Washington, DC: The 1.06 million people that hunt or fish in Georgia have a tremendous impact on the state's economy. In 2011, these outdoorsmen and women spent $2.3 billion with a ripple effect of $3.8 billion, and supported 39,640 jobs in the state. New data released today by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) documents the importance of sportsmen and women's activities in Georgia and across the nation. The state fact sheets follow the release of CSF's national report, America's Sporting Heritage, Fueling the American Economy,
that was released in mid-January.
"Many people may not fully comprehend how important hunting and fishing are to the fabric of this country. Yet nationally there are more people who hunt or fish than go bowling, and their spending would land them at #24 on the Fortune 500 list," commented Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "Sportsmen and women spent $2.3 billion on hunting and fishing in Georgia in 2011, twice the revenues for cotton, the second highest grossing agricultural commodity in the state ($2.3 billion vs. $1.18 billion in cotton receipts)."
Intended to provide a series of "sound bites" that resonate within the outdoor community as well as the general public, the CSF data spotlights some of the most compelling information about hunters and anglers in every state. For example, 1.06 million people (residents and non-residents) hunted or fished in Georgia in 2011, more than twice the population of the city of Atlanta (1.06 million vs. 420,000 population). In addition, Georgia's resident sportsmen and women could fill every one of the state's professional sports venues (NFL, NBA, MLB and NASCAR) more than three and a half times (981,000 vs. 263,722). Perhaps most importantly, hunters and anglers support 39,640 jobs in Georgia - that is more than Fort Benning, the state's largest employer (39,640 vs. 32,000).
Nationwide, the impact is even more impressive. There are more than 37 million hunters and anglers age 16 and up in this country - about the same as the population of the entire state of California. These sportsmen and women spent $90 billion on hunting and fishing in the United States in 2011, which is comparable to the combined global sales of Apple's iPad® and iPhone® that year. In difficult economic times, it is important to note that both participation and spending by people who hunt and fish went up in 2011.
Beyond the impact to businesses and local economies, sportsmen and women are the leaders in conserving fish and wildlife and their habitats. When you combine license and stamp fees, motorboat fuels, excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and membership contributions to conservation organizations, hunters and anglers directed $3 billion towards on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts in 2011 - that is over $95 every second. This does not include their own habitat acquisition and restoration work for lands owned or leased for the purpose of hunting and fishing, which would add another $11 billion to the mix.
The base data for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation report and state fact sheets comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation. From this base data, CSF and its partners the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the American Sportfishing Association commissioned Southwick Associates to develop detailed reports on the hunting and fishing industries, respectively. These reports provide the information that CSF uses in their comparisons to other industries and activities that may be more recognizable to the general public. The CSF report and state information for all 50 states are available on the CSF website.