Market research and data analytics firm YouGov revealed the AFL topped a survey as Australia’s most popular sport with 23% of respondents nationwide backing the code .
41% of respondents in Victoria and Western Australia said the AFL was their favorite sport, while the NRL was supported by 26% of respondents in NSW and 16% in Queensland.
The AFL was the fourth most popular sport in NSW behind rugby league, tennis and cricket.
Nationally, rugby league attracted 13% of respondents as their favorite sport, ahead of tennis with 11%, cricket with 10% and football with 8%.
Commenting on the results, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said there was “no doubt” that the AFL’s success was based on this core business.
McLachlan said “The support we receive is a direct result of the passion and commitment of the thousands of hardworking volunteers at Auskick clinics and community clubs across Australia who continue to inspire children and to ensure that our game is accessible, inclusive and fun for everyone.”
28% of respondents said that none of the sports listed in the survey were their favorite, indicating that other niche sports may be growing in popularity.
In related data, YouGov revealed that women’s participation in the AFL had doubled in the past six years, from 300,000 to 600,000.
NSW has become the state with the highest proportion of sports fans.
Recent figures from Ausplay show that 8.5 million Australian adults and 3.4 million children play some form of sport, supported by 2.9 million community sport volunteers.
Main image: Melbourne Demons fans during the 2021 AFL Grand Final at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Credit: Optus Stadium.
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