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Sports in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Sports play a vital role in European societies, as they not only contribute to the health and well-being of people but also have a strong economic impact on the continent. Among the different nations, various preferences can be seen regarding types of sport. Hiking, cycling, running and swimming however seem to be the most common sports as they are recurrent among the most popular sports in most countries such as France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and most others. These rather generic types of sports are followed by the more specific types such as football, tennis, golf and gymnastics. When it comes to the frequency of exercise and sports participation in Europe, more than half of men and women over the age of 55 years do not do any sports. In contrast, more than half of men and women between the age of 15 and 24 years exercise or play sport with at least some regularity.

The market for health and fitness in Europe has been stable as the number of health and fitness clubs has steadily increased to roughly 59,055 and the number of club members to approximately 60 million by 2017. The countries with the most health and fitness clubs in Europe are Germany with 8,988, followed by Italy with 7,500 and the United Kingdom with 6,728. More information on the fitness industry in Europe can be found in the Dossier: Fitness industry in Europe. The value of the sports nutrition market in Europe was highest in the United Kingdom at roughly 743 million euros.

Professional sports have a substantial economic impact in Europe through broadcasting and media rights, sponsorship, merchandise, sports betting and various other channels. The total revenue of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has reached around 4.6 billion euros in 2016, due in part to the EURO 2016. The most valuable European football clubs are Manchester United with a value of approximately 4.1 billion U.S. dollars and Real Madrid with a value of roughly 4.1 billion U.S. dollars. In Italy 74 percent of sports betting is gambled on football and most collections from sports betting at international level on European football leagues comes from the Premier League with a total of 67 billion euros, followed by the Spanish La Liga with 40 billion euros and the Italian Serie A with 20 million euros. More information on sports betting can be found in the Dossier: Sports betting.


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