Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account

Outdoor recreationBEA has developed its first statistics showing how outdoor pursuits like snowboarding, biking and boating ripple through the U.S. economy.

These prototype statistics published Feb. 14, 2018, mark a milestone in BEA's work to measure the size and growth of the outdoor recreation economy. Feedback about these experimental data will help us finalize the definitions, data sources, methodology and presentation for the new Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account.

The resulting outdoor recreation report is planned for fall 2018.

Outdoor recreation and the economic activities that support it – for example, a factory making fishing lures, a family traveling to hike in a national park, or a ski instructor giving lessons – are already woven invisibly into BEA's broad national statistics, such as GDP. The new account pulls these threads of data together in one place, with expanded detail, creating a picture of the outdoor recreation economy that would otherwise remain hidden within BEA's existing statistics.

The new data will add to public understanding and inform decision-making by policymakers, businesspeople and the managers of public lands and waters.

The outdoor recreation account, established by a 2016 federal law, joins other supplemental statistics that spotlight arts and cultural production, travel and tourism, and health care.

News Release and Data

Of Interest

Where We Are Now

For our prototype, BEA produced experimental statistics that allow you to view the outdoor recreation economy through two different lenses: first, a conventional definition of outdoor recreation including activities that typically require a degree of physical exertion and occur in a nature-based outdoor environment; and second, a broader definition including all recreational activities that occur in the outdoors.

These experimental statistics were published on Feb. 14. BEA seeks more feedback as we continue to refine our approach to measuring and presenting statistics on outdoor recreation, to be released this fall.


Blog Posts

Legislative Background

Federal Recreation Council Members

U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Contact Us

Email outdoorrecreation@bea.gov with comments or questions, or call BEA Public Affairs at (301) 278-9004 or Tina Highfill at (301) 278-9266.