Economic impact of the horse industry in the United States

Download PDF

Highlights of the national study include:

There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.

Mare and foal

4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers.   Tens of millions more participate as spectators.



2 million people own horses.

The horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S.of $39 billion annually.

The industry has a $102 billion impact on the U.S.economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account. Including off-site spending of spectators would result in an even higher figure.

The industry directly provides 460,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

Spending by suppliers and employees generates additional jobs for a total employment impact of 1.4 million FTE jobs.

The horse industry pays $1.9 billion in taxes to all levels of government.

Approximately 34% of horse owners have a household income of less than $50,000 and 28% have an annual income of over $100,000. 46% of horse owners have an income of between $25,000 to $75,000.

Over 70% of horse owners live in communities of 50,000 or less.

There are horses in every state. Forty-five states have at least 20,000 horses each.

Specifically, the number of horses by activity is:

Racing – 844,531
Showing – 2,718,954
Recreation – 3,906,923
Other – 1,752,439
Total – 9,222,847

“Other” activities include farm and ranch work, rodeo, carriage horses, polo, police work, informal competitions, etc.


4.6 million people are involved in the horse industry in some way, either as owners, employees, service providers or volunteers. This includes 2 million horse owners, of which 238,000 are involved in breeding, 481,000 in competing, 1.1 million involved in other activities, 119,000 service providers and 702,000 employees, full- and part-time and 2 million family members and volunteers. That means that 1 out of every 63 Americans is involved with horses.



Please follow and like us:

  1 comment for “Economic impact of the horse industry in the United States

  1. 11/04/2011 at 10:49 am

    Helpful for all equine buisnesses and equestrian enthusiasts. Amazing what a horse contributes to humans personally as well as our economy! Thanks for providing this valuable info!

Comments are closed.