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
1China1,444,216,107
2India1,393,409,038
3United States332,915,073
4Indonesia276,361,783
5Pakistan225,199,937
6Brazil213,993,437
7Nigeria211,400,708
8Bangladesh166,303,498
9Russia145,912,025
10Mexico130,262,216
11Japan126,050,804
12Ethiopia117,876,227
13Philippines111,046,913
14Egypt104,258,327
15Vietnam98,168,833
16Dr Congo92,377,993
17Turkey85,042,738
18Iran85,028,759
19Germany83,900,473
20Thailand69,950,850
21United Kingdom68,207,116
22France65,426,179
23Tanzania61,498,437
24Italy60,367,477
25South Africa60,041,994
26Kenya54,985,698
27Myanmar54,806,012
28South Korea51,305,186
29Colombia51,265,844
30Uganda47,123,531
31Spain46,745,216
32Argentina45,605,826
33Sudan44,909,353
34Algeria44,616,624
35Ukraine43,466,819
36Iraq41,179,350
37Afghanistan39,835,428
38Canada38,067,903
39Poland37,797,005
40Morocco37,344,795
41Saudi Arabia35,340,683
42Uzbekistan33,935,763
43Angola33,933,610
44Peru33,359,418
45Malaysia32,776,194
46Mozambique32,163,047
47Ghana31,732,129
48Yemen30,490,640
49Nepal29,674,920
50Venezuela28,704,954
51Madagascar28,427,328
52Cameroon27,224,265
53Ivory Coast27,053,629
54North Korea25,887,041
55Australia25,788,215
56Niger25,130,817
57Taiwan23,855,010
58Sri Lanka21,497,310
59Burkina Faso21,497,096
60Mali20,855,735
61Malawi19,647,684
62Chile19,212,361
63Romania19,127,774
64Kazakhstan18,994,962
65Zambia18,920,651
66Syria18,275,702
67Guatemala18,249,860
68Ecuador17,888,475
69Senegal17,196,301
70Netherlands17,173,099
71Cambodia16,946,438
72Chad16,914,985
73Somalia16,359,504
74Zimbabwe15,092,171
75Guinea13,497,244
76Rwanda13,276,513
77Benin12,451,040
78Burundi12,255,433
79Tunisia11,935,766
80Bolivia11,832,940
81Belgium11,632,326
82Haiti11,541,685
83South Sudan11,381,378
84Cuba11,317,505
85Dominican Republic10,953,703
86Czech Republic10,724,555
87Greece10,370,744
88Jordan10,269,021
89Azerbaijan10,223,342
90Portugal10,167,925
91Sweden10,160,169
92Honduras10,062,991
93United Arab Emirates9,991,089
94Tajikistan9,749,627
95Hungary9,634,164
96Belarus9,442,862
97Papua New Guinea9,119,010
98Austria9,043,070
99Israel8,789,774
100Switzerland8,715,494
101Serbia8,697,550
102Togo8,478,250
103Sierra Leone8,141,343
104Hong Kong7,552,810
105Laos7,379,358
106Paraguay7,219,638
107Libya6,958,532
108Bulgaria6,896,663
109Lebanon6,769,146
110Nicaragua6,702,385
111Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
112El Salvador6,518,499
113Turkmenistan6,117,924
114Singapore5,896,686
115Denmark5,813,298
116Republic Of The Congo5,657,013
117Finland5,548,360
118Norway5,465,630
119Slovakia5,460,721
120Oman5,223,375
121Palestine5,222,748
122Liberia5,180,203
123Costa Rica5,139,052
124Ireland4,982,907
125Central African Republic4,919,981
126New Zealand4,860,643
127Mauritania4,775,119
128Panama4,381,579
129Kuwait4,328,550
130Croatia4,081,651
131Moldova4,024,019
132Georgia3,979,765
133Eritrea3,601,467
134Uruguay3,485,151
135Mongolia3,329,289
136Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
137Jamaica2,973,463
138Armenia2,968,127
139Qatar2,930,528
140Albania2,872,933
141Puerto Rico2,828,255
142Lithuania2,689,862
143Namibia2,587,344
144Gambia2,486,945
145Botswana2,397,241
146Gabon2,278,825
147Lesotho2,159,079
148North Macedonia2,082,658
149Slovenia2,078,724
150Guinea Bissau2,015,494
151Latvia1,866,942
152Bahrain1,748,296
153Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
154Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
155Timor Leste1,343,873
156Estonia1,325,185
157Mauritius1,273,433
158Cyprus1,215,584
159Eswatini1,172,362
160Djibouti1,002,187
161Fiji902,906
162Reunion901,686
163Comoros888,451
164Guyana790,326
165Bhutan779,898
166Solomon Islands703,996
167Macau658,394
168Luxembourg634,814
169Montenegro628,053
170Western Sahara611,875
171Suriname591,800
172Cape Verde561,898
173Maldives543,617
174Malta442,784
175Brunei441,532
176Belize404,914
177Guadeloupe400,020
178Bahamas396,913
179Martinique374,745
180Iceland343,353
181Vanuatu314,464
182French Guiana306,448
183New Caledonia288,218
184Barbados287,711
185French Polynesia282,530
186Mayotte279,515
187Sao Tome And Principe223,368
188Samoa200,149
189Saint Lucia184,400
190Guam170,179
191Curacao164,798
192Kiribati121,392
193Micronesia116,254
194Grenada113,021
195Saint Vincent And The Grenadines111,263
196Aruba107,204
197Tonga106,760
198United States Virgin Islands104,226
199Seychelles98,908
200Antigua And Barbuda98,731
201Isle Of Man85,410
202Andorra77,355
203Dominica72,167
204Cayman Islands66,497
205Bermuda62,090
206Marshall Islands59,610
207Northern Mariana Islands57,917
208Greenland56,877
209American Samoa55,100
210Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
211Faroe Islands49,049
212Sint Maarten43,412
213Monaco39,511
214Saint Martin39,234
215Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
216Liechtenstein38,250
217San Marino34,017
218Gibraltar33,698
219British Virgin Islands30,421
220Palau18,169
221Cook Islands17,565
222Anguilla15,117
223Tuvalu11,931
224Wallis And Futuna11,094
225Nauru10,876
226Saint Barthelemy9,907
227Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
228Montserrat4,977
229Falkland Islands3,533
230Niue1,619
231Tokelau1,373
232Vatican City800

Most Popular Sport By Country 2021