REPORT: Sport Participation

A new report, Sport Participation in England (pdf file), is a fascinating insight into our sporting activities.

The report provides statistics about participation in sport by intensity, type, and socioeconomic
characteristics in England. It is based on the Active People Survey (APS) and the Active Lives Survey (ALS) data published by Sport England.

Key points (England)

  • More men than women participate in sport
    Around 63% of men were active in sport compared to 58% of women, based on the
    Active Lives Survey data for year ending May 2017.
  • Women prefer walking for leisure, men general sports
    The most popular physical activity among women was walking for leisure (24%)
    followed by fitness activities (19%) in May 2017. Men were the most active in general
    sporting activities1 (29% of men compared to just under 17% of women).
  • Around 43% of people with a disability were active in sport
    On average 43% of people with a disability participated in sport activities for over 150
    minutes a week in year ending May 2017. This was more than 20 percentage points
    lower than 65% of those with no disability.
  • Highest participation among highest social classes
    Around 70% of individuals in managerial, administrative & professional occupations
    (NS SEC 1-2) were active in sport in year ending May 2017. In contrast, around 49% of
    those long term unemployed or never worked (NS SEC 8) were active in sport.
  • Running, fitness and gym – popular in 2016/17
    In year ending May 2017, the most common activity was running (15%) followed by
    fitness class (14%) and gym (12%), ranked by proportion of population participating at
    least twice over the last 28 days prior to survey.
  • South West region was the most active in 2016/17
    Participation in sport was highest in South West region (around 63%) and lowest in
    West Midlands (53%), compared to 61% in England overall. The proportion of people
    who were fairly active was similar across all regions in England – at around 14%.
  • UK had the second highest rate of sport workers in the EU
    The UK had the second highest rate of 659 sport workers per 100,000 population,
    compared to other EU countries in 2016. Sweden was the first with 757 and Denmark
    was third with 569. UK rate in 2016 was twice as high as the EU 28 average of 332.

Download the full report, Sport Participation in England (pdf file)