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America’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Outdoor Foundation releases 2009 participation report


Want to know what Americans are up to outdoors? The Outdoor Foundation released its 2009 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report today.

The bad news: The rate of youth involvement dropped yet again in 2008 (6% for ages 6-17). The biggest drop was in the youngest group measured (9% for ages 6-9). That's a 16.7 percent drop over the last three years for all youth.

The better news: The youth decline was not as bad as previous years. Outdoor participation among youth increased in some outdoor activities, including mountain biking (up 17%), hiking (up 5%), and backpacking (up 16%).

The opportunity: Most outdoor participants are introduced to the outdoors between ages 5 and 18.1 Most youth are introduced to outdoor activities by parents, friends, family, and relatives. So, if you are a family member or friend of a youth, you are the solution.

To help counter this decline, in addition to taking my own kids outdoors, I am going to let my son invite friends along on more outings in the future. According to the report, for youth, “fun” is by far the most common motivation for participating in outdoor activities.

So, what are Americans doing when they do get outside for some recreation?

 

Most Popular Outdoor Activities by Participation Rate
All Americans, Ages 6 and Older 

  1. Freshwater, Saltwater and Fly Fishing
    17% of Americans Ages 6 and Older, 48.2 million participants
  2. Car, Backyard and RV Camping
    15% of Americans Ages 6 and Older, 42.4 million participants
  3. Running, Jogging and Trail Running
    15% of Americans Ages 6 and Older, 42.1 million participants
  4. Road Biking, Mountain Biking and BMX
    15% of Americans Ages 6 and Older, 41.5 million participants
  5. Hiking
    12% of Americans Ages 6 and Older, 32.5 million participants


Americans’ Favorite Outdoor Activities by Frequency of Participation
All Americans, Ages 6 and Older

  1. Running, Jogging and Trail Running
    3.65 billion outings / 79 outings per runner
  2. Road Biking, Mountain Biking and BMX
    2.43 billion outings / 51 average outings per cyclist
  3. Freshwater, Saltwater and Fly Fishing
    1.04 billion outings / 17 average outings per fishing participant
  4. Wildlife Viewing
    686 million outings / 28 average outings per wildlife watcher
  5. Car, Backyard and RV Camping
    598 million outings / 12 average outings per camper

 

Download the 48-page Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, 2009

Read the press release


Filed under: People & Organizations

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