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Children participating in football in England 2010-2018

Football is the most popular team sport in England across the board. Of children aged 5 to 10, roughly 31 percent play football at least on a monthly basis, which is only surpassed by swimming. At age 11 to 15 football becomes even more popular with approximately 44 percent in this age group playing.

Competetivity among children

   In the past decade competitive school sport participation has slight decreased to 67.8 percent of children aged 5 to 15 having participated between 2017 and 2018 and 25.6 percent of 11 to 15 year olds were members of a club that plays sports.

How active are children?

   Overall children activity levels have not change significantly over the past decade with between 86 and 90 percent of children participating in sports at least on a monthly basis. When compared, boys tend to be a little more active than girls with close to 60 percent of boys being active across the week or even daily opposed to 47 percent of girls.

Share of children participating in football in the last 4 weeks in England from 2010 to 2018

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Release date

August 2018


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

2010 to 2018*

Number of respondents


Age group

5-15 years

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

* Previous base:
2017/18: 5-10 year olds n= 909; 10-15 year olds n = 671;
2016/17: 5-10 year olds: n= 967; 10-15 year olds n=638.
2015/16: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,096; 10-15 year olds n=684.
2015/14: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,104; 10-15 year olds n=721.
2013/14: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,233; 10-15 year olds n=786.
2012/13: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,136; 10-15 year olds n=801.
2011/12: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,040; 10-15 year olds n=771.
2010/11: 5-10 year olds: n= 1,590; 10-15 year olds n=1,116.

Survey periods run April to March.

The source provides the following additional information: "Data for 5-10 year olds relates to out of school activities only. Data for 11-15 years olds relates to activities undertaken both in and out of school."

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Statistics on "Sport in England: Public Funding and Participation in the UK "

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