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Children participating in tennis in England 2010-2018

As of 2018, about 12.5 percent of 11 to 15 year old and 7.8 percent of 5 to 10 year old children in England stated that they played tennis within the last month of a survey, taken annually by the Taking Part: Annuals Report on Child Behavior. Both age groups have shown a slight decline in recent years and also adult tennis participation looks similar as it dropped from close to 890 thousand regular players in 2016 to roughly 840 thousand players in 2018.

Football most popular among children

  Compared to the 12.5 percent of 11 to 15 year olds who play tennis, football was played by 44.7 percent in this age group and by far the most popular sport, followed by swimming (including diving and lifesaving) and walking or hiking.

Table tennis also in slight decline

Table tennis participation among children is also on a slight decline, down from 23.2 percent of 11 to 15 year olds in 2013 to 14.4 percent in that same age group in 2018. However, among smaller children aged 5 to 10 years old, participation has held rather steady over the past decade.

Share of children participating in tennis 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

2010/11 to 2017/18*

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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