Who plays sport?

The number of people in England who regularly take part in sport is rising

09 June 2016


During the year up to April 2016, 15.8 million people aged 16 years and over in England played sport at least once a week. That’s an increase of 1.75 million since 2005/6 – the first year of the survey.

Active People Survey

The number of people playing sport is tracked continuously through Active People – the largest survey of sport and active recreation ever carried out in Europe. 

Since 2005/6, the findings have become a valuable resource for the sports sector. Results are released in June and December each year.

 Active People provides information on:

  • The national picture of who is taking part in sport and how are they participating. This can be broken down by demographics like age, gender ethnicity, as well as by the way people are engaging; for example, participation by volunteering or club membership
  • The local picture of who plays sport and how. With information about different geographical areas, including local authorities, county sport partnerships and regions.
  • A picture of the participation by individual sports; who plays sport and how they participate (involvement in clubs, organised competition and tuition).