The local picture

The Active People Survey tracks the number of people taking part in sport at region, county sport partnership and local authority level

In addition to local information on who plays sport and how, we have a number of tools to help paint a more detailed local picture:

  • The Local Sports Profile tool, an easy-to-use web based tool, which is updated twice a year, provides a detailed profile of individual local authorities with economic, population and health data, in addition to data on sporting behaviour and sports facilities. Users can customise their local sport profile by selecting particular themes and indicators.
  • The Active People Interactive tool enables quick and easy analysis of Active People Survey data, and includes data from 2005/6 up to the current survey wave. Users can interrogate the data by time period, geography, sport, and demographic groups.
  • The Active People Survey can accurately measure participation to local authority level, but the number of responses from smaller areas is too low to produce reliable figures. You can use our Small Area Estimates tool to find estimates of the numbers playing sport in smaller communities of at least 5,000 people (Super Output Areas), and generate local sports maps. For example, it can provide insight on how take-up varies within a local authority area. There is more information in the technical document below.

Who plays sport?

You can compare the levels of people taking part in sport once a week by local authority; for instance, comparing Kensington and Chelsea (49.0%) with South Holland in Lincolnshire (21.4%).

Regional comparisons are also possible. The percentage of people who play sport weekly is highest in the South East (38.3%), and lowest in the North East (32.7%).

Since 2005/6, there has been a statistically significant increase in weekly participation across seven of the nine regions. 

See our What factors affect who plays sport? section for more information, and download the latest reports (below).

who plays sport by local authority

How do people take part?

How strong is competitive sport in your local authority area? How many people belong to sports clubs, or receive sports coaching? And what proportion of the local community volunteer in sport?

The Active People Survey has the answers – at Region, County Sport Partnership and Local Authority level.

It also shows, for instance, the proportion of volunteers in County Sport Partnerships from London North (5.9%) to West Sport (19.2%) and that club membership is highest among participants in Surrey (30.1%).

volunteering by county infographic