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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Participation Rates in Football (Soccer) England, Canada, Australia


Proportion of Population Playing Football - UK vs Canada vs Australia with breakdowns by Age and Gender. Within the UK as a whole the scope of the game across various levels of participation is considerable:

7 million adult participants (including 5-a-side), plus an estimated 5 million in schools
37,500 clubs, including 9,000 youth clubs
2,000 competitions
32,000 schools (17,000 primary)
30,000 FA-qualified coaches
27,000 FA-qualified referees
45,000 pitches (21,000 facilities)

Stats Table: 
Sports Participation - % of Population Playing Football
Country / SourceAll AdultsMale AdultsFemale adultsAll <16 yrsBoys <16 yrsGirls <16 yrs
England / GHS - Sports England - 20006101436717
Canada / Statistics Canada, General Social Survey 19983.04.61.5
Australia / Australian Sports Commission - 20013.75.81.6

Sport Definition?

The data is almost 10 years old...  Did all the countries identify the level of "sport(s)" participation the same way? (i.e includes what? regular participation, competitive level, or just the occasional week-end warrior pickup game) 

Info Required PLEASE!!

Dear Anonymous,

Please can you shed a little light on the statistical info submitted. I note that you believe that the info is 10 years old. I have been trying to gather up to date stats regarding participation levels in football and any guidance or direction you could offer to obtain such statistics would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to reply, I can always provide my personal contact details.

Many Thanks,


Football Participation Rates Data

Hi All,

The data was obtained from the publications of the individual countries' National Statistics Offices. Which in turn were found at the library. We hear your calls for an update and more detail.

If we find it - we'll publish it.



Australia update 2009

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Perspectives on Sport, May 2009 - FEATURE ARTICLE 1: FOOTBALL: FOUR GAMES, ONE NAME

"Of the four main football codes, soccer (outdoor) was the most popular
sport and physical recreation activity among Australians aged 15 years
and over with 2.6% of the population participating (419,600). More males
participated in this activity (3.9% or 311,500) than females (1.3% or