Free To Choose Network | Sweden: Lessons for America?
Sweden: Lessons for America?

The 5 Most Popular Sports for Each Nation

A Comparison

FOOTBALL (AMERICAN) FOOTBALL (SOCCER)
Football in the United States is far and away the most popular televised sport in the country, but remains mostly a spectator sport. While European Football (Soccer) is also the most televised sport in Sweden, a larger percentage of the population actually play the sport at some level.
ICE HOCKEY ICE HOCKEY
Ice hockey remains popular in the U.S., but more so in specific regions of the country, than nationwide. Ice hockey is the second most popular sport in Sweden, and has produced many popular spinoffs of the sport, like Bandy and Para (or Sledge) ice hockey played on sleds.
BASKETBALL BASKETBALL
Basketball in the U.S. is as popular as ever and has recently become the second most watched sport in the country. It also remains a highly popular sport for amateur athletes. Basketball is the only American sport to have gained much traction within Swedish culture, with the Basketligan league becoming the country’s most popular league.
BASEBALL WINTER SPORTS
Although baseball is America’s oldest sport, it has been slipping in popularity for years and is now the 3rd most popular sport in the country. It has not translated to Swedish audiences. Due to its location, interest in Winter sports remains high. The country finished 6th in medal counts during the 2018 Winter Olympics. All schools in the country close for 1 week in February to allow families to travel and ski.
SOCCER RUGBY
Soccer has slowly begun to gain popularity in America, with 7% percent of adults saying it is their favorite sport. Youth participation also remains high. Comparable to soccer in the U.S., Rugby is a sport that is popular with some, but on the rise. The national team, once unranked, now sits towards the middle of the international rankings.
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