What are the most popular sports in the world? or what is the most popular sport in the world? These are the questions answered in the article below.
The history of sports and games is thousands of years old. Some of the oldest sports are still played in their modified form. The popularity of sports depends on many factors, one of the most important being the number of fans around the world. It is certain that a popular sport will have more fans and followers all over the world.
The strategies we used in ranking these most famous sports in the world include:
- The number of fans of that particular sport on social media
- The number of professional leagues in the world
- Number of professionals associated with this sport
- The popularity of prominent athletes or players in that sport
- The number of people who follow or watch the mega-events of this sport
- Wealth or net worth of a person or professional teams associated with this sport
Let’s take a look at these most popular sports in the world.
Top 10 most popular sports in the world in 2022 – Famous Sports
01. Football/Soccer – 4.1 billion fans
Soccer/Football is the most popular sport in the world.
You may have already predicted which one will be the most popular among sports. With over 4.1 billion fans worldwide, football is considered the most watched sport in the world.
Football or association football is a global popular sport which is played and watched all over the world especially in Europe and African regions.
The second main reason for its top spot in the list is its greater number of professional leagues in the world. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, more than 7.7 million fans traveled to Russia to watch the game. This huge number is more than any other world cup sporting event.
The upcoming football world cup 2022 will show the real number of fans around the world. This event is expected to be the biggest sporting event ever held in the world.
02. Basketball – 2.7 billion fans
Basketball is the 2nd most popular sport in the world with over 2.7 billion fans worldwide.
Since fan following is the most powerful aspect of popular sports rankings, basketball recently beat cricket for the 2nd position. Basketball is more popular in the United States, Canada, Europe and many other countries around the world. The game has over 100 leagues worldwide.
Basketball has some of the richest athletes in the world. This means that this popular sport pays dearly.
03. Cricket – 2.6 billion fans
Cricket is the 3rd most popular sport in the world with over 2.6 billion fans worldwide.
Cricket is mainly played and watched in Asia, South Africa and Australia. A large number of people in these regions play, watch and love cricket. Unlike football, cricket is mainly played in series. But in the past decade, some changes have been applied and some popular cricket leagues have been introduced which has increased its popularity.
04. Tennis – 1.5 billion fans
Tennis is the fourth most popular sport in the world with over 1.5 billion fans.
There are over 50 professional tennis leagues around the world with a number of mega-events. It is a different type of sport with one or two team members.
Mega-events and major rivalry matches have over 1.5 billion fans.
05. Boxing – 900 million fans
Boxing is the fifth most popular sport in the world with over 900 million fans worldwide.
Another popular and powerful factor in boxing that has made it popular is the individual wealth and net worth of players. Some boxers are listed among the richest athletes in the world.
People all over the world especially in the United States, Mexico and Japan love and watch boxing.
06. Volleyball – 900 million fans
Volleyball is the 6th most popular sport in the world right now with nearly 900 million fans.
Volleyball has become more popular over the past decade due to the Olympics. He jumped into the most popular sports in the world as a huge increase was seen in his followers globally.
Volleyball is one of the most watched events in the Olympics and its World Cup is also one of the most popular sporting events in the world. Some of the famous volleyball players are followed all over the world.
07. Rugby – 500 million fans
Rugby is the 7th most popular sport in the world with 500 million fans worldwide.
Rugby is one of the oldest sports in the world which is still played with some modifications. The Olympics increased the number of rugby fans to 500 million.
Rugby has more than 20 leagues around the world, but the Olympics and the World Cup have made it one of the most popular sports in the world.
08. Ice Hockey – 500 million fans
Ice hockey is the 8th most popular sport in the world right now.
It has around 500 million fans, making it one of the most followed and watched sports in the world. It is a contact team sport played on ice. Ice hockey is one of the most entertaining sports in the world.
This form of hockey is more popular in Canada, America and Russia. This is why ice hockey is one of the most popular American sports of the time.
09. Baseball – 480 million fans
Baseball is the 9th most popular sport in the world with over 480 million fans.
The sport is more popular and practiced in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba. It is also played in many other countries around the world. Baseball is also a bat and ball sport like cricket, but its rules are very different from those of cricket.
10. Golf – 450 million fans
Golf is the 10th most popular sport in the world with over 450 million fans worldwide.
Golf is more popular in the United States and New Zealand. It has some of the richest athletes in the world like Tiger Woods.
Most Popular Sports Visuals
Here is a quick recap of what we discussed above. The most popular sports in the world are:
- Soccer/Soccer – 4.1 billion fans
- Basketball – 2.7 billion fans
- Cricket – 2.6 billion fans
- Tennis – 1.5 billion fans
- Boxing – 900 million fans
- Volleyball – 900 million fans
- Rugby – 500 million fans
- Ice hockey – 500 million fans
- Baseball – 480 million fans
- Golf – 450 million fans