Outdoor recreation participation trends

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  • Author(s): Cordell, H. Ken; McDonald, Barbara L.; Teasley, R. Jeff; Bergstrom, John C.; Martin, Jack; Bason, Jim; Leeworthy, Vernon R.
  • Date: 1999
  • Source: In: Cordell, H. Ken; Betz, Carter ; Bowker, J.M.; and others. Outdoor recreation in American life: a national assessment of demand and supply trends. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing: 219-321.
  • Station ID: --

As part of the national assessment of outdoor recreation trends, the authors have taken a look at participation patterns and levels of participation across activities and across segments of our society. The primary source of data is the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE). The NSRE is the latest in the continuing series of National Recreation Surveys conducted by the Federal Government since 1960. The NSRE covers participation in over 80 activities, ranging from casual walking outdoors to more challenging activities such as rock climbing and white water canoeing. This chapter looks at national participation in land-, water-, and snow-and ice-based recreation activities. Long-term trends are covered, tracking some activities back to the original national survey done in 1960. To examine geographic patterns, differences in population percentages across Census regions and divisions are explored, with a focus on activities with the greatest differences. To further explore geographic patterns, selected activities are mapped at county scale to show more detailed patterns of participation across and within regions. Intensity of participation is described using days and trips away from home as the measure of involvement in outdoor activities. Participation differences among social groups in American society are examined, and constraints to participation described. The closing sections of this chapter include descriptions of visits to Federal and State recreation areas, international tourism in the United States, outdoor recreation consumer spending trends, and economic effects of outdoor recreationists’ spending.

  • Citation: Cordell, H. Ken; McDonald, Barbara L.; Teasley, R. Jeff; Bergstrom, John C.; Martin, Jack; Bason, Jim; Leeworthy, Vernon R. 1999. Outdoor recreation participation trends.

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