Updated statistics from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($412 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016 (table 2). In data produced for the first time, using inflation-adjusted (real) GDP, the outdoor recreation economy grew 1.7 percent in 2016, faster than the 1.6 percent growth for the overall U.S. economy (table 6). In addition, real gross output, compensation, and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than in the overall economy in 2016.
Published September 20, 2018
Every county in Washington State benefits from walkers, runners, bikers, and backpackers using our beautiful trail systems. Ninety percent of Washington residents participate in non-motorized recreation annually.
This report evaluates the economic, environmental, and social benefits of outdoor recreation activities associated with trails and their nexus with the economy of Washington.
Trails contribute more than $8.2 billion to Washington state's economy, according to companion studies released by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
A 2019 Purdue Road School presentation asking, do trails offer a direct economic benefit?