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The State of Outdoor Recreation in the United States

Each year the Outdoor Industry Foundation releases it’s Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report which presents an assessment of the level of participation in outdoor sporting activities in the United States. Monitoring these trends are key for outdoor programs to stay focused on what activities are of major interest to different population groups.

2011 Physical Activity Council Topline Report

Unlike many other sports, outdoor participation among Americans has remained remarkably stable over the last several years – demonstrating impressive resiliency during challenging economic times. According to The Outdoor Foundation’s topline report, the rate of participation in outdoor recreation in the United States remained solid in 2010 and at the same level seen in 2008. Nearly half of Americans ages 6 and older, or 137.9 million individuals, participated in at least one outdoor activity in 2010, making 10.1 billion outdoor outings, according to the 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report. The research shows significant increases in adventure sports such as kayaking, backcountry camping and climbing as well as slight increases in youth participation among those individuals ages 13 – 24.

Published annually by The Outdoor Foundation, the 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2011 is derived from 40,000 online interviews conducted in January 2011/early February 2011. Respondents came from a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the U.S. Online Panel operated by Synovate. A total of 15,086 individual and 23,656 household surveys were completed. The total panel has over 1 million members and is maintained to be representative of the U.S. population. Over-sampling of ethnic groups took place to boost response from typically under-responding groups.

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