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62 Examples of Public Goods

A public good is a good that is non-excludable and nondepletable such that the entire public can use it without it being exhausted. These can be natural situations such as clean air where a resource is plentiful such that everyone can enjoy it. Public goods can also be created by the rights and freedoms of a society, such a right to education whereby the state is obliged to provide a public service. The following are illustrative examples of public goods.
Blue spaces and access to rivers and lakes
Clean air
Clean water
Disaster relief
Disaster response
Drinking fountains
Emergency services
Emergency services
Emergency shelters
Endangered species protection
Environmental protection
Farmers markets
Fire protection
Flood control infrastructure
Green spaces
Law enforcement and rule of law
National defense
National parks
Nature conservation and animal welfare
Public animal shelters and rescues
Public art
Public beaches
Public bike racks
Public boat docks and launches
Public broadcasting
Public campgrounds and picnic areas
Public education
Public forests
Public gardens
Public healthcare
Public information
Public infrastructure
Public libraries
Public marinas
Public meeting spaces
Public monuments and memorials
Public museums
Public nature areas
Public parks and trails
Public performance spaces
Public piers
Public playgrounds and fields
Public recreation centers
Public restrooms
Public space
Public sports and recreational facilities
Public swimming pools
Public transportation
Public wifi
Public zoos and aquariums
Recycling programs
Recycling services
Roads and bike lanes
Street lighting
Traffic control
Waste management
Wildlife conservation areas

Government Services

Generally speaking, public goods are provided by governments. This is one of the primary purposes of government. Public goods include government services such as education. It is also common for governments to have laws and regulations that defend public goods. For example, a right for the public to access all the beaches on a coastline or island that makes these resources non-excludable.

Public Bads

Public bads are negative things that effect everyone such as air pollution. These are also non-excludable whereby nobody can completely avoid some type of negative exposure to them.


As an economics term, goods must be strictly non-excludable and nondepletable to be considered public. For example, a public restroom has a capacity or could run out of supplies. However, it is also common to take the more pragmatic view that restrooms with sufficient capacity and operational support are effectively there for anyone who needs them such that they can be considered public goods.
Overview: Public Goods
Value that is non-excludable and nondepletable such that it can be used by the entire public.
Related Concepts

Public Goods

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Common Resources
Public Goods
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