Outdoor Recreation Equals Jobs and Economic Growth

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released today shows that inflation-adjusted (“real”) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy increased 18.9 percent in 2021 with outdoor recreation providing over 4.5 million jobs. Real gross output – a broader measure of all economic activity generated – for the outdoor recreation economy was even more significant, totaling $862 billion in 2021.

Click on the map below to see the value added by outdoor recreation by state.

Governors are strong champions of outdoor recreation and NGA is a excited to announce that we are partnering with Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy on a two-year research project funded by the Economic Development Administration to study the effectiveness of their Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation grants. Learn about the NGA Outdoor Recreation Learning Network and the innovative outdoor recreation projects being developed by Governors and other state leaders at: https://www.nga.org/outdoors/.

Contact Bevin Buchheister, NGA Senior Policy Analyst, at bbuchheister@nga.org for more information about the ORLN, and ways to highlight innovative projects in your state.