Conservation Markets

Full Report: The 2006 Economic Benefits of Wildlife Viewing in Florida icon_PDF.gif (7.3MB)

In 2006, there were 1.6 million wildlife viewers (residents and nonresidents) participating in non-residential activities in Florida. In addition, there were nearly 3.3 million residents participating in residential activities in Florida. Nonresidential activities are those performed at least one mile from an individual's home. Conversely, residential activities are those performed within one mile of an individual's home. The nonresidential activity cited most often by recreators was observing wildlife, whereas the primary residential activity was feeding wildlife. Overall, 4.2 million people participated in some form of residential or nonresidential wildlife viewing in Florida in 2006.

The total retail sales from 2006 wildlife viewing in Florida was estimated at $3.1 billion ($2.4 billion by residents and $653.3 million by nonresidents). Since 2001, expenditures in Florida for wildlife viewing have almost doubled ($1.575 billion in 2001). These numbers show a reversal from the previous five-year period in which expenditures had decreased slightly ($1.677 billion in 1996). These 2006 expenditures support a total economic effect to the Florida economy of $5.248 billion. The 2006 economic impact of wildlife viewing in Florida is summarized below.

2006 Economic Impacts of Wildlife Viewing in Florida

Resident Non-Resident Total
Retail sales $2.428 billion $653.3 million $3.081 billion
Salaries & wages $1.204 billion $391.8 million $1.595 billion
Full & part-time jobs 38,069 13,298 51,367
Tax revenues:

State sales tax

$243.1 million $69.7 million $312.8 million

Federal income tax

$292.5 million $92.8 million $385.3 million
Total economic effect $4.078 billion $1.170 billion $5.248 billion

Demographics and Participation Characteristics of Wildlife Viewing Recreators

Participants in wildlife watching in Florida are near 50 years of age, are likely to be married, and are split evenly between male and female, though more nonresidents are female. Only a small percentage of  wildlife viewers in Florida, both nonresidential and residential, report they are non-white.

Nonresidential Activity

Residential Activity

Resident Non-Resident
Race (non-white) 7 percent 5 percent 5 percent
Average age 49 years 51 years 51 years
Gender (male) 47 percent 34 percent 48 percent
Marital Status (married) 56 percent 80 percent 62 percent
Average household income $62,816 $73,862 $60,641
8 years of less 2.3 percent 0.0 percent 3.8 percent
9-11 years 4.9 percent 2.3 percent 5.7 percent
12 years 32.4 percent 16.1 percent 34.4 percent
1-3 years college 22.9 percent 24.5 percent 24.0 percent

4 years college or more

37.5 percent 57.2 percent 32.0 percent

The average household income for residents participating in nonresidential and residential activities is similar. Nonresidents have, on average, a household income higher than resident participants. Both have incomes higher than the 2006 state average ($44,448, per U.S. Census Bureau). As with income levels, the education levels of residents who participate in residential and non-residential activities are similar; however, nonresidents have, on average, a higher level of education.

FWC Facts:
Florida's natural lands and waters are at the core of our state's prosperity, bringing billions of dollars in economic benefits to our state every year.

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