Most Popular Sport By Country 2021

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Sports are an essential part of our lives. Sports provide us with exercise, a means of team-building, and a way of unifying people all over the world. Sports are a great way to meet new friends and form strong bonds.

While it may not be apparent in the United States, association football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. Soccer is king in virtually all of Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and Asia. There are about 3.5 billion soccer fans worldwide and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The next most popular sports in the world are cricket (2.5 billion fans), basketball (2.2 billion fans), and field hockey (2 billion).

United States

In the United States, the most popular sport is American football. Football is one of the most-watched sports in the U.S. and has about 390 million to 410 million fans worldwide, the majority of which are in the U.S. American football’s league is the National Football League (NFL), consisting of 32 teams divided equally by the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. A regular season is 17 weeks long, where each team plays 16 games and has one bye week.

Canada

Canada’s most popular sport is ice hockey. Ice hockey originated in Montreal and is the official national winter sport of Canada. The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) was formed in 1975 and represents the three Canada-based major junior hockey leagues. The three member leagues are the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There are 60 teams total; 52 represent nine Canadian provinces, and eight teams represent four American states. The Memorial Cup is the CHL’s top award for the championship team. Canadian hockey teams also participate in the National Hockey League (NHL), the U.S.’s hockey league, to compete for the Stanley Cup. These teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks.

Mexico

The most popular sport in Mexico is association football/soccer. Men’s association football has been played professionally in Mexico since the early 1900s, and the Mexican Federation of Soccer was founded in 1927. The first women’s professional football league in the country was announced in December 2016 and played their first season the following year. Since then, Mexico’s national football team first played in the World Cup in 1930 and has participated in 16 World Cups. The Mexico national football team plays its home games at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Caribbean islands are mixed between baseball, soccer, and cricket.

Europe

Association football is the most popular sport in the majority of European countries, with some exceptions. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for association football, futsal, and beach soccer in Europe and consists of 55 national association members. UEFA is one of the six continental confederations of world football’s governing body, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association or International Federation of Association Football). UEFA represents the national associations of Europe and runs national and club competitions such as the EUFA European Champions, UEGA Champions League, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup.

In Austria and Estonia, the most popular sport is skiing. In Latvia and Lithuania, basketball is king, while ice hockey is the most popular in Finland. In Ireland, Gaelic football is the most popular sport.

Asia

Association football is also the most popular sport in most Asian countries. The exceptions to this are table tennis being king in China, archery in Bhutan, kickboxing in Laos and Cambodia, and basketball in the Philippines. The most popular sport in Mongolia is wrestling.

India

The most popular sport in the Indian subcontinent (India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh) is cricket. Cricket is one of the few aspects of Indian life that unites the whole country. India and Pakistan are the leading cricket rivals in the subcontinent. The first recorded match in India was in 1721, and India became the sixth member of the “elite club” alongside England, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, and New Zealand in 1932. India’s inaugural match with England attracted 24,000 people. India recorded its first victory in 1952, the same year that Pakistan joined the club. Two years later, Pakistan had their first victory against England.

Since then, cricket has been a religion for those on the Indian subcontinent. The Indian-Pakistan rivalry creates some of the most anticipated matches and the most-watched television broadcasts in India.

Japan

The most popular sport in Japan is baseball. American Horace Wilson first introduced baseball to Japan in 1872, and the first professional competitions emerged in the 1920s. The first Japanese professional league formed in 1936 and grew large enough to divide into two leagues by 1950: the Central League and the Pacific League. The professional league is known as Nippon Professional Baseball for Puro Yakyū (“professional baseball”). Baseball in Japan is slightly different from Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States, including a smaller ball, strike zone, and playing field, and game lengths are limited with ties allowed. High school baseball is also extremely popular in Japan. More than 50,000 people watch the national High School Baseball Championship in person at Koshien Stadium, and millions more watch it on television.

Central and South America

The most popular sport among countries in Central America is association football. In Panama and Nicaragua, however, the most popular sport is baseball.

Association football is also the most popular sport across South American countries. In Venezuela, baseball is the most popular sport, and cricket is the most popular sport in Guyana.

Australia

The most popular sport in Australia is Australian rules football. Australian football is a contact sport played by two teams, each with 18 players. The game is played on an oval-shaped field with an oval-shaped ball to kick the ball between two goalposts. The Australian Football League (AFL) is the sport’s only fully professional competition and is Australia’s wealthiest sporting body. The AFL Grand Final has the highest attendance of any club championship in the world.

In Indonesia and Fiji, association football is the most popular sport, while rugby is the most popular in its neighbor Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, and some other Polynesia island nations.

