SWIMMING and soccer have topped the list of most popular sports played by Australian children.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the results of its Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey, which collected information on participation in sport, cultural activities and use of technology for children aged between 5-14.
And the popularity of the round-ball game was again evident among boys, with almost a quarter (22%) playing the sport.
Swimming proved the most popular sport among girls, with almost one in five (19%) participating.
Paul Pamment, ABS assistant director of the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics, said the survey also showed more boys participated in sport than girls.
The survey showed that 1.7 million Australian kids (60%) participated in at least one organised sport outside of school hours in the 12 months to April.
"Children aged between nine and 11 years were the most active, with two thirds participating in at least one organised sport.
"More boys participated in sport than girls, with two thirds of boys (66%) involved in at least one organised sport compared with just over half of all girls (54%)."
The highest participation rate among the states and territories was in the ACT where 73% of children participated in organised sport.
Queensland had the second lowest, with 56%, only marginally ahead of the Northern Territory.
About 60% of New South Wales children participated in organised sport.
On average, children spent five hours in the last school fortnight playing and training in organised sport outside of school hours.
TOP CHILDREN'S SPORTS
- Swimming (17.7%)
- Soccer (14.3%)
- Australian rules football (8.1%)
- Netball (8%)
- Basketball (7.9%)
- Tennis (7.4%)
- Martial arts (5.8%)
- Gymnastics (4.8%)
- Cricket (4.7%)
- Rugby league (3.9%)
- Rugby union (2.1%)
*Taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey. Participation rates are total for boys and girls.
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