Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-1-2007


This paper supplements reports and data released on the Coastal and Ocean Economies of the United States by the NOEP. It provides a discussion of the relevant literature involved in the investigation of the Ocean and Coastal related Economies, the theoretical background of measures such as gross domestic product (GDP) and gross state product (GSP), and provides details on sources, methods, assumptions, and limitations of the data provided by NOEP.

Those concerned with the health of coastal and ocean resources increasingly need to understand the socio-economic context in which changes are occurring. The market data of the National Ocean Economics Program provides a comprehensive set of measures of changes in economic activity throughout the coastal regions of the United States. It is built on a number of standard government data sources, which have been specifically adapted to permit a better understanding of what is happening in coastal areas. It is designed to help answer questions such as:

  1. How large is the economic activity associated with ocean resources?
  2. How has the economic use of the ocean changed over time?
  3. How is economic activity distributed across coastal regions, from the areas nearest the shore to the interior?

The data is organized by coastal state, including the Great Lakes, and by coastal counties. It includes employment, total wages paid, establishments, and contributions to national economic output (measured as gross state product). Data is available from 1990 to the most recent year of the underlying data sources.


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