Kids Still Drifting Away from Outdoors says 2010 Outdoor Recreation Report
America’s pre-teens continued to drift away from outdoor recreation in 2009 and cuts to state and local spending on parks and team sports could lower participation rates going forward, according to the 2010 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report released by The Outdoor Foundation.
The report found that while a decline in participation appeared to level off last year among teens, it worsened among kids ages 6 to 12. Even as attendance at national parks rose by more than four percent last year, participation by the cohort dipped to 62 percent, down from 64 percent in 2008 and 78 percent in 2006.
The numbers provide an alarming reminder that while adult Americans may be turning to the outdoors for renewal in the wake of the Great Recession, more of our children are being left inside.
The 2010 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report is the only detailed study of its kind tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation. The study is based on an on-line survey capturing responses from over 40,000 Americans ages 6 and older and covers 114 different activities, making it the largest survey of its type examining participation in sports and outdoor activities.
More than 137.8 million Americans participated in outdoor recreation in 2009, according to the report. This equates to nearly 50 percent of all Americans 6 and older and 10.1 billion outdoor outings.
Over the last several years, youth outdoor participation has declined significantly in every age group, gender and ethnicity.
There was encouraging news in the participation report as well, including pockets of robust growth among both youth and adults.