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Outdoor Industry Association: Recreation participation up, diversity improving

BOULDER — More people than ever participated in outdoor recreation activities last year, according to the Outdoor Industry Association, and those participants came from an increasingly diverse array of backgrounds.

OIA, a Boulder-based industry advocacy group, found that “the (American) outdoor recreation participation base grew 2.3% in 2022 to a record of 168.1 million participants, or 55% of the U.S population over the age of 6.”

The participation rate for Hispanic people increased from 34% in 2015 to 56% in 2022, the association reported in its survey, and the year-over-year participation rate among Black respondents increased more than 5% in 2022 to 40.7%.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more active in outdoor recreation than any other group surveyed, making up 11% of all outdoor activities participants.

“The findings of this year’s report underpin the critical need for initiatives like Thrive Outside that seek to address outdoor equity barriers,” Outdoor Foundation executive director Stephanie Maez said in a prepared statement. “While the growth in ethnic and racial diversity in the participant base is encouraging, we must strive to do better. Outdoor participation should reflect the diversity of the U.S. population overall and currently it does not.”

Source: BizWest