Hunters and anglers impact Michigan economy

The 1.9 million people that hunt or fish in Michigan have a tremendous impact on the state’s economy.  In 2011, these outdoorsmen and women spent $4.8 billion with a ripple effect of $8.2 billion, and supported 72,462 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 Michigan 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 $4.83 billion on hunting and fishing in Michigan in 2011, more than the combined revenues for dairy products, corn, and soybeans, the state’s three highest grossing agricultural commodities that year ($4.83 billion vs. 4.47 billion).”

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, 1.9 million people (residents and non-residents) hunted or fished in Michigan in 2011, more than the combined populations of Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint (1.9 million vs. 1.1 million combined population).

In addition, there are more resident sportsmen and women in Michigan than the number of people who attended Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons home games last year (1.64 million vs. 985,578 combined attendance).  Perhaps most importantly, hunters and anglers support more jobs in Michigan than the combined number of people employed by the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Detroit Receiving Hospital, and Delphi Thermal Systems, three of the state’s largest employers (72,462 vs. 50,716).

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.