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Outdoor Rec, RVing Drive U.S. Economy

Across all metrics, the outdoor recreation economy’s growth has outpaced that of the U.S. economy, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The data show outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy, revealing that outdoor recreation generates $1.1 trillion in economic output (2.2% of GDP), 5 million jobs and comprises 3.2% of U.S. employees. 

This is the sixth consecutive year that BEA has released national and state level data on this critical sector. This newest release shows how the outdoor industry continues to grow and thrive, supporting jobs and local economies in communities across the country, bolstering the national economy, and providing myriad benefits to the increasing number of Americans who seek time outside. The BEA data demonstrates how vitally important outdoor recreation has become and its potential to continue to grow.

The brand-new numbers show that RVing was the largest conventional activity for the nation at $35.5 billion in current-dollar value added and was the largest conventional activity in 22 states. The states with the largest contributions were Indiana ($5.9 billion), Texas ($3.6 billion) and California ($3.4 billion). Revised numbers in the new report also show that RVing was the largest conventional activity in 2021 as well. 

“New RVers are younger and more diverse than ever before, and they are choosing RVing as a way to fulfill their desire to get outdoors, take part in all kinds of outdoor recreation, and live an active outdoor lifestyle. RVs provide a basecamp for every form of recreation included in these new economic numbers, from boating and fishing to hiking, biking, climbing, and camping” said Craig Kirby, RV Industry Association President & CEO. “What these new numbers show is that outdoor recreation is not just good for people’s physical and mental health, it is also a significant economic driver across the entire country.”

To learn more about the expanding outdoor recreation industry, view the recent data.

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