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

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


Swimming is one of the most popular methods to stay active in the UK, with large numbers of the population engaging in the sport. This article explores exactly how popular the sport is and where in the UK engages with swimming the most.

Swimming Statistics: The Short Version

We have summed up our key findings from our research here. More in depth analysis and research can be found further on in the article.

  • 4 million people in the UK go swimming at least twice a week.
  • There are over 750,000 searches each year in the UK for “Swimming Pool Near Me”.
  • You are most likely to search for “Swimming Pool Near Me” if you live in Salford.

How Popular is Swimming in the UK in 2021?

Over 4 million people in the UK go swimming at least twice a month, making it one of the most popular forms of physical activity amongst the UK population. The activity is most popular with 5-10 year olds, with 49.5% of children in this age category participating in swimming on a monthly basis.


To further emphasise the popularity of swimming, we conducted a keyword analysis with the keyword tool KWFinder to discover the number of people searching for swimming related terms on the internet in the UK. We discovered that the term “Swimming Pools Near Me” is searched for 63,200 times in the UK alone which when extrapolated, is over 750,000 searches a year. Furthermore, we believe that this search term represents the intent of a searcher seeking a new place to swim for either themselves or their children. Therefore, this figure is more likely to represent the new people that are getting into the sport rather than the current active swimmers as they will not need to search for a pool near them as they will already know about the swimming pools in their area.


However, even though these numbers are high, in the UK, 14 million adults (31%) cannot swim at least 1 length of a pool.

How Has the Popularity of Swimming Changed in the Last 5 Years?

When looking into the Google Trends analysis for the term “Swimming” over the past 5 years, we discover that popularity increases in summer every year, highlighting the seasonal nature of the sport.

How Popular is Swimming in the UK?

We can also observe that the searches for the term did not increase to what they usually would do in 2020 which can be put down to the Covid-19 pandemic restricting swimming pools being open and foreign travel.

Where is Swimming the Most Popular in the UK in 2021?

We calculated where in the UK search for “Swimming Pool Near Me” the most proportionally and we have listed the top ten regions in the table below.



Total Searches

Number of Searches Per Every 100,000 People































Number of searches for the term “Swimming Pool Near Me” extracted from keyword analysis tool KWFinder. Number of searches is then divided by the area population and multiplied by 100,000.


Swimming is the most popular in Salford, generating 154 searches per every 100,000 people in the area each month. Even though the total number of searches in the area is only 160 per month, the low population means that the area has the largest number of searches proportionally in the country. 


In London, the term is searched 9,400 times per month on average which is the highest in the country in terms of just numbers rather than proportionality. However the large population means that the capital drops to the 7th most likely place to search for the term.


On the other end of the scale, the town of Sale searches for the term just 7.5 times per month on average which is the lowest of all the cities and towns that we analysed.

Summary: Swimming Statistics Roundup

To conclude, swimming is one of the most popular sports that people in the UK engage with and participate in, allowing swimmers to have fun, engage with friends and stay healthy.


We hope that this article has allowed you to understand the scale of how popular swimming is in the UK.


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