Outdoor Recreation Accounts for 2.2% of Arkansas GDP


Lake Ouachita is a popular spot for wakeboarding and other water sports because it's often less crowded with calmer water.
Lake Ouachita is a popular spot for wakeboarding and other water sports because it's often less crowded with calmer water. (Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)

The outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2% of gross domestic product in Arkansas in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Nationwide, it accounted for 1.8%, or $374.3 billion of current-dollar GDP.

“At the state level, outdoor recreation value added as a share of state GDP ranged from 4.3 percent in Montana to 1.2 percent in New York and Connecticut,” the BEA reported earlier this month. “The share was 0.8 percent in the District of Columbia.”

The bureau noted that the spread of COVID-19 affected outdoor recreation estimates, as governments issued and lifted “stay-at-home” orders, leading to “rapid changes in demand as consumers canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending.”