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Bicycling Contributes $4.3 Billion to U.S. GDP

Published December 1, 2023

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BOULDER, COLO — The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently released its 2022 estimate of the outdoor recreation economy for the U.S., all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, linked here. The data includes estimates of value added (or gross domestic product, GDP) and gross output for the overall outdoor recreation economy in addition to bicycling and other specific activities.

The BEA estimated that altogether, outdoor recreation contributed $1.08 trillion to the U.S. GDP in 2022, with bicycling adding $4.32 billion. While this measure of GDP only tells a small portion of bicycling’s overall contribution to the U.S. economy, the takeaways are nonetheless impactful.

The BEA’s measurement of the economic contribution of bicycling (and other outdoor activities) to the GDP captures only the spending on goods produced within the U.S. and, as a result, excludes imports in its estimates. Because the overwhelming majority of bicycles sold in the U.S. are imported, the money spent on those products does not figure into the BEA’s estimates. An infographic describing this analysis can be found here.

“Retail sales data from NPD Group estimated that the retail market for bicycles, parts, accessories, apparel, and service reached $8.14 billion in 2022,” said Patrick Hogan, senior research manager of PeopleForBikes. “This number, down only slightly from $8.95 billion in 2021, represents spending at the retail level, which is largely supported by imported products. These sales do not factor into the BEA’s estimates of GDP”.

The bicycle industry's impact on the U.S. GDP in 2022 didn't match the highs of the first two years of the pandemic. However, the overall economic influence of the outdoor recreation industry has seen substantial growth, reaching a value of $1.08 trillion and supporting nearly 500 million U.S. jobs. This growth has outpaced the growth of the overall US economy, as more Americans are spending money and time pursuing outdoor activities.

The BEA’s latest numbers support PeopleForBikes’ work to increase funding for biking and outdoor recreation at the local, state, and federal levels. Specifically, the data shows that programs like the Great Bicycle Infrastructure Project are timely and critical to expanding access and resources for an ever-growing number of Americans participating in cycling, and will continue to support their economic contributions to the US economy.

About PeopleForBikes

PeopleForBikes is making biking better for everyone by uniting millions of Americans, thousands of businesses, and hundreds of communities to make every bike ride safer, more accessible, and more fun. The PeopleForBikes Coalition has more than 300 supplier members and 1.4 million supporters in its grassroots network. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at

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