New economic reports reveal more than 53 million Americans consider themselves sportsmen, spending more than $93.5 billion in 2016 on gear, licenses, travel, clothing, gas and more in connection with their hunting, target shooting and sportfishing activities.
The reports, released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), American Sportfishing Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, show expenditures made for hunting, target shooting and sportfishing gear and services in 2016 supported 1.6 million jobs and provided $72 billion in salaries and wages. These monies also generated nearly $20 billion in local, state and federal taxes, much of which benefits vital conservation and educational programs that improve areas for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
“Hunting, angling, and the shooting sports continue to be a critical and significant contributor to the nation’s economy, and to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources through the American System of Conservation Funding,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “CSF looks forward to continuing to work with our partners and policy-makers to enhance our outdoor sporting traditions through federal and state policies.”
“With plenty of great land and waters to hunt and fish on, and thousands of shooting ranges to visit, people in every state are enjoying these pastimes. Their spending has profound, positive effects on many segments of the American economy,” said Jim Curcuruto, director Research and Market Development at NSSF, the trade association for the firearms industry.
“If hunting, fishing and target shooting were a corporation, it would rank #25 on the Fortune 500, ahead of Microsoft,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “While time spent outside may come across as something to do after the real work day is done, in reality, hunting, fishing and target shooting is a critical industry, generating jobs and income for thousands of communities across the country.”
Key highlights of the reports include:
- Nearly 600 million combined days at the range or afield were spent by millions of hunters and target shooters in 2016.
- Each year, 35.8 million people 16 years and older take to America’s waters to fish.
- The number of people who participate in sportfishing, hunting and target shooting represents 16.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
- When factoring in multiplier effects, spending by sportsmen created economic activity in excess of $220 billion.
- Hunting, fishing and target shooting add $119 billion of overall value to our nation’s gross domestic product and generate $17.6 billion in federal taxes and $12.2 billion in state and local taxes.
Four separate reports are available:
- Sportfishing from the American Sportfishing Association.
- Hunting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
- Target Shooting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
- A report with all activities combined from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
(Photo source: National Shooting Sports Foundation)