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Most Popular Sports in Australia

The sports that are popular in Australia can be very different to elsewhere around the world, and in addition there are regional differences in the popularity of sports, for example the most popular football code in Sydney is Rugby League, while in Melbourne it is Australian Football. Here is a discussion and lists of the most popular sports in Australia. See more lists of top sports by country.

Aussie Rules is the most popular sport to watch

We have three lists of popular sports in Australia that can be compared, the list of the most popular sports search terms, the list of attendance figures for sports in Australia, and the number of participants in sports and activities. Australian Rules Football is clearly the most popular spectator sport in Australia with huge crowds attending matches each Winter throughout Australia. However, in terms of participation more men play golf, cricket and tennis. Rugby league is another popular sport, but not as a sport to play.

It is also interesting to see that what people are interested in and search for online can be quite different to what they actually go to watch. It also highlights the difficulty in defining 'popular' sport - is it what people are most interested in, what they play the most or what they watch? The lists are summarized below.

Rank Most Searched Most Attended Most Participants
1 AFL AFL Aerobics
2 Cricket Horse Racing Golf
3 Football Rugby League Tennis
4 NRL Motor Sports Lawn Bowls
5 Golf Soccer (outdoor) Netball
6 Rugby Cricket (outdoor) Swimming
7 Soccer Rugby Union Cricket (outdoor)
8 Tennis Harness Racing Martial Arts
9 Basketball Tennis (indoor and outdoor) Basketball
10 Rugby League Dog racing Tenpin Bowling

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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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