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Millennials May Spend More Time Outdoors Than We Think

Callie Miles

A new Outdoor Recreation Report shows increased participation among youth and women.

A recent report from The Outdoor Foundation on outdoor recreation shows that young adults, ages 18 to 24, showed the most significant increase in participation among all age groups.

Those who were not exposed to outdoor recreational activities during childhood were less likely to participate as adults. However, those who were introduced to the outdoors as children were twice as likely to participate in outdoor recreation as adults.

Brian Peters assists young Nate Ichtertz with a summer steelhead
Brian Peters assists young Nate Ichtertz with a summer steelhead

Parenting not only plays a key role in outdoor participation, but the participation rate among adults with children was actually 14 percent higher than adults without children.

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OutdoorFoundation.org

Among other key findings, the outdoor recreation participation rate among males was 8 percent higher than females. However, the participation rate among females in the 18-24 year old age group was 16 percent higher than males.

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OutdoorFoundation.org

Recreational participation among female millennials increased, although indoor fitness outnumbered outdoor recreational activities.

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Although outdoor activities were the preferred choice of recreational opportunities among millennial males, participation dropped in both categories. Outdoor participation significantly decreased among male youth as well.

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Running, jogging, and trail running were listed both as a favorite and most popular outdoor activity. 8.8 million participants, 29 percent of young adults, averaged 107 outings per runner for a total of 946.3 million outings.

Road, mountain, and BMX biking were listed as both a favorite and most popular outdoor activity. 12.5 million participants, 24% of American youth averaged 66 outings per cyclist for a total of 822.7 million outings.

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Jessica McInnes pauses from her ride and gazes at the sky

Freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing were listed as both a favorite and most popular activity. 4.1 million participants, 13% of young adults, averaged 50 outings per fishing participant for a total of 203.9 million outings.

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Michael Matthews shows off a smallmouth caught by kayak in the Columbia River Gorge

Car, backyard, backpacking and RV camping were listed as both a favorite and most popular outdoor activity. 10.9 million participants, 21% of American youth averaged 11 average outings per camper for a total of 121.3 million outings.

Andrew Steele and Jerry resting at camp
Andrew Steele and Jerry resting at camp

Hiking was listed as both a favorite and most popular outdoor activity. 5.0 million participants, 16% of young adults, averaged 19 outings per hiker for a total of 94.8 million outings.

Callie Miles looks over the horizon
Callie Miles looks over the horizon

Findings among children ages 6-17 were not much different than young adults, however, skateboarding was also listed as one of the most favorite outdoor activities, with a frequency of 21 average outings per skateboarder for a total of 73.7 million outings.

Jordan Lucas with Nyle, Emma, and Meadow at the Eric Scott McKinley memorial skatepark in Corvallis, OR
Jordan Lucas with Nyle, Emma, and Meadow at the Eric Scott McKinley memorial skatepark in Corvallis, OR

As for participation among other groups, minorities lagged behind in outdoor participation, a consistent trend in previous years. Caucasians had the highest participation rates; African Americans had the lowest.

Dezmon Livingston showing how it's done with a lunker bass
Dezmon Livingston showing how it’s done with a lunker bass

Hispanic Americans only made up a small percentage of total outdoor participants, however, those who participated did so more frequently than any other ethnic group.

NEXT: 7 FISHING STEREOTYPES BUSTED ONCE AND FOR ALL

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Millennials May Spend More Time Outdoors Than We Think