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Recreational Boating: $230B US Economic Impact

Recreational Boating: $230B US Economic Impact
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Recently released data by the NMMA has highlighted the significant economic impact of recreational boating in the United States. According to the study by John Dunham & Associates, the industry has experienced a 36% boost, with a total economic output of $230 billion in 2023, compared to $170 billion in 2018. Additionally, the industry has supported over 812,000 jobs, representing a 14% increase from 2018. This study evaluated the overall activity of the U.S. recreational boating industry, including the businesses and jobs it supports.


2023 Trends

The surge in recreational boating can be attributed to the pandemic-driven shift in consumer behavior, with Americans placing a greater emphasis on outdoor activities, mental well-being, and quality time with loved ones. This trend is expected to continue in 2023, with sales of new and pre-owned boats projected to remain on par with 2022 as people continue to seek out outdoor experiences.

According to Frank Hugelmeyer, the president of NMMA, recreational boating and fishing have become a crucial driving force of the U.S. economy. The latest economic analysis highlights the remarkable growth and demand of these industries in the aftermath of the pandemic. The undeniable impact of the past few years is evident in the record numbers of Americans seeking out boating and fishing, resulting in substantial economic output and supporting countless small businesses and nearly a million jobs.


Recreational Boating at the State Level

The study also delved into the impact of recreational boating at the state level, revealing some interesting shifts in rankings. While Florida and California held onto their first and second positions respectively, Texas jumped to third place, followed by Michigan and New York. Moreover, the top ten states saw two newcomers, Georgia and Minnesota, which both experienced a remarkable surge of over 120% in economic output and job growth.


Top 10 States for Recreational Boating Economic Activity & Job Growth:

  • Florida: $27.2B, up 33% and 109,000 jobs, up 19% from 2018
  • California: $15B, up 33% and 48,000 jobs, up 18% from 2018
  • Texas: $10.6B, up 56% and 38,000 jobs, up 47% from 2018
  • Michigan: $10.2B, up 60% and 45,000 jobs, up 45% from 2018
  • New York: $8.6B, up 22% and 34,000 jobs, down 8% from 2018
  • North Carolina: $8.2B, up 66% and 28,000 jobs, up 39% from 2018
  • Wisconsin: $7.3B, up 107% and 35,000 jobs, up 101% from 2018
  • Georgia: $7B, up 80% and 27,000 jobs, up 80% from 2018
  • Washington: $6.9B, up 16% and 23,000 jobs, up 1% from 2018
  • Minnesota: $5.9B, up 121% and 25,000 jobs, up 137% from 2018

  • Bright Future Ahead For The Boating Industry

    It’s clear from the study that the recreational boating industry will be an essential driver of the US economy for years to come. We can look forward to a bright future, with plenty of opportunities for growth and prosperity.


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    Resources: NMMA

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