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FIFA SURVEY: 240 Million People Play Soccer; U.S. Ranks First Among All Nations with 18 Million Participants

CHICAGO (Monday, April 9, 2001) - More than 240 million people around the globe play soccer according to a wide-scale survey launched by FIFA a year ago - and the highest percentage of the population active in the game is in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Nearly one person in every 25 among the world's population actively plays football, a fact which on its own points to the sport's position as the most popular in the world. But in the region covered by CONCACAF, that ratio rises to one in 12 people - the highest among the six confederations.

In addition, participation by women in football is highest in CONCACAF than any other confederation. Some two percent of the world's population are women playing the game in North and Central America and the Caribbean - almost 10 times the number in each of the other five confederations.

Among individual countries, the United States ranks the highest in the world in participation with 18 million, nearly twice as many as Indonesia, the second ranked country in participation numbers.

The FIFA survey, which is known colloquially as the "Big Count" survey, sampled nearly 80 percent of FIFA's 204 member associations, including 29 of 35 full FIFA members in CONCACAF. Complete results of the survey are available on the FIFA website at