The importance of sports in the United States

As an international student coming to study abroad, the first thing I thought about in this country is sports. Walking on the street, I saw many different sports fields, such as basketball and tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and soccer fields. Meanwhile, there are many of the world’s top professional sports leagues in this country. For example, MLB in baseball and NBA in Basketball. So, how does sports become so popular in this country? Regarding the answer, I think it’s based on the culture of sports, engaged in sports population, and good education. 


1. The Culture of Sports 


Whether it’s going to school or entering the workplace, it’s easy to find people who like to watch sports in our community. According to, in 2019, approximately 154.4 million viewers in the United States watched live sports content at least once per month. However, among the professional sports leagues in the United States, the most watched sports league is the NFL. During the 2019 regular season, an average of 16.5 million people tuned in to watch NFL games. Meanwhile, another data shows that in 2019, the top ten TV ratings of sports events are all from the NFL. Also, the sporting event that had the highest TV rating in 2019 was Super Bowl LIII. The game attracted a total of 1.49 millions viewers with 41.1 TV rating. When talking about different ages of viewers, 87 percent of viewers aged 18 to 24 years stated that they watched sports on their TV. Apparently, watching sports has become an important part of life for Americans, we basically can see people who like to watch sports in our surroundings. Therefore, sporting events have become a common topic between us. 


2. Engage in sports population 


Since the United States has some of the most well-known sports leagues in the world, people in the United States also grow a passion to engage in sports. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the end of 2015, up to 25 percent of people who exercise everyday, meanwhile, compared with 2003, in the last 15 years, the population of males engaging in sports by day has increased by 4.9 percentage, and women’s participation increased by 2.3 percentage points. Moreover, among people who engage in sports by day, the most people do everyday is walking, 30 percent of people keep exercise by walking everyday. Another data shows that there were a total of 36,180 health clubs in the United States in 2015, an increase of over 5,500 on the figure from 2012. This means that the United States has more fitness centers than any other country in the world. Indeed, regarding the data above, we now know why sports is so popular in this country. People in this country not only take their health seriously, also, throughout the exercise, they can reduce the pressure of life. 


3. Good Education


In most American families, parents really care about children’s development, however, many parents would encourage their children to participate in different sports in their childhood. According to, from ages 6-17, 21.6 million of children/teeanager play team sports in the United States while some parents will let their children start playing sports as early as the age of 2. Another survey from ESPN shows that many parents encourage their children to play team sports because they believe team sports can develop children’s self-esteem, leadership skills and communication skills. In most parents perception, team sports offer more than just physical benefits for kids who participate. It also helps them emotionally and mentally. 


Sports is such a big part of the culture in this country, people watch, talk and play sports. Meanwhile, partaking in sports not only lets us stay healthy, but also it can make connections between each other.