Most popular outdoor activities in the United States from 2009 to 2015, by number of participants (in millions)

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HikingCar, backyard and RV campingRoad biking, mountain biking and BMXFreshwater, saltwater and fly fishingRunning, jogging and trail running
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This graph depicts the number of participants in the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015. Hiking was the fifth-most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. in 2010 with 32.4 million total participants.

Outdoor activities - additional information

Running, jogging and trail running have been the most popular outdoor activities in the United States since 2010. The number of participants in the activities grew steadily from 44.7 million in 2009 to a peak of 57.6 million participants in 2013. Since that year the number of participants have declined, however, running and jogging remains the most popular activity.

There are different motivational factors to take part in outdoor activities, such as jogging, hiking, camping, biking and fishing, but more than 70 percent of Americans stated that getting exercise motivated them to participate in outdoor activities in 2013. Other important factors included being with family and friends, keeping physically fit and being close to nature.

The gender difference in outdoor activity participation is quite significant. Since at least 2009, more men than women have tended to participate in outdoor activities. In 2015, the participation gender gap was eight percent, but it had stretched as wide as 12 percent in 2010. In 2015, 31 percent of the Americans with a household income of more than 100,000 U.S. dollars participated in outdoor activities, compared to just 14 percent of those with an income of less than 25,000 U.S. dollars. Compared to other ethnicities in the United States, the Caucasian population had the largest share of outdoor activity participants with 74 percent in 2015.

In 2014, the average outdoor participant, who was 18 to 65 years old and spent at least one hour outside per week, spent more than 135 U.S. dollars on outdoor apparel and 123 U.S. dollars on outdoor footwear. Spending on outdoor gadgets amounted to 81 U.S. dollars that year.

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