Participating in organized youth sports is a popular hobby for children and teens. Here’s a look the facts and statistics regarding youth sports:

1. More than 45 million children are engaged in youth sports. (Etnier, 2020)

2. Yet around 70% of kids will drop out of their sport by age 13. “A lack of fun, negative coach behaviors and an overemphasis on winning were among the top reasons children drop out of sports. (ibid,; Barelli, 2023)

3. Overall youth sports participation has dropped over the last decade or so, from 45% around 2009 to 38% in 2019. (Gay, 2019)

Girls playing youth sports

  1. Around 1 in 3 girls participate in organized sports, up from 1 in 27 back in 1972, according to research by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. (Gupta, 2008)
  2. There were around 61,000 girls under the age of 18 playing youth hockey in the 2017-2018 season. (Chaker, 2019)
  3. The most popular youth sport among girls is soccer, followed by softball.

The cost of youth sports

1. Participation in youth sports often tracks changes in the economy. Following the 2008 financial crisis, regular participation of 6-12 year old children in team sports fell from 45% to 38% in 2014. The reason? Playing can get expensive. A 2014 study by Utah State University found that American families spent an average of $2,292 each year on youth sports, and some households spend as much as 10.5% of their gross annual income, sometimes dishing out $20,000 or more. (Drape, 1-20-2020)

Injuries in youth sports

1. Approximately 2.4 million children ages 5 to 18 end up in the emergency room due to sports-related inj_ries each year, according to the CDC.

2. Eight in ten high school athletes have hid an injury in order to keep playing. (Freedman, 2019)

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