Outdoor Recreation - Who Engages In Outdoor Activities?
participation reported average participated
According to Outdoor Recreation in America 2003, there was a correlation between education and income and
|Participation in outdoor recreation activities, 1994–2003|
|Note: NA denotes not asked|
|SOURCE: Roper ASW, "Outdoor Recreation Participation in 2003," in Outdoor Recreation in America 2003: Recreation's Benefits to Society Challenged by Trends, The Recreation Roundtable, January 2004, http://www.funoutdoors.com/files/ROPER%20REPORT%202004_0.pdf (accessed September 10,2004)|
|Walking for fitness/recreation||NA||45||39||42||47||42||57||49||46|
|Driving for pleasure||40||36||33||34||39||35||41||36||43|
|Visiting cultural sites||NA||NA||12||14||18||16||16||17||15|
|Offroad vehicle driving||5||5||5||5||7||7||7||7||6|
|Personal watercraft (e.g. jet skis)||NA||NA||NA||3||5||5||5||6||5|
rates of outdoor activity participation. College graduates participated in an average of 5.9 activities, compared to 3.7 for those with a high school diploma or less. Households with income above $75,000 per year reported 5.8 activities, while those earning $30,000 or less reported 3.8.
Participation rates differed for Americans of different ethnic backgrounds. Whites engaged in an average of 5.2 different activities, while Hispanics reported 3.5 and African Americans 2.3. Americans in the Midwest and West were far more likely to participate in outdoor activities than those in the Northwest and South. Northeasterners participated in an average of just 3.6 outdoor activities during the year and southerners 3.8, compared to the national average of 4.7. Those in the Midwest reported participation in seven different activities annually, while westerners reported 4.7 and had the lowest number reporting no activity during the year—just 6%, half the national average.
Participation rates varied between different age groups. In 2003, 19% of Americans aged eighteen to twenty-nine participated in outdoor activities several times per week, down by almost a third from the 27% who participated in 2001. Monthly participation in this age group dropped from 51% to 41%, and the number who said they participated less than monthly, or never, almost doubled from 21% to 38%. The decline in participation was less marked in the other age groups surveyed, although the oldest Americans, those sixty and above, showed a similar drop among the most frequent participants, while the number who engaged in a monthly activity remained unchanged. (See Table 3.2.)
A Family Affair
Recreation often starts with the family, and many Americans began the recreational activities they enjoy as adults when they were children. Parents who emphasized and participated in outdoor activities raised children who were more likely to become participants in and supporters of outdoor activities. Families with children reported higher
|Frequency of outdoor recreation participation by age, 2001 and 2003|
|Most frequent participants (several times per week), as % of all in category||Participated at least monthly, as % of all in category||Least frequent participants (never, less than monthly), as % of all in category|
|SOURCE: Roper ASW, "Outdoor Recreation Participation in 2003," in Outdoor Recreation in America 2003: Recreation's Benefits to Society Challenged by Trends, The Recreation Roundtable, January 2004, http://www.funoutdoors.com/files/ROPER%20REPORT%202004_0.pdf (accessed September 10, 2004)|
outdoor recreation participation rates than those without. Individual members of families reported an average of 5.4 activities per year and had significantly higher rates than the average for such activities as swimming, picnicking, tent camping, walking, fishing, camping, and bicycling.