NMMA Reports Recreational Boating’s Economic Impact Soars to $230 Billion

NMMA recently announced new data which found the annual economic impact of recreational boating increased 36%, from $170B in 2018 to $230B in 2023. The industry’s contributions to the U.S. workforce grew as well, with an 18% increase in jobs supported, from 691,000 in 2018 to more than 812,000 in 2023. Conducted by John Dunham & Associates, the study, last fielded in 2018, measured the U.S. recreational boating industry’s total economic activity as well number of jobs and businesses supported.

“Recreational boating and fishing are a major economic engine in the U.S. and the latest economic analysis underscores the extraordinary growth and demand our industry has experienced coming out of the pandemic,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “The profound impact the past few years have had on our industry cannot be denied as we’ve seen Americans seek out boating and fishing in record numbers, driving significant economic output and supporting tens of thousands of small businesses and nearly a million jobs.”

In addition to examining the overall U.S. impact, the analysis breaks down data at the state level. While the top five states remained the same from the 2018 study, their rankings shifted with Florida and California retaining their first and second spots respectively, Texas moved to the third position with Michigan and New York rounding out the top five. Newcomers to the top ten states are Georgia and Minnesota, each saw upwards of a 120% increase in both economic output and job growth.

New economic impact infographics for the U.S. and by state are now available for download by NMMA members and industry stakeholders here.

These infographics are helpful tools to use in meetings with decision makers or marketing the importance of recreational boating to local and national economies.

For questions on the 2023 Economic Impact Study of the Recreational Boating Industry, please contact bi@nmma.org.


The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the nation’s leading trade association representing boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. Collectively, NMMA members manufacture an estimated 80 percent of marine products used in North America. NMMA is a unifying force and powerful voice for the recreational boating industry, working to strengthen and grow boating and protect the interests of its member companies.