from all walks of life, participate in outdoor recreation every year, and 7.6 million Americans have good-paying jobs that rely on the outdoor recreation economy. These reports show that all districts have something to gain when our federal and local policymakers support our public lands and waters and invest in outdoor recreation,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “Outdoor recreation provides much-needed diversity to local economies, but also brings this country together. Across our country we have seen members of Congress, governors, state legislators, mayors and other policymakers understand the value of outdoor recreation for their local economies and communities. It is critical that we continue to invest in and support this growing and powerful recreation economy so that we can all continue to thrive outside.”
Reports for all 435 congressional districts can be viewed here. Highlights include:
(18 years old+)
“At REI, we believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived. Time adventuring in nature brings out the best in us–individually, when we’re with friends and family, regardless of background,” said Marc Berejka, the co-op’s director of community and government affairs. “It’s also increasingly understood that when Americans spend time outdoors, they help drive the economy. Today’s latest economic impact studies from Outdoor Industry Association show that public investment in recreation opportunities generates large returns, making our local communities stronger and healthier, both urban and rural. Studies like these make it clear why outdoor recreation is a must-have for all of us.”
The reports released today will help legislators to better understand the important role and impact that the outdoor recreation economy has in their districts and among their constituents. And 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 invest in and support the outdoor recreation economy by doing the following:
- Visit the OIA Advocacy Center to learn more about the important role the outdoor recreation economy plays—and the impact it has—in your state, your district and in your local community.
- Adequately fund state and local parks and trails, the foundation of local recreation economies that bring communities together.
- Support community planning that allows all citizens to go outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their homes.
- Support policies that encourage outdoor entrepreneurs and innovators to start businesses.
Last year, OIA released the third version of The Outdoor Recreation Economy report, the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind to date. That report showed that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually, sustains 7.6 million American jobs and generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue each year.
Subsequently, OIA released state-level Outdoor Recreation Economy reports featuring economic data for all 50 states across the United States, offering a deeper look into a thriving sector that’s helping to create healthier economies and healthier communities.