The European Union (EU) created more than 1.37 million jobs in sports, 0.7 percent of its total employment, in 2021.
The number of people working in sports in the EU recovered after falling during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns (1.37 million in 2019; 1.31 million in 2020), according to the EU's statistical office Eurostat.
Employment in sports includes sports-related occupations (professional athletes, professional coaches in fitness centres), non-sports occupations (receptionists in fitness centres), and sports-related jobs outside the sports sector (school sports instructors).
In recent years, several European plans and programmes gave sports a significant profile.
The EU countries with the highest share of people working in sports were Sweden (1.4 percent of total employment), Finland (1.3 percent), Spain and France (1.1 percent).