Most Popular Sport By Country 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
India1,393,409,038
United States332,915,073
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Brazil213,993,437
Nigeria211,400,708
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Mexico130,262,216
Japan126,050,804
Ethiopia117,876,227
Philippines111,046,913
Egypt104,258,327
Vietnam98,168,833
Dr Congo92,377,993
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
Germany83,900,473
Thailand69,950,850
United Kingdom68,207,116
France65,426,179
Tanzania61,498,437
Italy60,367,477
South Africa60,041,994
Kenya54,985,698
Myanmar54,806,012
South Korea51,305,186
Colombia51,265,844
Uganda47,123,531
Spain46,745,216
Argentina45,605,826
Sudan44,909,353
Algeria44,616,624
Ukraine43,466,819
Iraq41,179,350
Afghanistan39,835,428
Canada38,067,903
Poland37,797,005
Morocco37,344,795
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Angola33,933,610
Peru33,359,418
Malaysia32,776,194
Mozambique32,163,047
Ghana31,732,129
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
Venezuela28,704,954
Madagascar28,427,328
Cameroon27,224,265
Ivory Coast27,053,629
North Korea25,887,041
Australia25,788,215
Niger25,130,817
Taiwan23,855,010
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Chile19,212,361
Romania19,127,774
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Syria18,275,702
Guatemala18,249,860
Ecuador17,888,475
Senegal17,196,301
Netherlands17,173,099
Cambodia16,946,438
Chad16,914,985
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Guinea13,497,244
Rwanda13,276,513
Benin12,451,040
Burundi12,255,433
Tunisia11,935,766
Bolivia11,832,940
Belgium11,632,326
Haiti11,541,685
South Sudan11,381,378
Cuba11,317,505
Dominican Republic10,953,703
Czech Republic10,724,555
Greece10,370,744
Jordan10,269,021
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Portugal10,167,925
Sweden10,160,169
Honduras10,062,991
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Austria9,043,070
Israel8,789,774
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Togo8,478,250
Sierra Leone8,141,343
Hong Kong7,552,810
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Libya6,958,532
Bulgaria6,896,663
Lebanon6,769,146
Nicaragua6,702,385
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
El Salvador6,518,499
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Singapore5,896,686
Denmark5,813,298
Republic Of The Congo5,657,013
Finland5,548,360
Norway5,465,630
Slovakia5,460,721
Oman5,223,375
Palestine5,222,748
Liberia5,180,203
Costa Rica5,139,052
Ireland4,982,907
Central African Republic4,919,981
New Zealand4,860,643
Mauritania4,775,119
Panama4,381,579
Kuwait4,328,550
Croatia4,081,651
Moldova4,024,019
Georgia3,979,765
Eritrea3,601,467
Uruguay3,485,151
Mongolia3,329,289
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
Jamaica2,973,463
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Albania2,872,933
Puerto Rico2,828,255
Lithuania2,689,862
Namibia2,587,344
Gambia2,486,945
Botswana2,397,241
Gabon2,278,825
Lesotho2,159,079
North Macedonia2,082,658
Slovenia2,078,724
Guinea Bissau2,015,494
Latvia1,866,942
Bahrain1,748,296
Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
Timor Leste1,343,873
Estonia1,325,185
Mauritius1,273,433
Cyprus1,215,584
Eswatini1,172,362
Djibouti1,002,187
Fiji902,906
Reunion901,686
Comoros888,451
Guyana790,326
Bhutan779,898
Solomon Islands703,996
Macau658,394
Luxembourg634,814
Montenegro628,053
Western Sahara611,875
Suriname591,800
Cape Verde561,898
Maldives543,617
Malta442,784
Brunei441,532
Belize404,914
Guadeloupe400,020
Bahamas396,913
Martinique374,745
Iceland343,353
Vanuatu314,464
French Guiana306,448
New Caledonia288,218
Barbados287,711
French Polynesia282,530
Mayotte279,515
Sao Tome And Principe223,368
Samoa200,149
Saint Lucia184,400
Guam170,179
Curacao164,798
Kiribati121,392
Micronesia116,254
Grenada113,021
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines111,263
Aruba107,204
Tonga106,760
United States Virgin Islands104,226
Seychelles98,908
Antigua And Barbuda98,731
Isle Of Man85,410
Andorra77,355
Dominica72,167
Cayman Islands66,497
Bermuda62,090
Marshall Islands59,610
Northern Mariana Islands57,917
Greenland56,877
American Samoa55,100
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
Faroe Islands49,049
Sint Maarten43,412
Monaco39,511
Saint Martin39,234
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Gibraltar33,698
British Virgin Islands30,421
Palau18,169
Cook Islands17,565
Anguilla15,117
Tuvalu11,931
Wallis And Futuna11,094
Nauru10,876
Saint Barthelemy9,907
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
Montserrat4,977
Falkland Islands3,533
Niue1,619
Tokelau1,373
Vatican City800

Most Popular Sport By Country 2021