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Australia’s 7,853,418 Olympians

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2015 – March 2016 n = 15,074 Australians 14+; Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey January – December 2015, n = 2,906 Australians 6-13

As well as the 418 athletes now in Rio, another 7,853,000 Australians regularly participate in one or more Olympic sports, Roy Morgan Research shows.

5,590,000 Australians aged 14+ (29%) are regular participants in sports played in the 2016 Olympic Games, as are another 2,263,000 kids aged 6-13 (91%).

With three medals and counting, swimming is also the most common ‘Olympic’ sport done regularly by Australians in both age groups: just over two million aged 14+ and 1.2 million aged 6-13.

Among adults, other Olympic sports with high numbers of regular participants include Cycling (1,568,000), Golf (632,000), Soccer (561,000), Tennis (484,000), Marathons/Running (380,000), Basketball (348,000), Mountain Biking (328,000) and Martial Arts (308,000). Among kids, participation is highest in Soccer (1,216,000), Bicycling (909,000), Athletics/Track and field (812,000) and Basketball (781,000).

Toward the bottom of the lists are, ironically, sports that Australia has so far actually medalled in: just 108,000 (14+) and 126,000 (6-13) play Rugby Union regularly (in which our women’s team just won gold), 92,000 (14+) are regular clay/target shooters (one gold), and 79,000 are regular archers (a bronze).  

Number of regular participants in ‘Olympic’ sports

 

Number of regular participants (age 14+)

 

Number of regular participants (age 6-13)

Any 'Olympic' Sports

5,590,000

Any 'Olympic' Sports

2,263,000

Swimming

2,017,000

Swimming

1,223,000

Cycling

1,568,000

Soccer

1,216,000

Golf

632,000

Bicycling

909,000

Soccer

561,000

Athletics/Track and field

812,000

Tennis

484,000

Basketball

781,000

Marathons/Running

380,000

Tennis

483,000

Basketball

348,000

Gymnastics

478,000

Mountain biking

328,000

Martial arts

225,000

Martial arts

308,000

Volleyball

218,000

Boxing

227,000

Field Hockey

147,000

Table tennis

227,000

Rugby Union

126,000

Badminton

155,000

Horse riding

111,000

Volleyball

146,000

Sailing

37,000

Horse riding

139,000

Rowing

25,000

Athletics/Track & field

123,000

Field hockey

109,000

Rugby Union

108,000

Sailing

108,000

Rowing

102,000

Clay/Target shooting

92,000

Gymnastics

89,000

Triathlons

82,000

Archery

79,000

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2015 – March 2016 n = 15,074 Australians 14+; Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey January – December 2015, n = 2,906 Australians 6-13

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The Australian women’s Rugby Sevens team won the gold medal, but Rugby Union is currently the least popular of all these Olympic sports among Australian women, with just 1 in 500 regular players. Among girls, however, around 1 in 50 play Rugby Union. Nevertheless, in each age group, males playing Rugby Union outnumber females by around four to one—so the men have no excuse not to claim a gold medal too.

Roy Morgan also asks Australians, young and old, about their regular and occasional participation in dozens of other non-Olympic sports and fitness activities, from yoga and surfing to lawn bowls and skateboarding.”  

For comments or more information please contact:
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Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2