The outdoor recreation economy is large, growing faster than the overall economy, and consists of jobs in many industries. Explore data by state.
Trends & Performance
The Value of Montana’s Outdoors
Montana’s outdoors attracts people and talent, creating jobs and a high quality of life. The outdoors is essential to the state’s future economic growth.
Funding Needs for Montana’s Outdoor Heritage
Funding for Montana’s working lands, wildlife, and outdoor recreation is not keeping pace as population, visitation, and development pressures expand.
High County GDP No Guarantee of Growth
High worker productivity occurs across diverse counties and sectors but is not always connected with population growth and opportunity.
How Outdoor Recreation Supports Rural Economic Development
Investing in outdoor recreation is one of several strategies that can help rural communities thrive in a changing economy.
Recreation Counties Attract New Residents and Higher Incomes
Recreation counties, especially in non-metro places, draw new residents and have higher incomes and faster earnings growth than places without recreation.
Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Economy
A new report highlights the role of Montana’s outdoor recreation economy in spending, jobs, and economic diversification.
Populations at Risk
Populations at Risk quickly and easily generates and downloads reports about populations more likely to experience adverse social, health, or economic outcomes.
Gallatin County’s Economy, Growth, and Open Space
This report summarizes Gallatin County’s economy, how it has grown, and what is driving its performance. The report also describes how growth threatens open space and the role these lands play in local quality of life.
Montana Losing Open Space
From 1990 to 2018, the number of single-family homes in Montana grew by more than 50 percent, and the popularity of large lots converted 1.3 million acres of undeveloped land to housing.
Montana Losing Open Space: Sortable Data
Review the different rates of home construction and loss of open space across Montana counties.
Lessons from the Timber Transition
Western counties once dependent on timber today perform similarly to like-sized counties. Three case studies outline economic lessons from counties that weathered the timber transition.
Youth Migration in the West
Western counties are experiencing a wide disparity in youth migration. While some are attracting and keeping young adults and families, others are struggling.
Which Counties Saw Significant Changes in Poverty Rates?
While national poverty rates dropped in the last year, the county-level picture is mixed.
Know Your Economy: Tools for Every Community
Understanding your local economy and how it compares to peers is a crucial part of community and economic development.
Strengthening Rural Communities (slides)
Slide show: A theory of economic development in the rural West.
The Growth of Hispanic Populations Across the West
Hispanics account for roughly one in four westerners and one in six rural westerners.
Which Counties Are Most Reliant on Medicaid?
National interactive map and charts show Medicaid-dependent counties and populations at risk.
Montana’s Economy, Public Lands, and Competitive Advantage
This report summarizes Montana’s economy analyzing recent growth and what is driving its performance, including a description of how federal lands help attract people, investment, and businesses.
Minority Populations Driving County Growth in the Rural West
Minority populations are growing in nearly all rural western counties, helping booming communities expand and slowing the decline in counties that otherwise would have lost people.