Lower Mississippi River Economic Profile

The Lower Mississippi River and its associated natural resources support a diverse and productive regional economy, according to a new profile produced for the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee. In their research, economists sought to document the economic values derived from or associated with the Lower Mississippi River and its abundant water, extensive forests, rich soil, diverse fish and wildlife, and other resources.

Highlights

  • Considered together, 10 river-related economic sectors generate $151.7 billion in annual revenue and employ 585,423 people.
  • The manufacturing sector generates 70 percent of the region’s revenue.
  • Employment is more evenly distributed among the sectors, with tourism providing nearly as many jobs as manufacturing. The agriculture, outdoor recreation and mineral extraction sectors also are significant employers.
  • Together, tourism and outdoor recreation generate nearly $17 billion in annual expenditures and provide 245,000 jobs.
  • Public lands along the Lower Mississippi River, including 30 national wildlife refuges, help generate $1.3 billion in annual trip expenditures for fishing, hunting and wildlife watching.

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Study Area and County-level Results

The study area for the 2014 Lower Mississippi River Economic Profile included 113 counties and parishes in seven states. The study area extended from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico. Click on the maps below to view county-level revenue and employment data.