Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World

It is believed that more than half of the world’s population follows association football (soccer). Here are Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World.

Sports are popular all throughout the world, whether as a hobby, a career, or as part of a fitness regimen. Various games have grown in popularity, attracting a big global audience. The rules and characteristics of these games are dynamic and are overseen by worldwide bodies.

The majority of these sports are featured in the Olympic Games, in which countries from all over the world compete against one another. Sports are also a huge sector, bringing in billions of dollars, especially in developed countries.

Most Popular Sports in the World
Most Popular Sports in the World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

10. Golf – 450 Million Fans


Golf has a global audience of around 450 million people, with the majority of its influence centered in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America. Golf is a sport in which competitors use various clubs to hit a ball around a preset course in as few strokes as possible. The modern sport started in Scotland and spread throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

9. Rugby – 475 Million Fans

With a global audience of 475 million people, rugby has a significant effect on the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The foundation for modern sports was formed in medieval England. It spread from the UK to British colonies including Australia and New Zealand. Each team of 15 players competes for points by carrying, kicking, or passing a ball across the finish line.

8. Baseball – 500 Million Fans

Baseball has an estimated 500 million global fans, with the majority of them residing in the United States, the Caribbean, and Japan. The game is a bat-and-ball sport in which two teams of nine players battle for points by hitting and fielding. Before it became popular in the nineteenth century, other variations of the sport were played in the United States. The sport spread from the United States to other parts of the world and evolved into the game we know today.

7. Basketball – 825 Million Fans

Basketball has a worldwide sphere of influence with an estimated 825 million global followers. Dr. James Naismith established the sport in 1891 in Massachusetts, USA. He created it as a substitute for football since it could be played indoors and had a lesser danger of injury. The sport is played by two teams of five players each, with the goal of shooting the ball through a 10 foot high hoop.

6. Table Tennis – 875 Million Fans

With an estimated 875 million fans globally, table tennis has a global following. The sport originated in England in the nineteenth century as a miniature version of lawn tennis. The game became known as “Ping Pong” by the general audience. The modern sport consists of two teams of two to four players who use rackets to hit a lightweight ball over a net on a hard table. South Korea, Sweden, and China are all significant international contenders.

5. Volleyball – 900 Million Fans

Volleyball is most popular in Western Europe and North America, with an estimated 900 million fans worldwide. In 1895, William G. Morgan established the sport in the United States. He used elements from basketball, tennis, handball, and baseball as an instructor for the Young Men’s Christian Association. The sport has evolved throughout time to include two teams of six players each hurling a ball over a net.

4. Tennis – 1 Billion Fans

Tennis has a one billion-person worldwide fan base and a global sphere of influence. Although the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks are claimed to have played variations of the sport, the modern sport was popularized in France. It spread from France to the rest of Europe, and then to the rest of the world. The sport comprises of two teams of one or two players each bouncing a ball over a net with tennis rackets. Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball within the prescribed limitations of the rectangular court.

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3. Field Hockey – 2 Billion Fans

Hockey has an estimated 2 billion global fans and is most popular in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The current sport of hockey was created in England in the 1800s. In many aspects, the game is similar to football, except that the competitors push the ball with sticks rather than their feet. The sport is popular in India, Australia, and Pakistan, where teams may be intimidating on the field.

2. Cricket – 2.5 Billion Fans

Cricket is believed to have a global following of 2.5 billion people, with the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations being its primary domains of influence. The sport began in 16th century England and became a national pastime in the 18th century. The game is played between two teams of eleven players each, with each team seeking to score the most runs. Former British colonies such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Australia are great admirers.

1. Association Football (Soccer) – 4 Billion Fans

Football, often known as association football, is the most popular sport on the planet. More than half of the world’s population is said to be a fan of association football (soccer). The sport is projected to have 4.0 billion admirers and a global effect. Football dates back to the second century in China. The Romans, Greeks, and Japanese have also been mentioned as possible early players. Football as we know it today started in England, where it gained in popularity and spread to other parts of the world. The most popular continents for the sport are Europe and the Americas. Two teams of eleven players apiece and two goals characterize the sport.

What’s the Most Popular Sport in the World?

Football, sometimes known as soccer, is the most popular sport in the world. It is believed that more than half of the world’s population is a fan of association football.

What Are The Most Popular Sports In The World?

RankSportEstimated Global FollowingPrimary Sphere of Influence
1Soccer (Association Football)4.0 BillionGlobally
2Cricket2.5 BillionUK and Commonwealth
3Field Hockey2 BillionEurope, Africa, Asia, and Australia
4Tennis1 BillionGlobally
5Volleyball900 MillionWestern Europe and North America
6Table Tennis875 MillionGlobally
7Basketball825 MillionGlobally
8Baseball500 MillionUnited States, Caribbean, and Japan
9Rugby475 MillionUK and Commonwealth
10Golf450 MillionWestern Europe, East Asia, and North America

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