World's Most Popular Sports Top-10 List Analysis

A search online has found quite a few lists of the world's top most popular sports. However, each list is created using different criteria - some are based on hard facts while a few are just personal opinion and based on online votes, and consequently each list is different.



Comparing All Lists

The mega list below is based on a comparison of these other lists, giving 10 votes for being on the top of a list, and one less for each rank below that (e.g. 1 vote for being 10th on the list). It is not really scientific, comparing oranges and apples in some way, but an interesting exercise anyway. This method averages out the listings so any outliers are made less important and the sports which are generally always considered the most popular will shine through.

There is no guessing what sport is the top of this list - the clear winner is World Football (soccer), which was top of 11 out of the 13 lists. Basketball and Cricket were often ranked very high on the other lists, and so they are here too.

Rank Sport 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Rating
1 Football / Soccer 10 10 10 10 10 10 7 10 9 10 10 10 10 9.7
2 Basketball 5 8 1.5 8 8 9 9 8 10 9 8 9 9 7.8
3 Cricket 9 9 9 9 9 7
9   8 9 8 8 7.2
4 Baseball 6 7 4 2 5 5 4 7 8 6 6 6   5.1
5 Tennis 8
7   4 8 5
5 7 7 7 7 5.0
6 Volleyball 4 4 6 6 1   10 4 1 5 3 5 1 3.8
7 American Football
2 1.5 7 7 3
2 7 3   3   2.7
8 Rugby 2 6

   
6
4 1 4 5 2.2
9 Field Hockey 7 5 8
    1 5

 
  2.0
10 Table Tennis 3
5

  8

  5
  1.6
11 Golf 1
3   6 1

  2 4 2   1.5
12 Ice Hockey
3
 
 
3 6     1 2 1.2
13 Badminton


5
  6

1 2
  1.1
14 Formula 1


4   6

 
 
4 1.1
15 Track and Field           4          
6 0.8
16 Boxing / Combat Sports


  2 2

2    
3 0.7
17 Swimming



3  

4
 
  0.5
18 Rugby League 2 1


 
1  
 
  0.3
19 Dragon Boat Racing




  3


 
  0.2
20 Tenpin Bowling



   

3
 
  0.2
21 Kabaddi


3    

 
 
  0.2
22 Team Handball




  2


 
  0.2
23 Curling


1    

 
 
  0.1

Notes:

Here are links to details of each of the lists that were used for the analysis table above:

  1. Top-10 List by Knol — most popular list based on all sports (personal opinion).
  2. Top-10 List by Knol — most popular list based on team sports (personal opinion).
  3. Top-10 World List — top list based on the estimated number of fans, using website visitor traffic analysis.
  4. Most Viewed Online — a popular sports list based on the analysis of sport page views on Wikipedia (updated 2020).
  5. Most Searched — the most commonly searched sport names on Google (updated 2020).
  6. Biggest Global Sports — a statistics-based analysis of the¬†world's most popular sports.
  7. Top-10 World List — analysis of figures by Johann and Sandra, based on Sporting Federation figures.
  8. Top-10 World List — personal opinion from Sportingo.
  9. Top-10 Greatest Sports List — greatest sports as voted online (updated 2020).
  10. Top-10 favorite Sports List — another based on online votes (updated 2020).
  11. Top Most Popular Sports — based on visitor traffic to a range of sports websites (updated 2020).
  12. Top Most Popular Sports (voted) — based on online voting (data from 2020).
  13. Totalsportek World's Most Popular Sports — sports the ranked by 13 factors according to totalsportek.


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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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