Soccer

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Soccer Participation Kicking Up

20 Jul, 2020

By: Michael Popke

Looking for some good news? There’s this: The Sports and Fitness Industry Association announced in late June that soccer participation in the United States increased in 2019 after four straight years of decline.

Not only did more Americans play soccer last year, but participation numbers increased by 4.5 percent between 2018 and 2019, which is a significant increase for the third most-popular sport in the United States.

In an effort to leverage increased interest in the sport as soccer returns in the wake of COVID-19 — its potential risk infection is considered “moderate,” according to the National Federation of State High School Associations — the SFIA and Physical Activity Council recently shared the latest participation numbers.

Among the highlights:

• There are 11,913,000 outdoor soccer participants in the United States.

• There are 5,050,000 “core” outdoor soccer participants (defined as those who play 26 or more times per year) in the United States.

• 63.1% of all outdoor soccer participants and 56.4% of core participants are male.

• 71.7% of all outdoor soccer participants and 82.4% of core participants are between the ages of 6 and 24.

• 41.5% of female soccer players are between the ages of 6 and 12.

• There are 4,515,000 children between the ages of 6 and 12 participating in outdoor soccer.

• There are 2,366,000 outdoor soccer participants between the ages of 13–17.

• 52.6% of all outdoor soccer participants have a household income of at least $75,000 per year.

• 36.5% of all outdoor soccer participants also run or jog, 36% play basketball, 35.2% bowl, and 30.9% hike.

• 24.8% of outdoor soccer players also play indoor soccer.

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