Birders Contributed $36 Billion to the US Economy in 2006

A US Fish & Wildlife report based on 2006 economic data has revealed that one in five Americans is a birder (the report defines a birder as someone who either travels to watch birds or makes an active effort to watch and identify birds at home). That’s a whopping 48 million people! These figures sound a bit high; the bulk of these people are probably “backyard” birders. Here are some interesting stats from the report, which can be downloaded here:

total-birdersThis makes more sense. Not to dilute the value of “backyard” birders, but in terms of people you’re likely to bump into stalking a warbler at your local patch, the value is closer to 20 million.

age-distributionAgreed. One doesn’t see a lot of young people birding. It would be interesting to know at what age people start birding and how they started.

male-femaleThis is very interesting. In the United Kingdom (another birding stronghold) this ratio is completely the opposite. Birding has always been a male-dominated activity in the UK; why are there more female than male birders in the US? Anyone fathom a guess?

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