Who's a Fan? 44% Follow Professional Football, The Most Popular Sport

June 29, 2011, 5:00 PM GMT+0

More Americans follow professional football than any other major sport. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll four in ten say they are football fans, while fewer than a third pay attention to baseball. 

Even though the NBA finals had just taken place, only 19% said they were fans of professional basketball. Ice hockey and golf are followed by about one in ten Americans, and only 3% pay attention to cycling. 36% follow none of these sports.

There are some large demographic differences, some of which may be obvious. Men pay more attention to sports than women do: just 29% of men follow none of these sports, while almost half the women are not fans.

Baseball and golf are more popular with older Americans than with younger ones. 42% of those 65 and older follow baseball; 28% of those under 30 do. 14% of senior citizens pay attention to professional golf, compared with only 4% of those under 30.

African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to follow professional basketball, a sport where African-American athletes predominate. But on this question, unlike so many others in this poll, there are few party differences! 

Full datasets for Economist/YouGov polls can be found here.

Photo source: Press Association

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