Research Shows Boating is a Plus for the U.S. Economy


Data released by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) points to the outdoor industry as a positive influence on the country’s economy, and BoatU.S. wants that information to help the boating business grow.

The research shows nearly $412 billion of the country’s gross domestic product in the past year was acquired because of outdoor recreation — more than the GDP produced by farming, mining or public utilities. Boating, recreation and fishing make up $36.93 billion of the total. Of the activities mentioned in the research, boating was the largest category.

Here are a few key numbers from the report: 

  • • Outdoor recreation accounted for $412 billion of the U.S. gross domestic product, representing 2.2 percent of the overall GDP.
  • • This translates to 4.5 million jobs with compensation of $214 billion in the same year.
  • • Outdoor recreation contribution to GDP is greater than farming, mining or public utilities, and is comparable to broadcasting/telecommunications.
  • • Recreational boating and fishing accounted for $36.93 billion of that total, the single largest category of activities identified in the report.

“As we work for boaters in Washington and state capitals, this data will help policymakers understand that boating is more than just fun on the water,” says BoatU.S. Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “For boaters, the BEA data will help BoatU.S. advocate for laws and policies that support access to waterways and help boaters enjoy a variety of water-based recreation activities.”

For more information on the report, visit

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