Participants in cheerleading in the U.S. from 2006 to 2017

The number of Americans aged six years and older participating in cheerleading amounted to approximately 3.82 million in 2017, down from 4.03 million one year earlier. The figure reached its lowest point in 2011, when only 2.87 million engaged in cheerleading in the United States.

What do cheerleaders cheer for?

Cheerleading is a popular sport in the United States, often performed in schools or colleges. It is a team-based sport that can include stunting, pyramids, baskets, tumbling, jumps and dance. It initially began in the USA, but has spread to many other nations. Sports that are cheered for include ball sports such as football, basketball and baseball. The ball sports themselves typically have a larger number of participants, for example, around 15 and a half million people over the age of six participated in baseball in the United States in 2017.

Do people cheerlead elsewhere?

Cheerleading is a very common sport in its home nation of the United States. But is it popular elsewhere? While it is not a common sport in Europe it is practiced. In England, there were close to 14 thousand participants in cheerleading in 2017. In comparison, around 25 thousand people participated in the U.S.-based sport of baseball in England in the same year.

Number of participants in cheerleading in the United States from 2006 to 2017 (in millions)*

Number of participants in millions
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Release date

July 2018


United States

Survey time period

2006 to 2017

Number of respondents

30,999 respondents

Age group

6 years and older

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

* A weighting technique was used to balance the data to reflect the total U.S. population ages six and above.
A participant is defined as an individual who took part in the activity at least once in the given year.
Number of survey participants: 40,141 (2009) / 38,742 (2010) / 38,172 (2011) / 42,363 (2012) / 19,240 (2013) / 10,778 (2014) / 32,658 (2015) / 24,134 (2016); Information on survey dates for 2006 to 2008 were not given.
Numbers have been rounded to provide a better understanding of the statistic.
Figures prior to 2017 were taken from previous reports.

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