I was reminded of these figures while I was looking around the American Horse Council’s website. This is from a study they published utilizing data from 2005. Granted that was pre-global economic meltdown and I’m sure the figures are different now. But still, the equine industry is a viable, important industry that contributes billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. It deserves some respect and is worth our efforts to keep it afloat and make it strong. Did you realize just how far the equine industry reaches? Consider these numbers from the study:
- There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
- 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.
So if you hear someone knocking the equine industry or call horses simply “hay burners” (which yes, they are, but that doesn’t stop us from owning them) toss out a few of these numbers. Chances are non-horse people have no idea the reach the equine industry has. A little education could go a long way.