Study: U.S. equine industry has $122 billion economic impact

Posted: Feb. 28, 2018

The equine industry in the United States produces about $122 billion in total economic impact, according to the 2017 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Horse Industry commissioned by the American Horse Council Foundation.

The study, performed by The Innovation Group, is the first of its kind since 2005, when the total economic impact was about $102 million.

The American Horse Council in a Feb. 28 release said the study indicates that the equine industry provides total employment impact of 1.74 million and generates $79 billion in total salaries, wages and benefits. The study estimates the current number of horses in the U.S. at 7.2 million, with Texas, California and Florida the top three by population.

“Those involved in the equine industry already know how important it is to the U.S. economy,” AHC President Julie Broadway said. “Having these updated numbers is critical not only to the AHC’s efforts up on Capitol Hill, but also for the industry to demonstrate to the general public how much of a role the equine has in American households.

“While the number of horses in the U.S. has decreased, this was not entirely unexpected due to the decline in breed registration trends over the last few years.”

The study shows that 38 million U.S. households (30.5%) contain a horse enthusiast, and 38% are under the age of 18. About 80 million acres of land is reserved for horse-related activities.

“For this update of the study we wanted to get a better picture of the number of youth in the pipeline, which is a number that we have not previously included in our economic impact studies,” Broadway said. “Additionally, being able to put a number of the amount of land use for equine-related activities is essential to ensuring that we are able to continue to protect and preserve that land for its intended use.”

The economic impact study is available for purchase through the AHC website. In addition, breakout information for 15 states will be available for purchase in early April.

(Photo by Jessica Hammond)