Top 10 Most Popular Sports In The World 2024

Sports have become more than just a form of entertainment; they have become a significant contributor to the economic development of nations. The revenue generated from sports has helped build robust economic systems in many countries. While there are numerous sports played globally, some are more popular and alluring than others. Participating in sports has been shown to increase self-esteem and enhance social interaction, making it an important aspect of human life.

The world’s most popular sports are played and enjoyed on every continent, with some being relatively ancient and others modern. Although it is difficult to estimate the exact number of sports fans worldwide, available research allows for a general estimate. In this article, we will explore the most popular sports in the world and their impact on society.

1. Football

Football is the most popular sport worldwide, with an estimated four billion fans. The sport has its roots in ancient games like Cuju, which was invented by the Chinese in 206 B.C. and later spread to Europe during the Middle Ages. FIFA, the governing body of football, was established in 1904 with its headquarters in Zurich.

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In 2022, a record-breaking 5.4 billion people watched the FIFA World Cup Qatar, the most prestigious football competition, on television. The sport’s popularity continues to rise, especially in the United States. For those looking to stay updated on all the latest matches and news, the 1xBet app offers a convenient way to access live scores and updates on the go.

2. Cricket

Cricket is another popular sport, with approximately 2.5 billion supporters, mostly from Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and India. The sport has a rich history, with some claiming that the first cricket match took place in 1646.

Cricket is a rare element of Indian culture that garners almost unanimous support and admiration across the nation. India and Pakistan function as the principal rivals of the region, with cricket becoming a major sport on the Indian subcontinent since 1952.

3. Hockey

Ice and field hockey are two of the most popular sports in the world, with approximately two billion individuals interested in hockey, especially the National Hockey League (NHL). Ice hockey is popular in the United States, Canada, and Northern Europe while field hockey is the most popular sport in India and Pakistan.

4. Tennis

Tennis is the most popular individual sport globally, with approximately 60 million men and women participating. The doubles version of the sport is also extremely popular worldwide, which is why it is included on our list of the ten most popular sports.

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5. Volleyball

Volleyball attracts significant worldwide interest, particularly in North and South America, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia, with as many as 900 million fans. The sport’s increasing prominence among both sexes makes it one of the fastest-growing sports of the twenty-first century.

6. Table Tennis

Table tennis is one of the most widely played activities on the planet, played by people of all ages, fitness levels, and cultural contexts. Only China, Indonesia, and Malaysia participate frequently in this sport at the professional level, with an estimated 850 million spectators.

7. Basketball

Basketball, a widely enjoyed game invented by James Naismith, an educator from America and Canada, is presently engaged in by approximately 825 million people worldwide. It is one of the most discussed sports in the world, with numerous female leagues around the globe that garner media attention.

8. Baseball

Traditionally, baseball enjoyed its greatest popularity in the United States compared to the rest of the world. However, countries such as Japan are becoming more interested in the sport. Softball is the game’s female counterpart, with 65 million individuals in over 140 countries playing baseball or softball, according to the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

9. Rugby

Rugby is a sport that can be played by both men and women, with up to 10 million participants worldwide. The sport is prominent in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth nations.

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10. Golf

There are an estimated 450 million golf enthusiasts worldwide, with North America, Western Europe, and East Asia having the highest prevalence. In 2019, approximately 441 million golf rounds were played in the United States, according to GOLF.com.

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