National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP)


  • Economic and social data that track changes in human activities along the U.S. coast and in coastal waters over time, and by geographic areas.
  • Market data that are consistent and comparable across sectors, geographies and time.
  • Ocean-related industry economic data for six sectors: Marine Transportation, Coastal Tourism & Recreation, Ship & Boat Building and Maintenance, Marine Living Resources, Offshore Minerals, and Coastal Construction.
  • Social and economic data for all activities in various coastal geographies for the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states.
  • Market data indicators for 1) number of establishments, 2) employment, 3) wages, and 4) Gross State Product (GSP) for the ocean related, and general supersector industries for the nation, coastal states and counties. Data are currently available for 1990 to 2005.
  • Non-market data includes annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed journal articles and technical studies containing values for natural assets and recreational activities not .valued in the market place.
  • Natural Resources production and value data on commercial marine fisheries for most coastal states from 1950 to 2005.
  • U.S. mariculture production weights and values from 1983 to 2004.
  • Annual Offshore oil and gas production and value data, from 1970 to 2004. for state and federal offshore production areas.
  • Population, housing, land areas and density statistics from 1970 to 2006 for national, coastal states and coastal counties. Near shore (shoreline zip codes) data are available for 1990 and 2000.
  • Ocean and coastal federal government expenditure data, excluding military, from 1970 through 2006. Expenditure data as national totals and budget totals by department and agency
  • Supporting documentation, data sources and links, and glossaries are available for all of the above.


Where is it from?

  • NOEP data come from various sources, mostly government databases of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Federal Office of Management and Budget, NOAA?s National Marine Fisheries Service, The Department of Agriculture office of Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Minerals Management Service, and state agencies. The compiled data are carefully screened for accuracy and to avoid disclosure problems. They are aggregated using custom algorithms, and organized and indexed for fast and flexible access.

How do I get it?

  • Almost all of the NOEP data are available for display or download on the NOEP website. New data are continually being added and updated. Customized data provided under separate contract.
  • The data are delivered via database search pages, allowing the user to designate their selection criteria. Typical selection options include region (national, state, counties), years, and economic or social indicators. The search results appear on a web page, often with graphs or growth rates. Most sections also provide data downloads.

Format and Retrieval

Do I need to download the data?

  • All available data are presented on web pages as text, tables, and graphs.
  • Most data may also be downloaded in a Comma Separated Value (.csv) file format, which can be imported into most spreadsheet and word processing tables.

What programs do I need to use the data?

  • A recent vintage web browser is all that is that is needed to access and download the NOEP data and graphics.
  • A word processor or spreadsheet program would be useful for producing reports and processing the data.


  • Metadata is provided on the site, but not for download. However, most data may be downloaded in CSV format, which contains column heading in the first line of the file.


  • At this time, all data are presented free of charge without registration. However, user response and feedback is encouraged.


  • Identify trends
  • Do Forecasts
  • Link human activity to environmental changes
  • Provide better balance for decision making based on evidence of market and non-market values
  • Cost-benefit analyses in conflicting coastal interests
  • Land use decisions
  • Employment forecasts
  • Identify coastal community vulnerabilities and resiliency factors
  • Provide the "complete" value to society that oceans create
  • Provide the human compliment to scientific ocean observation research
  • Tracking growth, resiliency, and vulnerability of coastal communities
  • Understanding the total effects of environmental hazards
  • Creating baseline data to help inform climate change policy decisions
  • Support for Marine Protected Areas
  • Easy Access to information on the Fishing Industry
  • Understanding long-term effects of government investments
  • Exploring the costs and benefits to society provided by offshore mineral activities
  • Evidence for Environmental Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration Efforts

Data Reliability

  • Most of the data come from state and federal government sources. Every effort is made to check the data for reasonableness and reliability. The data are then reviewed by outside sources for further assurance before published on the website. However, all data have margins of error; especially the Ocean Economy market sector data for Offshore Oil & Gas, Coastal Construction, and Living Resources that are undervalued because of disclosure restrictions as well as difficulty in separating full marine values from others in Federal categories.
  • Occasionally, smoothing of data at certain time intervals is necessary because the Federal Government changes the way it categorizes data from time to time, which can affect consistency.

Data Availability

  • The most up-to-date data are made available on the NOEP website as soon as sources make them available, and then checked and reviewed for publication. Queries can be made 24/7.

Update Frequency

  • Most data are updated annually as soon as the sources make the data available. Non-market data are updated twice a year.

Related Partners

NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. It plays several distinct roles within the Department of Commerce.


  • Link to case studies if available at under publications, download.
  • California Ocean Economy
  • Florida Coastal and Ocean Economy
  • Florida Facts and Figures