New State Recreation Economy Rankings Show Growth From Coast to Coast 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — November 28 —  Today, ORR is excited to share its annual ranking of state outdoor recreation economies according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. These rankings, which include top states by overall size, top year-over-year growth, top growth since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and % contribution to state GDP, come on the heels of a new national release that showed that in 2022 outdoor recreation generated $1.1 trillion in economic output (2.2% of GDP), 5 million jobs and comprises 3.2% of U.S. employees. Over the last year, the outdoor recreation economy grew 2.5 times the rate of the U.S. economy as a whole and jobs grew 2 times faster than the U.S. economy.

“It is incredible and unsurprising to see that outdoor recreation grew in every state across the country in 2022,” said Chris Perkins, Vice President of Programs for ORR. “We hope these stats are used to kickstart conversations within states about new opportunities to advocate for outdoor recreation infrastructure investments, create favorable conditions for outdoor businesses to thrive, build programs to ensure that all residents, especially along the lines of race, income, and ability level, have access to the outdoors, and support communities who provide outdoor recreation access. The 20 states that have created State Offices of Outdoor Recreation are emblematic of the opportunity to achieve these goals in unison.”

To learn more about how they can support the outdoor recreation industry in their communities through grant funding or even establishing state-wide Offices of Outdoor Recreation (ORECs), States should visit the ORR website. 

Highlights from the report include:

Top 5 States by Size of GDP:

  • California ($73.8B)
  • Florida ($52.4B)
  • Texas ($47.6B)
  • New York ($31.2B)
  • Illinois ($21.9B)

Top 5 States by Growth, 2021-2022

  • Hawaii (44.4%)
  • Alaska (29.5%)
  • District of Columbia (28.6%)
  • Wyoming (26.1%)
  • Florida (20.8%)

Top 5 States by Growth, 2019-2022

  • Indiana (12.5%)
  • South Dakota (10.2%)
  • Iowa (9.5%)
  • Idaho (9.4%)
  • Arkansas (9.3%)

Top 5 States by % of GDP

  • Hawaii (5.6%)
  • Vermont (4.6%)
  • Montana (4.3%)
  • Wyoming (4.1%)
  • Alaska (4.0%)