Outdoor recreation added almost $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, up 22 percent from 2020.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced earlier this month the impressive contribution outdoor recreation has on the state’s economy. The outdoor recreation contribution of $13.64 billion, which also accounts for 152,000 jobs, makes up 1.6 percent of Pennsylvania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics.

When asked about this report, Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation, Nathan Reigner said, “Outdoor recreation continues to be a thriving and significant industry within the commonwealth and this data helps us better understand what we are going well, while also providing guidance on where we can grow this industry for its own sake and to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians. Unlike economic development through other industries, development through outdoor recreation also stimulates physical health, mental wellbeing, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability.”

Pennsylvania has the nation’s sixth largest outdoor recreation economy, which is supported by exceptional recreational resources and assets. Included as one of the core outdoor activities, recreational vehicle (RV) camping makes up the largest single contribution to PA’s economy, adding more than $700 million, up 17 percent from last year. Right below RV camping, boating and fishing contribute $555 million and hunting/shooting/trapping make up $354 million.

Nationally, outdoor recreation generates over $860 billion in economic output, accounting for around 3 percent of all jobs in America.

Director Reigner additionally hosted a free online seminar and discussion on this topic with stakeholders from various outdoor recreation industries across Pennsylvania in late November. A link to a video recording of that informative session is provided.


This post adapted from a press release by DCNR as well as related posts on other conservation nonprofit partners.