Coinciding with professional and youth soccer returning to play, SFIA will release its annual soccer participation report, which found soccer participation in the United States increased in 2019 after four straight years of decline.
The return of soccer in 2020 plays a significant role in the overall soccer landscape in the United States. Soccer participation in the U.S. increased in 2019 for the first time since 2015. In addition, 2019 marked the first time “core” participation for soccer had increased (1.5 percent) since 2010.
After the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, participation dwindled; however, in 2019, not only were more Americans playing soccer, but participation numbers increased by 4.5 percent in one year, which is a significant increase for the third-most-popular sport in the U.S.
Due to the heightened demand and attention around the return of soccer, SFIA provided several key data points based on its SFIA and Physical Activity Council research on sports participation:
- There are 11,913,000 soccer (Outdoor) participants in the U.S.;
- There are 5,050,000 core (26+/year) soccer (Outdoor) participants in the U.S.;
- 63.1 percent of all soccer (Outdoor) participants and 56.4 percent of core (26+/year) participants are male;
- 71.7 percent of all soccer (Outdoor) participants and 82.4 percent of core (26+/year) participants are between ages of 6 and 24;
- 41.5 percent of female soccer players are between the ages of 6 and 12;
- 52.6 percent of all soccer (Outdoor) participants have a household income of over $75,000 per year;
- 25.4 percent of all soccer (Outdoor) participants have a college degree or higher;
- 36.5 percent of all soccer (Outdoor) participants also run/jog, 36 percent play basketball, 35.2 percent bowl, and 30.9 percent hike (day);
- 24.8 percent of Outdoor soccer players also play Indoor soccer;
- There are 4,515,000 children participating in soccer (Outdoor) between the ages of 6-and-12; and
- There are 2,366,000 soccer (Outdoor) participants between the ages of 13-to-17.