The Coast Guard recently released the completed 2011 National Recreational Boating Survey, which showed that the highest boating participation rate and highest percentage of people who fished from a boat was concentrated in the Midwest.
This is the first in a series of reports that will convey the results of and describe tools to be produced from the newly designed and implemented survey. It focuses on overall boating participation, boat ownership, the types of boats used and the amount of time that boats are used for different regions of the country during 2011, the report stated in the overview.
The data help prevent boating accidents and help assess the economic impact of boating by region.
The study found that about 29 percent, or 34.2 million, of the estimated 116.7 million U.S. households had at least one member who was on a boat, canoe or kayak in 2011. Because many people don’t include kayaks and canoes under the boating umbrella, the NRBS asked the question specifically in order to capture all people who spent time on the water in a recreational vessel, the survey stated.
More than a third, or 12 million, of all boating households in the United States were in the South.
The overall household boating participation rate was highest in the Midwest, at 34.6 percent. The Midwest also had the highest percentage, 17.4 percent, of households with at least one person who fished from a boat.
The Northeast had the highest percentage of households with one or more people who canoed or kayaked in 2011, at 14.7 percent. Canoeing and kayaking were especially popular in Maine, where 31.8 percent of households had at least one member who had kayaked or canoed, and New Hampshire, which had 31 percent.
California (3 million) and Florida (2.5 million) had the highest numbers of households participating in boating, and Alaska (53.2 percent) and Minnesota (50.7 percent) had the highest overall percentage of boating households.
The study also breaks out the participation of children and gender by region, as well as rates of ownership and boat types by region.