WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Women anglers and the USA’s economy — The female factor

Anietra Hamper shares facts and figures about women anglers and how they are helping boost the USA’s economy.


There’s no doubt that sportsmen and women are good for the American economy. In fact, when you consider that hunters and anglers combined spent $90 billion dollars in 2011, according to the most recent statistics from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, that’s an economic force worth noticing. To put it into perspective, that’s more money than the combined annual sales of the Apple iPhone and iPad for that same year.

When you look at anglers alone, the numbers are impressive in terms of what we spend on travel, boats, equipment, restaurants, licenses and tournament fees. Anglers spend $1.5 billion on bait alone and another $628 million on things like hooks and sinkers each year. But, beyond keeping bait shops in business, our biggest impact is in the cities and towns that benefit from our visits and passion.

So, where do women anglers fall into this picture? According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we fare significantly in terms of participation and economic impact. What’s more impressive, based on the 2 most recent surveys available (2006 and 2011,) the female factor — the percentage of women anglers, is gaining steam, while the percentage of our male counterparts who make up the angling population is declining. In a male-dominated industry, this is significant because it will open up more opportunities for women who are serious in the sport-fishing world and for those who are not competitive, but just want to enjoy a day out on the water.


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The numbers

Year Total # Anglers Female Male Total $ Spent
2011 33.1 million 27% = (8.9 million) 73% = (24 million) $41.8 billion
2006 30.0 million 25% = (7.5 million) 75% = (22.5 million) $42.0 billion

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife: 2006 and 2011 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

In a 5-year period, the percentage of female anglers increased by 2 percent, also increasing the amount that women spend on fishing related travel and equipment to more than $11 billion.


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Why should we care?

According to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), money spent on fishing equipment, licenses, trips and other fishing-related items and events helps to create and support 828,000 jobs in the USA. Many of these jobs include the hospitality industry, bait and tackle shops, marinas, restaurants and guides. The ASA says in some rural areas, money brought in from recreational fishing makes up the economic backbone of those communities. Companies that spend money to support anglers add additional dollars to those communities. Suddenly, the conversation goes from talking dollars and cents to buying bait, a pole or to enter a tournament — to the economic ripple effect produced by each angler each year. The female factor becomes significant when you consider our growing contribution makes up more than 26 percent of that impact.


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Bottom line

The bottom line — our piece of the pie is growing. Our economic influence is growing and  helping to provide jobs, keep businesses open, surge the hospitality industry, keep manufacturers cranking out equipment and it has opened a whole new market for companies who want to target the female audience with more products to sell. Beyond just seeing more pink fishing poles on the shelves, it means that women anglers are becoming a major force in the economy.


Visit Anietra’s blog, Three Word Press, where you’ll travel from your chair to her world of fantastic fishing and adventure!

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.