Southeast Region
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Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Florida: 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 6.4 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of Florida, generating $9.0 billion for our economy.

Read Florida's News Release

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Graphs and charts on this page are from the original report. The full report is available here! Florida Census

 

Money Icon2011 Florida Quick Financials

  • $9.0 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Florida
  • $4.6 billion spent in Florida from fishing-related activities
  • $716 million spent in Florida on hunting-related activities
  • $3.0 billion spent in Florida on wildlife-watching activities

 

Pie chart showing 23% spent on equipment, 16% on other, 61% on trip-related costs.

Fishing IconFishing in Florida: $4.6 Billion

Who fishes in Florida, and how much do they spend?

  • 3.1 million people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 57.6 million days fishing in the state of Florida in 2011
    • 61% of anglers were state residents (1.9 million people)
    • 39% of anglers were from out-of-state (1.2 million people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $4.6 billion on fishing in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $2.8 billion
    • Equipment: $1.1 billion
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $742 million - 16% of all fishing expenditures
  • People spend more per day fishing for saltwater fish vs freshwater fishing ($64/day saltwater vs. $18/day freshwater)
  • 62% of the freshwater fish caught were black bass

 

Pie chart showing 39% spent on trip-related costs, 31% on equipment, 30% on other

Hunting IconHunting in Florida: $716 Million

Who hunts in Florida, and how much do they spend?

  • 242,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 5.3 million days hunting in the state of Florida in 2011
    • 89% of hunters were state residents (215,000 people)
    • 11% of hunters were out-of-state (27,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $716 million on hunting in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $281 million
    • Equipment: $220 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $215 million - 30% of all hunting expenditures
  • Big game hunters spent $46 per day, while not enough data was collected from small game and migratory bird hunters
  • However, the total trip expenditures per big game hunter was $993

Bar chart depicting difference in spending between types of hunting

 

 

Pie chart showing 6% spent on trip-related costs, 91% on equipment, 3% on other

Watching IconWildlife-Watching in Florida: $3.0 Billion

Who watches wildlife in Florida, and how much do they spend?

Two wildlife-watching activities 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.

  • 4.3 million people 16 years and older watched wildlife in Florida in 2011
    • 77% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (3.3 million people)
    • 44% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (1.9 million people)
    • (825,000 people) of the 1.9 million were from out-of-state
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $3.0 billion on wildlife-watching in the state
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $1.7 billion
    • Equipment: $788 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $520 million - 17% of all wildlife-watching expenditures
  • The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (2.4 million people)
  • Floridians spent nearly 13.7 million days engaged in away-from-home wildlife-watching activities in their state
  • More people photographed wildlife away from their homes vs. near their homes (1.2 million people at home, 1.3 million away-from-home)
  • 658,000 people reported visiting parks and natural areas to observe wildlife

 

 

Bass fishing - Lake Tarpon, Florida

Bass fishing - Lake Tarpon, Florida Photo: unknown

 

A Spoonbill in search of food in Clearwater, FL..

A Spoonbill in search of food in Clearwater, FL. Photo: Josue A. Serrano

Last updated: September 26, 2013
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