Wildlife Watching in the U.S.: The Economic Impacts on National and State Economies in 2011
June 30, 2019
Wildlife watching remains one of the most popular types of outdoor recreation in the United States. Thirty percent of the U.S. population 16 years of age and older enjoyed closely observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife (wildlife watching) in 2011. Of those 72 million individuals, 96 percent wildlife watched around their homes, and 31 percent took trips away from home to wildlife watch.
In addition to contributing significantly to people’s enjoyment of the outdoors, wildlife watching has a substantial impact on the nation’s economies. The $54.9 billion spent in 2011 on wildlife equipment and trips contributed substantially to federal, state and local tax revenues, jobs, earnings, and economic output.
This report presents estimates of the national and state economic impacts of wildlife watching. Estimates were derived using data from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (National Survey). The following topics are addressed: (1) national participation in wildlife watching; (2) expenditures associated with participation in wildlife watching; (3) estimates of the total economic activity generated by those expenditures; (4) total employment and employment income associated with those expenditures; and (5) estimates of associated state, local, and federal tax revenues. Two other reports have used the 2011 National Survey to address the national and state economic impacts of hunting and fishing.
Author(s): James Caudill, Ph.D.