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The most popular sports in Germany and worldwide

Are you looking for a new sport and are you interested in the different sports there are? Or do you want to know which of the countless sports is the most popular? In this blog post you will get the answer and you are sure to find inspiration if you want to try something new. We have summarized the most popular sports in Germany and around the world for you.

In the following table we have compared the most popular sports in Germany and worldwide.



In Germany






do gymnastics




Field hockey


Shooting clubs



Alpine clubs




Table tennis





horse riding







American football


So here are clear differences between the most popular sports in Germany and around the world. But sports such as basketball and American football, which are particularly popular in America, are also finding more and more fans in Germany.

Most popular sports in Germany

Every year the German Olympic Sports Confederation compiles statistics in which the membership numbers of all clubs and associations in Germany are recorded. According to these statistics, soccer is the most popular sport in Germany with over 7 million members. Gymnastics ranks second with almost 5 million members. This is followed by the tennis and shooting clubs, each with around 1.3 million members. In fifth place are the alpine clubs that offer hiking, climbing and skiing. These have around 1.1 million members. The sixth most popular sport in Germany is athletics, with over 800,000 athletes. Athletics is closely followed by handball with around 760,000 members. Riding and golfing came in 8th and 9th, each with over 600,000 members. With around 560,000 athletes, swimming is in 10th place. This statistic fulfills the usual expectations and offers few surprises. However, supposedly large, popular sports such as volleyball or table tennis are not listed.

In other statistics, however, they also make it into the top 10 most popular sports. Furthermore, basketball and ice hockey are listed here, which according to the DOSB statistics are not in the top 10.

In the list of the most popular sports worldwide, some of these sports also appear. But of course you will also find many team sports here that play a major role in Asia, Australia or America, but which we pay less attention to.

Most popular sports worldwide

In the following part we want to give you an overview of the most popular sports around the world. In contrast to the statistics in Germany, however, the active athletes or the members of the clubs are not counted here, but the number of worldwide fans of the respective sport. For this purpose, the number of viewers on TV and in the stadiums are added together for the games. Please note that these numbers are not calculated exactly and are therefore only rough values.

Identical to the most popular sports in Germany, football is also the most popular sport worldwide. Football enjoys around 3.5 billion fans worldwide who support their teams. Cricket ranks second in the world's most popular sports with around 2.5 billion viewers. With 2 billion fans, field hockey ranks third. With at least 1 billion fans worldwide, tennis ranks fourth, followed by volleyball with 900 million viewers. In sixth place is table tennis, which inspires 850 million people worldwide. Seventh and eighth place are taken by baseball and golf, with 500 and 450 million fans respectively. With a fan base of around 400 million each, basketball and American football are ninth and tenth in this statistic.