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The Local Picture

The Active People Survey tracks the number of people taking part in sport at region, county sport partnership and local authority level.

In addition to local information on who plays sport and how, we have a number of tools to help paint a more detailed local picture:

•The Local Sports Profile tool provides a detailed profile of individual local authorities with economic, population and health data, in addition to data on sporting behaviour and sports facilities.

•The Active People Interactive tool enables quick and easy analysis of Active People Survey data, and includes data from 2005/6 up to the current survey wave. Users can interrogate the data by time period, geography, sport, and demographic groups.

•The Active People Survey can accurately measure participation to local authority level, but the number of responses from smaller areas is too low to produce reliable figures. You can use our Small Area Estimates tool to find estimates of the numbers playing sport in smaller communities of at least 5,000 people (Super Output Areas), and generate local sports maps. For example, it can provide insight on how take-up varies within a local authority area. There is more information in the technical document below.


Who Plays Sport

You can compare the levels of people taking part in sport once a week by local authority, for instance, comparing St Albans (45.5%) with South Tyneside (30.9%).

Regional comparisons are also possible: The percentage of people who play sport weekly is highest in London (37.7%), and lowest in the West Midlands (33.5%).

Since 2005/6, there has been a statistically significant increase in weekly participation across six of the nine regions.

Sport and active recreation (former NI8)

You can also examine the levels of people taking part in sport and active recreation, which also includes recreational walking and cycling.

In the most recent results, you can compare sport and active recreation levels in areas from Bolton (25.5%) to Wokingham (28.2%) and find out that West Somerset is one of the few areas where a higher proportion of women than men take part.

You can also compare activity levels in different age bands. In Darlington, for instance, 28.6% of those aged 35 to 54 take part in sport or active recreation at least three times a week. In Leicester, only 17.7% of this age group do so.

You can also access sport and active recreation figures relating to disability, social group and ethnicity.

See Sport England's 'What factors affect who plays sport?' section for more information.

How do people take part?

How strong is competitive sport in your local authority area? How many people belong to sports clubs, or receive sports coaching? And what proportion of the local community volunteer in sport?

The Active People Survey has the answers - at Region, County Sport Partnership and Local Authority level.

It also shows, for instance, the proportion of volunteers in County Sport Partnerships from the Black Country (6.3%) to Greater Warwickshire (15.9%) and that club membership is highest among participants in Oxfordshire (17.3%)

This data is published annually, rather than every six months, and the 2013/14 results are the latest factsheets available to download.

Latest News and Tweets

Sport England releases fresh insight into the volunteering habits of the nation

Sport England releases fresh insight into the volunteering habits of the nation

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:02

  • 6.7 million people (14.9% of the population) in England have volunteered at least twice in the last year to support sport and physical activity
  • Contrary to trends... Read More »
Sarah Tague Parents in Sport

Sarah Tague Parents in Sport

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:22

As a child I was always sporty and took part in various activities. When I was 14 I started playing football for my local women's team and I loved it. My Mum is... Read More »