Basketball Statistics UK 2021: How Popular is Basketball in the UK?


Basketball is typically associated with America as they seem to play it more professionally than over here in the UK. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not popular. This article will give you a rundown on all the different statistics, facts and figures surrounding this sport in the UK in 2021.

Basketball Statistics: The Quick Version

Here’s a quick summary of the key points we have found:


  • Basketball’ has 91,400 average monthly searches on Google.


  • Stockport searches for the term ‘basketball’ the most.


  • Basketball is the second most popular team sport for children/teenagers.

How Popular Is Basketball In The UK?

We decided to research which of the populous areas in the UK search for basketball the most. In order to find this out, we used Keyword Finder to help us. The first search term we researched was ‘basketball’ and we found the following:


Average Monthly Searches Per 1,000 People For ‘Basketball’

StockportNorth West2.74
ManchesterNorth West2.15
NottinghamEast Midlands2.07
BristolSouth West2.05
CrawleySouth East1.96
RochdaleNorth West1.95
BirminghamNorth West1.93
CoventryWest Midlands1.87
SloughSouth East1.87

To find this, we researched the average monthly searches in each town/city. We then divided this number by the population of each place and multiplied by 1,000.

From this table, we can clearly see a couple of things:


  • The average monthly searches per 1,000 people in Stockport is 2 times the UK average.


  • 3 of the top 10 places are in the North West.


We also did the same research with the same methodology as above, but for the term ‘basketball hoop’.



Average Monthly Searches Per 1,000 People For ‘Basketball Hoop’





South East



North West



North West



West Midlands



South West



East Midlands



South West











From this we can see a few things:


  • Peterborough clearly has more average monthly searches per 1,000 people than anywhere in the UK, followed by Crawley and Rochdale.


  • 3 of the top 10 places are in the East and another 3 places are in Southern regions.


  • The figure for Peterborough is 1.8 times the UK average

Basketball On Social Media

Basketball is hugely popular on social media. One example to look at first is TikTok. If you searched the hashtag ‘#basketball’, you would find thousands of videos with 43.7 billion views across them all. The most popular video in this hashtag has a whopping 6.8 million likes. This again reinforces the idea that basketball is popular on social media.

Instagram is also a great location to find further proof of the popularity of basketball. The hashtag ‘#basketball’ on this platform has over 33 million posts using it. This is an enormous figure which shows the impact the sport has across this app too.

YouTube has millions of videos and views all across the site. If you search the term ‘basketball’ on there, the top 5 most viewed videos have a combined 803 million views. This is an extraordinarily large number.

How Many People Play Basketball In The UK?

Unfortunately, there has actually been a steady decline in those participating in basketball. In 2020, 264,000 people aged 16 and over participated in some form of basketball, any intensity and duration. This has gone down from 325,200 in 2016. This is quite concerning because this could indicate a trend of the sport continuing to decline in future years. However, it is also important to note that the pandemic may have lowered these figures as people had less chances to play basketball.

Basketball is the second most popular team sport after football for children in Year 1-11 in school. This survey was completed in the Academic Year 2019-20. The fact that this sport is the second most popular team sport, beating rugby, netball and cricket, shows that many children do enjoy taking part in the sport. However, as the numbers have been dropping for people playing it aged 16 and over, this could connote that people seem to stop playing the sport after they leave school/college.

Although the numbers of participation in basketball are going down in the UK, it is clear that there is still a large amount of people who enjoy the sport across social media. Hopefully in the coming years, the popularity grows and more people can take part in playing.


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