The online home of Women's Rugby

Where is women's rugby most popular?

Our recent look at player numbers worldwide looked at the numbers of registered players in each country, and showed that the United States have comfortably more women rugby players than anywhere else in the world.

But the United States is a big country. Where is the game most popular, if you take into account how many people actually live there?

The United States has 15,349 registered adult players - and 24,642 registered players of all ages - far more (nearly twice as many) as anywhere else on earth. But the US also has a huge population - nearly 320,000,000 people - so, when it comes to how popular the game is, a simple player count is misleading (for example the US has more female rugby players than the entire population of Tonga!).

So, if we take into account how many women actually live in each country, where is the game most popular? The result is interesting - and rather turns the earlier study on its head.

Let's look at the countries in the World Cup first:

 

Country

All registered players (inc U18s)

Players per 1000 female population

SAMOA

5107

54.38

NEW ZEALAND

15182

6.68

IRELAND

9854

3.08

WALES

2099

1.37

ENGLAND

14241

0.54

FRANCE

11441

0.35

CANADA

5988

0.34

AUSTRALIA

2399

0.20

SPAIN

1869

0.18

10 

KAZAKHSTAN

1444

0.17

11 

UNITED STATES

24642

0.15

12 

SOUTH AFRICA

7802

0.03

And worldwide...


Country

All registered players (inc U18s)

Players per 1000 female population

TONGA

3980

77.25

COOK ISLANDS

462

61.71

SAMOA

5107

54.38

NIUE ISLANDS

30

37.20

AMERICAN SAMOA

270

9.73

SOLOMON ISLANDS

2473

9.31

SWAZILAND

5033

7.76

CAYMAN ISLANDS

204

7.36

NEW ZEALAND

15182

6.68

GUAM

405

4.98

IRELAND

9854

3.08

BERMUDA

87

2.71

BOTSWANA

2650

2.62

MALTA

513

2.47

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

27

1.83

TAHITI

137

1.54

WALES

2099

1.37

SCOTLAND

2973

1.12

HONG KONG

3504

0.97

ST VINCENT

52

0.95

ANDORRA

35

0.92

VANUATU

120

0.91

TUNISIA

4844

0.89

NAMIBIA

901

0.85

FIJI

250

0.58

ENGLAND

14241

0.54

BARBADOS

63

0.44

UGANDA

7760

0.44

MOLDOVA

740

0.42

FRANCE

11441

0.35

CANADA

5988

0.34

GUYANA

110

0.28

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

169

0.25

ZAMBIA

1870

0.25

ZIMBABWE

1608

0.25

SRI LANKA

2329

0.23

MADAGASCAR

2198

0.21

ITALY

6243

0.21

AUSTRALIA

2399

0.20

BELGIUM

1085

0.19

SPAIN

1869

0.18

LUXEMBOURG

49

0.18

KAZAKHSTAN

1444

0.17

UNITED STATES

24642

0.15

JAMAICA

200

0.15

DENMARK

412

0.15

BULGARIA

476

0.13

NETHERLANDS

1051

0.12

SINGAPORE

310

0.11

URUGUAY

180

0.11

LATVIA

103

0.10

SWEDEN

480

0.10

MAURITIUS

60

0.10

NORWAY

500

0.09

PORTUGAL

458

0.09

BAHAMAS

15

0.09

SENEGAL

514

0.08

GEORGIA

163

0.07

CZECH REPUBLIC

356

0.07

FINLAND

183

0.07

PARAGUAY

225

0.07

ROMANIA

630

0.06

HUNGARY

312

0.06

CAMEROON

600

0.06

SERBIA

208

0.06

MOROCCO

933

0.06

MONACO

1

0.05

LITHUANIA

74

0.05

GERMANY

1986

0.05

JAPAN

2738

0.04

BOSNIA & HERZ.

80

0.04

CROATIA

87

0.04

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

150

0.04

COLOMBIA

877

0.04

KENYA

718

0.03

THAILAND

960

0.03

SOUTH AFRICA

7802

0.03

SLOVENIA

30

0.03

ISRAEL

110

0.03

AUSTRIA

113

0.03

ARGENTINA

566

0.03

SWITZERLAND

270

0.02

RUSSIA

1712

0.02

CHILE

180

0.02

GREECE

104

0.02

POLAND

339

0.02

BRAZIL

1409

0.01

CHINESE TAIPEI

160

0.01

UKRAINE

230

0.01

VENEZUELA

140

0.01

PHILIPPINES

435

0.01

PERU

132

0.01

SOUTH KOREA

185

0.01

UAE

216

0.01

MALAYSIA

100

0.01

PAKISTAN

404

0.00

INDIA

1993

0.00

MEXICO

168

0.00

IVORY COAST

140

0.00

NIGERIA

100

0.00

CHINA

600

0.00

INDONESIA

33

0.00