Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account
Do you hang ten or hang glide, hike trails or hoist sails, pedal a bike or paddle a boat? If you're into camping, caving or catching fish; birdwatching, bow hunting or bagging quail; scaling mountains or shredding the slopes, your outdoor fun has a place in our latest project.
BEA is developing a new set of statistics to measure the economics of outdoor recreation. That includes jobs, spending, and the production of goods and services. BEA expects to release experimental statistics in 2018.
Of course, the economic effects of people buying snorkels or ski boots are already woven invisibly into our overall U.S. statistics, such as gross domestic product. What the new account will do is gather these threads together and expand the level of detail, revealing a picture of outdoor recreation that you can't see in the current statistics.
This will deepen public understanding of outdoor recreation's economic impact and better inform decision-making by policymakers, businesspeople, and the managers of public lands and waters.
This new Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, established by law, will join other BEA satellite accounts that focus on health care, travel and tourism, and arts and cultural production.
Once we've produced prototype statistics, we'll gather feedback to help finalize the definitions, data sources and methodology for the outdoor recreation account.
Where We Are Now
Creating a new satellite account is no walk in the park. Just taking the first step—defining "outdoor recreation"—has required careful research, discussion and decisions. To develop these statistics, BEA is working closely with the Federal Recreation Council , made up of agencies that are prominent stewards of public lands and waters. We are also gathering input from experts in the field of outdoor economics. And we're listening to public comments. BEA plans to publish two sets of prototype statistics on outdoor recreation, one using a broad and the other a narrow definition.
Broad: All recreational activities undertaken for pleasure that occur outdoors (such as visiting the beach).
Narrow: Recreational activities undertaken for pleasure that generally involve some level of intentional physical exertion and occur in nature-based environments outdoors (such as camping).
Using these working definitions, BEA is identifying data sources and methodologies. Once the prototype statistics are published in early 2018, there will be additional opportunities for interested parties to provide feedback. The Bureau will incorporate this feedback into its final decision making.
- Define outdoor recreation
- Jan-Mar 2017: Independent development of a range of definitions, and review of goods and services by experts in field of outdoor recreation
- Apr-Jul 2017: Reconciliation of independent reviews, incorporation of public comments, and consolidation into 2-3 potential definitions
- Prepare prototype estimates
- Aug-Nov 2017: Identify data sources and methodologies to estimate goods and services that are partially-in-scope of outdoor recreation
- Dec 2017 - Early 2018: Prepare and release prototype statistics based on the 2-3 potential definitions being evaluated
- 2018: Gather feedback on prototype statistics and finalize the definition, data sources and methodology to be used for the national-level statistics
- BEA Moves Ahead on Developing Plan to Measure the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation
- Send Us Your Suggestions About Outdoor Recreation Statistics
- More Time to Weigh in on New Project Measuring Outdoor Recreation's Economic Impact
- New Data Project: Measuring the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation
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)
- What is a satellite account?
- What will the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) measure?
- How is the outdoor recreation economy captured in the core statistics currently produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)?
- Will the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) overlap with the Travel and Tourism Satellite Account (TTSA)?
- How will Outdoor Recreation be defined?
- Will the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) have regional as well as national level estimates?
Email email@example.com with comments or questions, or call BEA Public Affairs at (301) 278-9004 or Tina Highfill at (301) 278-9266.