Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Driver

The outdoor recreation economy plays a critical role in supporting economic growth in the United States. The 2022 data shows that outdoor recreation contributed more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. Outdoor recreation represents 2.2% of U.S. GDP and creates nearly 5 million jobs and comprises 3.2% of U.S. employment. This is the largest economic impact measured in the history of the account. 

Boating and Fishing Lead Contributor to Outdoor Recreation Economy

Recreational boating and fishing were the second-largest conventional activity for the nation at $32.4 billion in current-dollar value added and was the largest conventional activity in 24 states and the District of Columbia. The states with the largest contributions were Florida ($4.4 billion), California ($2.4 billion), and Texas ($2.1 billion).

This year’s release shows a great year for the outdoor recreation economy in 2022, reflecting the desire of Americans across the country to get outdoors and recreate. In addition, the BEA found that the outdoor recreation economy grew three times faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.


Key Outdoor Recreation Industry Data

of U.S. GDP
in economic output
jobs supported


At the state level, value added for outdoor recreation as a share of state GDP ranged from 5.6% in Hawaii to 1.4% in Connecticut.

Outdoor Recreation’s Share of GDP



Boating and Fishing are the #2 Contributors to the Outdoor Recreation Economy
  1. RVing
  2. Boating and Fishing
  3. Motorcycling/ATVing
  4. Snow activities