Most Popular Participation Sports

According to a study of over 2,500 people conducted by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health, the top participation sports for adults were the following:

• Golf
• Basketball
• Baseball or softball
• Soccer
• Running or track
• Football
• Tennis
• Swimming
• Biking
• Volleyball

Participation, however, varies by gender and generation.

Men ages 18‐29 Women ages 18‐29
48% 23%
1tBasketball221Baseball/softball16
1tSoccer222Volleyball13
3Football133Running/track12
4Baseball/softball64Tennis11
5Running/track55Basketball9
Men ages 30‐49 Women ages 30‐49
38% 15%
1Basketball141Running/track19
2tSoccer102Volleyball11
2tGolf103Baseball/softball9
2tBaseball/softball104Soccer8
5Running/track95Biking6
Men ages 50‐64 Women ages 50‐64
24% 16%
1Golf251tGolf9
2Baseball/softball91tWalking9
3Basketball83tBiking8
4Running/track73tSwimming8
5Biking65tTennis7
5tDance7
Men ages 65+ Women ages 65+
32% 9%
1Golf441Walking18
2Basketball62Swimming14
3Baseball/softball63Golf13
4tTennis44Tennis11
4tWalking45Bowling10
4tFishing4

Participation and interest in sports are also two different things.  A person may have an interest in an activity but can not do it because they do not have the time, money, or health. According to the Physical Activity Council in a study of over 20,000 people: