The Most Popular Sports in the World: A Country-by-Country Guide
With all the information about the most popular sports in the world, you may have found it hard to sort out exactly what sports are most popular where. Well, we’ve done just that so you don’t have to! This sport by country guide will tell you all you need to know about the most popular sports in every country around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, so check it out and get ready to take on your next trivia night with some serious fire! (Did we mention that this list also includes some great travel tips? You’re welcome.)
What makes a sport popular?
While sports like baseball, soccer, and basketball may be popular around much of the world, they are not necessarily THE most popular sport. There are hundreds of different sports played by millions of people around the globe. How do you become a huge sport? Through passion and focus on improving your skills over time. Of course, many things will contribute to a sport’s popularity such as geography and resources available but without that passion those things mean nothing.
Soccer is king, but not number one
Soccer may be a globally beloved sport, but it’s not, by any means, universal. According to FIFA (the international governing body for soccer), more than 240 million people around the world play soccer—and that’s a lot of players. But when you look at countries ranked by per capita rate of participation—that is, dividing their population by their number of registered players—another sport tops them all. That distinction goes to handball.
Where do Americans get their sports?
The United States has a number of sports with many options for fans, but when it comes to viewing spectators, it’s no question that football reigns supreme. Football is America’s favorite sport—but which other games attract Americans? What about citizens of South Africa? Or Jamaica? Or Australia? We analyzed data from Google Trends to create a country-by-country breakdown of some of America’s favorite and least favorite sports around the world. Read on for more.
Football popularity by country and region
Soccer is by far and away the most popular sport on Earth, but its popularity varies widely from place to place. For example, in Europe and Latin America—countries with a rich history of soccer traditions—virtually everyone plays or follows soccer. But other sports may be more popular still; rugby enjoys immense popularity in New Zealand, for instance, while cricket has a huge following throughout Asia. And then there are places where American football reigns supreme, such as Canada and (especially) The United States of America.
Tennis comes before golf in popularity
Tennis is more popular than golf in every country except Ireland, Australia, Germany and Canada. Tennis was less popular only in Switzerland, Denmark and Uruguay. In Australia, tennis comes after golf and rugby union. In Ireland, it’s number two behind Gaelic football. Tennis is also less popular than rugby union among New Zealanders and Maoris and near the bottom of their favorite sports list. On top of that list? Rugby league!
Golf around the world
Golf is a beloved sport around the world, and no matter where you go on your travels, you can bet there’s a golf course to join. Golf is one of those sports that has been embraced by people all over (except for maybe Antarctica), but in some countries, it’s played more than others. We have included some of our favorite destinations below, but if you know of other great golfing locations, be sure to let us know!
3 sports you should try this summer
Football is the world’s most popular sport and one of America’s favorite pastimes. After trying your hand at a few of these sports, you may have more fun at your next tailgate party. Here are three more popular sports around the world that you should try for yourself. (1) Cricket – While football might be more entertaining to watch live, cricket requires more patience and dedication to learn. However, it’s no surprise that India—the home of yoga—is one of cricket’s biggest fans. The country boasts its own version of cricket called Indian Cricket League (ICL), which includes teams from India as well as overseas countries like Australia, England and South Africa. (2) Field Hockey – Field hockey has long been played in Europe but really gained popularity when Pakistan won gold at the Olympic Games in 1972. Today it's a mainstay on school campuses throughout Asia and parts of Europe, particularly those with British ties.
In every country, there are certain sports that take precedence over others. Sports are a part of culture and society, so it’s no surprise that they vary from place to place. tell me your thoughts about the artcicle thank you for reading please share it with a friend