A new report by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Outdoor Foundation (OF) found that outdoor recreation is growing and that more than half of all Americans over the age of six participated in 2022.
The report, the 2023 Annual Outdoor Participation Trends Report, found that the outdoor recreation participation base grew 2.3 percent in 2022 to 168.1 million participants, which is 55 percent of the U.S population over the age of six years old.
“For any business that wants to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, understanding the evolving consumer base and how they choose to spend their time outdoors is essential knowledge,” said Kent Ebersole, president of OIA. “Industry growth is dependent on attracting and retaining the “core” and increasingly diverse “casual” participant through innovation, valued sustainability practices and pursuing policies for increasing equitable access to the outdoors for everyone.”
The report also found a number of other interesting points, including that:
- The participation rate for Hispanic people increased from 34 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2022, the highest participant growth rate for any single group.
- The participation rate for Black people increased more than 5 percent in 2022 to 40.7 percent.
LGBTQIA+ participants made up 11 percent of the participants base, and are the most active of any adult group.
- Seniors make up 35 percent of the base.
- Eighty percent of outdoor activity categories experienced growth, including camping, fishing, sport climbing, skateboarding, and hiking.
“The findings of this year’s report underpin the critical need for initiatives like Thrive Outside that seek to address outdoor equity barriers,” said Stephanie Maez, Outdoor Foundation executive director. “While the growth in ethnic and racial diversity in the participant base is encouraging, we must strive to do better. Outdoor participation should reflect the diversity of the U.S. population overall and currently it does not.”
The 2023 report reflects data gathered during the 2022 calendar year and included 18,000 online interviews consisting of people ages six and older.
Learn more about the Outdoor Foundation here: outdoorfoundation.org.
Learn more about the Outdoor Industry Association here: outdoorindustry.org.