Report: U.S. outdoor recreation economy continues to show strength

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Photo Credit: Travel_Bug

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released a new report that provides updated data on the economic power of outdoor recreation.

“The U.S. outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($427.2 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. 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.”

Chesapeake Conservancy President & CEO Joel Dunn issued this statement following the release.

“The Bureau of Economic Analysis report provides even further evidence that outdoor recreation is a major economic driver, in Chesapeake Bay states and in all states across the United States. The report shows that outdoor recreation contributes billions of dollars each year to the economies of the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states and Washington, D.C., and it shows that on average, outdoor recreation GDP grew by 13% in Chesapeake Bay states from 2012 to 2017. Access to outdoor recreation opportunities through parks and trails delivers triple bottom line returns – for our health, for the environment, and for the economy. Chesapeake Conservancy looks forward to continued work with partners and our local and state governments to expand public access to outdoor recreation opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

Charts of Economic Value-Added (GDP) attributed to Outdoor Recreation and the Employment and Employment Compensation Attributed to Outdoor Recreation for states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are provided below. Core activities are direct outdoor recreation activities and retail spending, and supporting activities include travel and tourism, construction, and governmental spending.

StateOutdoor Recreation (Core and Supporting) Employment, 2017Outdoor Recreation Employment Compensation, 2017
Pennsylvania                                                       173,588 $                                       6,826,124,000
Maryland                                                         92,683 $                                       3,746,066,000
Virginia                                                       128,407 $                                       4,795,163,000
New York                                                       293,447 $                                     14,178,838,000
West Virginia                                                         22,202 $                                           688,507,000
Delaware                                                         18,485 $                                           611,026,000
Washington, D.C.                                                         23,651 $                                           977,279,000
Total Employment 2017                                                       752,463
Total Compensation 2017 $                                      31,823,003,000

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