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US is world’s top wellness economy – worth $1.2trn, reports GWI

By Megan Whitby    13 Mar 2023
Last valued at US$1.2trn (€1.1trn, £994.3bn) in 2020, the US wellness economy is predicted to go from strength to strength / Shutterstock/canadastock
GWI’s dedicated country reports enable participating countries to better identify emerging growth opportunities
– Susie Ellis
Credit: GWI

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has penned a new report about the US wellness economy after partnering with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Valued at more than US$1.2trn (€1.1trn, £994.3bn), the report names the US as the top wellness economy in the world. It boasts the largest markets in nine out of 11 of the wellness sectors assessed by the GWI – spanning physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellness, beauty and personal care, wellness tourism and more.

According to the new report, the US wellness economy contracted from US$1.4trn (€1.3trn, £1.2trn) in 2019 to US$1.2trn (€1.1trn, £994.3bn) in 2020 – a number that is expected to continue its upward trajectory.

Findings also showed that the physical activity segment in the US experienced an 18 per cent contraction in 2020, yet remains number one in the world at US$215bn (€201.5bn, £178.2bn).

The physical activity sector includes consumer spending associated with planned physical activities performed during leisure and recreation, including three recreational activity subsectors (sports and active recreation, fitness and mindful movement) and three enabling subsectors (technology, equipment and supplies, apparel and footwear).

Full descriptions of these sectors are available in the new report, The Global Wellness Economy: United States.

The release of the new report means the US is the latest in a growing number of countries featured on the GWI’s Geography of Wellness microsite. The platform, which launched last year, gives key stakeholders in the 218 countries featured in GWI’s The Global Wellness Economy: Country Rankings a deeper dive into their country’s position in the various sectors and subsectors of the US$4.4tn (£3.6bn, €4.1bn) global wellness economy.

Other countries with detailed data available include Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, the UK and Indonesia, with more to follow.

“GWI’s dedicated country reports enable participating countries to better identify emerging growth opportunities within the 11 wellness sectors our researchers measure,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO. “This gives a clear picture of how wellness business and activities are impacting their overall economies.

“NASM is a great partner for GWI in the US because it’s a proven leader in the physical activity sector, which has evolved rapidly due to the pandemic and is now experiencing a massive resurgence as the pandemic recedes and Americans are prioritising wellness more than ever.”

According to the GWI, the US offers something for everyone interested in wellness thanks to its sophisticated wellness markets, world-class cities, natural resources, recreational infrastructure and diverse cultures and heritage spread over 3.5 million square miles of varied geography and topography.

Global Wellness Institute  Susie Ellis  Geography of Wellness 
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