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Most preferred sports to participate in by adults in France 2017

In 2017, 30 percent of French people declared that hiking was their favorite sports activity. Sports in France appear to be popular. The Tour de France and Roland Garros are two of most anticipated sporting events every year and most of French declared to do sports at least once a week.

The evolution of sports practices

According to the source hiking was the preferred sport activity of 30 percent of French respondents. It was followed by swimming, rugby and football. Thus, this ranking shows that French people appear to like team sports and sports in nature. As a result, more than 27 percent of children aged 6 to 17 years old in France in 2017, practiced a team sport. On the other hand, French seniors declared a preference for hiking, sports walking and Nordic walking. This trend seems less important among Millennials (individuals aged 18-24 years old). The evolution of the practice of sport, which became more individual, and the influence of social media have made bodybuilding, fitness and gymnastics more popular among the younger generations. These sports, that could be practiced indoor or outdoor, and at any time seem more suitable for young adults today.

Sports federations in France

In France sports federations organize the practice of their sporting discipline from leisure activities to top-level sports. In 2017, more than 18 million licenses were issued by French sports federations. The French Federation of Football was the federation which released the highest number of licenses. 2 million of football licenses were issued that year by the football federation in majority to teenagers aged between 10 to 14 years old.

Which of these sports do you prefer to practice?

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Release date

July 2017



Survey time period

July 20 to 21, 2017

Number of respondents

1,184 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Telephone interviews and online survey

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