Today is a big day for our outdoor industry as the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released the 2021 outdoor recreation economy data. Spoiler alert, the numbers are impressive! 

With a $173 billion increase from 2020, 2021’s outdoor recreation economy’s gross economic output was a colossal $862 billion! According to Outdoor Recreation Roundtables release, this means the outdoor recreation economy contributes more to the U.S. economy than oil and gas extraction, mining, and agriculture. 

Our industry is consistently growing and the numbers are here to prove it! Here are a couple of highlights from the BEA’s news release: 

  • Outdoor recreation economy accounted for 1.9 percent ($454.0 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation in 2021.  
  • 4.5 million people found employment in the outdoor recreation industry, an increase of 13.1 percent from 2020. Employment in the outdoor recreation industry increased in ALL 50 states in 2021. 
  • Boating/fishing was the largest conventional activity for the nation at $27.3 billion in current-dollar value 

Below are the Colorado 2021’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) highlights: 

  • Outdoor recreation made up $11.6 billion (2.7%) of Colorado’s GDP 
  • 125,244 jobs make up the outdoor recreation economy in Colorado, ranking 11th among all states in ORSA compensation 
  • Colorado ranked #1 for snow activities, #8 for climbing/hiking/tent camping, and #9 for biking across the 50 states. 

Since 2017 when the outdoor recreation economy data was first released, we have seen exponential growth almost across the board. The strength and growth of the outdoor recreation economy shows what we know to be true: there are countless benefits to people spending more time outdoors!

View all Colorado ORSA Data Here