Parks and the Economy

October 1, 2015, Department, by NRPA

NRPA, working with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, recently completed an assessment of the local and regional park agency spending.A recent study prepared by the Center for Regional Analysis and George Mason University reveals the economic significance of spending by local and regional public park systems in the United States. The findings are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau survey of local government employment and spending data from 1,169 park systems accessed through the PRORAGIS database and/or park system budget data from online sources. Below, we’ve highlighted a number of the key figures from the 2015 report, which add to the growing body of evidence supporting the positive impact of parks.

$140 billion: Total amount of economic activity created by the nation’s local and regional public parks
 
1 million: Total number of jobs supported by the nation’s local and regional public parks
 
356,000: Number of direct jobs across the United States provided in 2013 by local and regional public park agencies
 
$80 billion: Amount of total economic activity generated by park systems’ operations spending
 
$38.8 billion: Amount the gross domestic product was boosted by parks systems’ operations spending
 
$22.4 billion: Amount local and regional park systems spent on capital programs
 
$59.7 billion: Amount of economic activity generated by local and regional systems’ spending
 
$54.7 billion: Total amount the nation’s local and regional public park systems spent on operation and capital expenditures  


$68 billion: Total amount the nation’s local and regional park systems contributed to the gross domestic product   

$43.8 billion: Total amount the nation’s local and regional park systems boosted labor income

 

Source: The Economic Significance of Local and Regional Park Systems Spending on the United States Economy, 2015