Economic impact of boating soars to $230bn in US


New data shows the annual economic impact of recreational boating in North America has increased 36 per cent in the past five years, from $170 billion in 2018 to $230 billion in 2023.

The data has been collected via economic analysis conducted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), an association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. The results — compiled in a report called 2023 Economic Impact Study of the Recreational Boating Industry — show the marine industry’s contributions to the US workforce grew during the past five years, with a 14 per cent increase in jobs supported, from 691,000 in 2018 to more than 812,000 in 2023.

Conducted by John Dunham & Associates, the study, last fielded in 2018, measured the US recreational boating industry’s total economic activity as well as the number of jobs and businesses supported.

“Recreational boating and fishing are a major economic engine in the U.S., and the latest economic analysis underscores the extraordinary growth and demand our industry has experienced coming out of the pandemic,” says Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “The profound impact the past few years have had on our industry cannot be denied as we’ve seen Americans seek out boating and fishing in record numbers, driving significant economic output and supporting tens of thousands of small businesses and nearly a million jobs.”

In addition to examining the overall US. impact, the analysis breaks down data at the state level. While the top five states remained the same from the 2018 study, their rankings shifted, with Florida and California retaining their first and second spots, respectively, Texas moved to the third position, with Michigan and New York rounding out the top five. Newcomers to the top ten states are Georgia and Minnesota; each saw upwards of a 120 per cent increase in both economic output and job growth.

New economic impact infographics for the US and by state are now available for download by NMMA members and industry stakeholders.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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