The outdoors is big business, and here's the proof: On Friday, the federal government's Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report showing that the outdoor recreation economy's inflation-adjusted GDP grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, faster than the overall U.S. economy's growth rate of 2.4 percent. In total, playing outside accounted for $427.2 billion, or 2.2 percent, of the country's GDP that year.
“The outdoor industry has always known it is a huge contributor to the national economy, this report brings new data to bear to underscore that fact," said Amy Roberts, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association, in a statement. “The icing on the cake is the new state by state analysis, which will be immensely helpful to lawmakers, communities and businesses in promoting outdoor recreation related activities and economic opportunities–the beneficial uses are endless and we look forward to our continued work with the Bureau of Economic Analysis to enhance the analysis moving forward.”
The OIA has been a leading contributor in recognizing the economic impact of the outdoor industry by publishing its own data and advocating for the passage of the Outdoor REC Act, which requires the Bureau of Economic Analysis to count the outdoor recreation economy toward national GDP. Read more about the report in this article from SNEWS.