Law & Order

New Data Shows Outdoor Recreation Industry Boosted Economy by $1.08T in 2022

A line of Jeeps driving down a dirt trail.By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

The outdoor recreation industry, including motorized recreation like off-roading and overlanding, is providing a significant boost to the United States economy, according to new economic data. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently released new economic data showing that outdoor recreation accounted for $1.08 trillion in U.S. economic output and 2.2% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

Additionally, outdoor recreation's economic impact increased by 16.9% from 2021 to 2022 and employed 4.98 million Americans last year--accounting for 3.2% of U.S. jobs.

"The BEA's numbers support the rapid expansion we've seen firsthand in the off-road and overlanding industries. While motorized recreation is a lifestyle and passion for millions of Americans, the money that OHV and overlanding enthusiasts invest in their vehicles is a key economic driver of the $1.08 trillion annual outdoor recreation economy," said SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola. "Motorized recreation is a major employer in gateway communities and throughout the country where specialty aftermarket businesses manufacture, install and sell parts that upgrade everything from SUVs to trucks to OHVs with wheels and tires, suspension upgrades, lift kits, winches, lighting products and more."

This is the sixth consecutive year that the BEA has released national- and state-level data on the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry, demonstrating how critical the industry is to the U.S. economy. The report shows that outdoor recreation continues to grow and thrive, supporting jobs and local economies in communities across the country, bolstering the national economy and providing benefits to the increasing number of Americans who seek time outside. SEMA supports efforts to expand access to motorized recreation, which is a major driver of both the automotive specialty-equipment market and the outdoor recreation industries.  

"The state of the outdoor recreation economy is strong, and sustained investment in outdoor recreation and our shared public lands and waters pays dividends for our local and national economies and quality of life," said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). "Our industry continues to provide benefits to communities across the country--big, small, urban and rural alike. To ensure that this success is sustainable and that our public lands and waters will continue to be accessible to all Americans for generations to come, we will continue to work together with leaders on the passage of America's Outdoor Recreation Act by the end of this year. We are thrilled to once again see the data reflect what we hear every day, that outdoor recreation is not a nice to have--but a necessity for healthy people, places and economies."

For more information, contact Tiffany Cipoletti at