Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Topline 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report Published

The Outdoor Foundation published its annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Report yesterday.

In the latest study, the Outdoor Foundation reports that the rate of participation in outdoor recreation in the United States remained solid in 2010, and at the same level seen in 2008. Nearly half of Americans ages 6 and older, or 137.9 million individuals, participated in at least one outdoor activity in 2010, making 10.1 billion outdoor outings. The research shows significant increases in adventure sports such as kayaking, backcountry camping, climbing and adventure racing, as well as a slight increase in youth participation rates.

For all participants, six years and older, the five fastest-growing activities added 2.8 million participants in 2010. The increases in participants for each over 2009 were:

* Triathlon (Traditional/Road), up 63.7 percent, or 777,000

* Boardsailing/Windsurfing, up 43.4 percent, or 489,000;

* Triathlon (Non-Traditional/Off Road), up 39.5 percent, or 263,000;

* Kayaking (Whitewater), up 34.6 percent, or 473,000 and

* Bicycling (BMX), up 30.8 percent, or 828,000.

Since 2006 there has been a downward trend in youth outdoor activities (ages 6 to 17), however, the report shows a slight uptick in 2010. Hiking was the fifth most popular youth outdoor activity (ages 6 to 24) last year, with a participation rate of 12.3%, or 9.7 million participants.

The five most popular adult outdoor activities (ages 25+) according to participation rates, are as follows:

* Fishing (Fresh, Salt and Fly): 15.1% of adults, 30.9 million participants

* Running, Jogging and Trail Running: 14.7% of adults, 30.0 million participants

* Camping (Car, Backyard and RV): 12.2% of adults, 25.0 million participants

* Bicycling (Road, Mountain and BMX): 12.0% of adults, 24.6 million participants

* Hiking: 11.1% of adults, 22.8 million participants

Among all age groups (6+), day hiking saw a slight decline of 0.2% in 2010 versus 2009, while backpacking reported a 9.2% increase during that same time frame.

For hiking, the number of outings (in millions) over the last five years are as follows:

2006: 29,863
2007: 29,965
2008: 32,511
2009: 32,572
2010: 32,496

My guess is that the hiking participation numbers spiked in 2008 as a result of the recession. Those rates have stayed elevated over the last three years, likely due to the fact that hiking is a relatively inexpensive activity.

Published annually by The Outdoor Foundation, the 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2011 is derived from 40,000 online interviews conducted in January 2011/early February 2011. Respondents came from a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the U.S. Online Panel operated by Synovate. A total of 15,086 individual and 23,656 household surveys were completed. The total panel has over 1 million members and is maintained to be representative of the U.S. population. Over-sampling of ethnic groups took place to boost response from typically under-responding groups.

You can read the entire report by clicking here.

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My Life Outdoors said...

Its good to see an increase in outdoor recreation. I took 22 teenagers to the top of Guadalupe Peak on Saturday. Many of them had never hiked more than a half mile before that day. (and some never will again...ha) I was amazed at how little our young people care for the outdoors.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

But I'm sure you inspired some to explore more....and those that showed indifference on Saturday, it's likely that you planted a seed for exploration somewhere down the road. How can you not be inspired from the top of GP?!?!

BTW, when are you going to Glacier?