America’s marine economy, including goods and services, contributed about $373 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2018 and grew faster than the nation’s economy as a whole, according to the marine economy statistics released last week by two Department of Commerce agencies.
“These statistics are the first-of-its-kind estimate of the U.S. marine economy, a primary driver of jobs, innovation and economic growth,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “Data such as these provide a critical baseline to inform, track progress and accelerate America’s economic recovery.”
For these statistics, experts from NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis considered 10 sectors representing businesses dependent on the nation’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes between the years 2014 and 2018. Marine-related gross domestic product grew 5.8% from 2017 to 2018, faster than the 5.4% growth of the total U.S. gross domestic product as measured in current dollars. Businesses included in the report also supported 2.3 million jobs in 2018.
The sectors making the largest contributions to the nation’s gross domestic product, not adjusted for inflation, are:
Tourism and recreation, including recreational fishing ($143 billion)
National defense and public administration ($124 billion)
Offshore minerals ($49 billion)
Transportation and warehousing ($25 billion)
Living resources, including commercial fishing and aquaculture ($13 billion)
Ship and boat building ($9 billion)
Power generation ($4 billion)
Research and education ($3 billion)
Construction ($2.5 billion)
Professional and technical services ($31 million)
These prototype statistics are the most comprehensive and accurate produced to date, thanks to the addition of newer, more inclusive data sets. The economic statistics validate previous estimates of the value of the marine economy. The data, report and other materials are available here.