US Has World’s Largest Wellness Economy, Valued at $1.8T

America far outpaces every other nation when it comes to monetizing well-being, accounting for nearly one-third of the entire global wellness economy, according to a new report

The United States has the largest wellness economy in the world by quite some margin, coming in at a value of $1.8 trillion, according to a new report from The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) in partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

China has the world’s second-largest wellness economy, valued at $790 billion, according to GWI.

GWI’s report finds that the global wellness economy has made a sizable comeback from the pandemic, with most sectors recovering and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Notably, the wellness economy and its related sectors are on track for “strong, ongoing recovery and growth” in the coming years, which GWI says is accelerated by consumer interest in wellness methods. The entire global wellness economy was recently valued at $5.6 trillion by GWI.

The U.S. ranks #1 in the following nine wellness sectors measured by GWI, which also tallied the growth percentage of each from 2020 to 2022:

Physical Activity +22.9%, $338.6B

Personal Care & Beauty +13.4%, $310B

Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss: +8.4%, $289B

Wellness Tourism: +31.8%, $259B

Public Health, Prevention & Personalized Medicine: -4.9%, $222B

Wellness Real Estate: +26%, $176B

Mental Wellness: +13.3%, $87B

Spas: +30.9%, $26B

Workplace Wellness: +8.1%, $18B

As seen above, sectors such as wellness tourism, wellness real estate and spas have seen the most significant growth from 2020 to 2022. 

As GWI points out, the U.S. is home to over 26,000 spas, making it an ideal place for wellness seekers to visit. It also goes hand-in-hand with the growth in wellness tourism.

New York City, the most visited city in the U.S., is experiencing rapid development of wellness clubs offering tranquility and longevity-supporting therapies such as salt saunas and cold plunges. The Ranch, a wellness retreat made famous in Malibu, has opened an outpost just outside of NYC to satisfy clients and travelers requesting an East Coast wellness getaway.

The wellness real estate market is projected to hit nearly $890 billion by 2027 and is certainly a sector to watch. Demand for residential wellness communities continues to rise. Life Time, for example, is developing apartments that offer residents communal areas for socialization, weekly meal prep deliveries, personal training, nutritional coaches and access to its high-end fitness and health clubs. 

Despite its overall dominance, the U.S. came second in the Traditional & Complementary Medicine category and number six in the Thermal/Mineral Springs sector.

The report is available on GWI’s Geography of Wellness platform, in partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

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