More Americans participated in outdoor recreation in 2012 than in any year since The Outdoor Foundation began measuring participation in 2006. 141.9 million participants got outdoors last year, up from 141.1 million participants in 2011. In addition, outdoor participants were more active in 2012 than in past years, taking an average of 87.4 outdoor outings per participant for a total 12.4 billion outings overall.
Participation rates by age remained relatively stable year-over-year in 2012 - a testament to the resilience of outdoor participation in uncertain economic times and a changing climate. Youth and young adults, however, will need to remain an area of focus. Although participation rates were stable for younger participants from 2011 to 2012, the rates are still significantly lower than they were in 2006. Young participants are also still less diverse than the nation as a whole. In 2012, 71 percent of youth and young adult participants were non-Hispanic Caucasian, while 63 percent of all Americans were non-Hispanic Caucasian.
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