Outdoor Participation Hits Record Levels

The year 2023 saw a record 175.8 million participants in outdoor recreation, representing 57.3% of the U.S. population, according to the 2024 Outdoor Participation Trends Report from the Outdoor Foundation (OF) and Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). This represents a growth in the outdoor recreation participation base of 4.1%. The number of participants increased across demographics as well as activities, with new, more casual participants beginning to hike, bike, camp, run and fish.

Other key findings from the 2024 Outdoor Participation Trends Report include:

  • In 2023, 22.2 million more Americans aged 6 and older participated in outdoor recreation than were participating in 2019.
  • For the first time ever, more than half of American women participated in outdoor recreation.
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community continued to be the most active adult cohort.
  • The participant base became more ethnically and racially diverse in 2023, but not by much: 69.7% of participants are White, 10.3% are Black, 13.4% are Hispanic, 5.3% are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1.4% identify as people with other ethnic/racial origins.
  • The average number of outings per participant in 2023 fell 11.4% – from 70.5 outings per participant in 2022 to 62.5 outings per participant in 2023.
  • In 2023, 7.7 million Americans tried one or more outdoor recreation activities for the first time.

For more than 15 years, the Outdoor Participation Trends Report has served as a comprehensive source of insights and narratives around who is doing what in the outdoors — as well as when and how. The Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association, funds the research that produces the annual Outdoor Participation Trends Report and publishes the findings in partnership with OIA every year.

“Our report highlights interesting shifts in who’s recreating in the outdoors. While we’re excited to see some increases in participation diversity, there is still more work to be done in order to keep pace with changes in the demographics of the U.S. population,” said Lesford Duncan, executive director of Outdoor Foundation. “The findings of this report is a clear call for our outdoor ecosystem, including outdoor industry and public sector efforts, to work together to increase participation by prioritizing representation and inclusion in design, marketing, programming, outreach and advocacy.”