Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Alabama: 2011
Wildlife-related recreation generates billions of dollars for our nation's economy every year.
In an effort to highlight the contributions of southeastern hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers, we are featuring findings from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report. This report is the result of interviews conducted by the Census Bureau with U.S. residents about their fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching. It focuses on 2011 participation and expenditures of persons 16 years of age and older.
Wildlife-related recreation is fishing, hunting, and wildlife-watching activities. These categories are not mutually exclusive because many individuals participated in more than one activity. Wildlife-related recreation is reported in two major categories: (1) fishing and hunting, and (2) wildlife watching, which includes observing, photographing, and feeding fish or wildlife.
According to the report, in 2011 1.7 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of Alabama, generating $2.7 billion for our economy.
2011 Alabama Quick Financials
- $2.7 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Alabama
- $456 million spent in Alabama from fishing-related activities
- $913 million spent in Alabama on hunting-related activities
- $734 million spent in Alabama on wildlife-watching activities
Fishing in Alabama: $456 Million
Who fishes in Alabama, and how much do they spend?
- 683,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 9.9 million days fishing in the state of Alabama in 2011
- 69% of anglers were state residents (473,000 people)
- 31% of anglers were from out-of-state (210,000 people)
- In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $456 mililion on fishing in the state
- Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $317 million
- Equipment: $128 million
- Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $12 million
- People spend almost twice as much per day of fishing on saltwater fishing as freshwater fishing ($47/day saltwater vs. $25/day freshwater)
- The most popular fish with freshwater anglers is catfish
Hunting in Alabama: $913 Million
Who hunts in Alabama, and how much do they spend?
- 535,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of
10.3 million days hunting in the state of Alabama
- 92% of hunters were state residents (492,000 people)
- 8% of hunters were out-of-state (44,000 people)
- In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $913 million on hunting in the state
- Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $405 million
- Equipment: $357 million
- Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $151 million
- Hunters on average spent almost the same per day hunting big game as small game ($38 big game vs. $40 small game), but the sample size of hunters hunting migratory birds and other animals was too small to report reliably
- However, each individual hunter spent more overall on their big game trips ($692 per trip) than on their small game trips ($408 per trip)
Wildlife-Watching in Alabama: $734 Million
Who watches wildlife in Alabama, and how much do they spend?
Two wildlife-watching activity are reported: (1) away-from-home activities and (2) around-the-home activities. Because some people participated in more than one type of wildlife watching, the sum of participants in each type will be greater than the total number of wildlife watchers. Only those engaged in activities whose primary purpose was wildlife watching are included in the survey. Secondary wildlife watching, such as incidentally observing wildlife while pleasure driving, is not included.
- 1.1 million people 16 years and older watched wildlife in Alabama
- 96% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (1.1 million people)
- 30% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (336,000 people)
- 3% of away-from-home wildlife watchers were from out-of-state (35,000 people)
- In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $734 million on wildlife-watching in the state
- Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $41 million
- Equipment: $668 million
- Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $25 million
- The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (883,000 people)
- Alabamans spent nearly 1.3 million days engaged in away-from-home wildlife-watching activities in their state
- More people photographed wildlife while near their homes than while away from their homes (319,000 people at home, 143,000 away-from-home)
- 83,000 people reported visiting parks and natural areas to observe wildlife