Where Is Badminton Most Popular?

Where Is Badminton Most Popular

Badminton is a sport many people in the United States play for fun at family gatherings in the summer or in gym class during the school year. Around the world, however, badminton is quite popular. In fact, by some measures, it is the second most popular sport in the world, just behind soccer. Below, ten countries where badminton is popular are ranked and discussed.

The 10 countries below are listed in order of badminton’s popularity within them.

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. Malaysia
  4. Indonesia
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Denmark
  7. Sweden
  8. Singapore
  9. Thailand
  10. Japan


China is the country where badminton is most popular. People across the country of all ages enjoy the game, from kids in elementary school to adults playing professionally and everyone in between. China has had great success on the international badminton stage. China has won 47 total medals in the sport between the five badminton events. The 47 medals that they have won are the most out of any nation, 20 of which are gold, 12 silver, and 15 bronze. In terms of sports overall in China, badminton ranks as the third most popular sport, behind only table tennis and basketball

South Korea

The next country on the badminton popularity list is South Korea. Like China, badminton is popular with people of all ages and demographics throughout the country due to its easy-to-play nature and accessibility. While not quite as much as China, South Korea has still had great success on the international badminton stage over the years. Some of the top players in the world, including Son Wan Ho and Lee Yong Dae, have come out of South Korea, and Shonh Seung Mo won the country's first Olympic medal in the sport. 

Overall, while not experiencing the same amount of success as China, South Korea has managed to win 20 Olympic medals in badminton. This success has been particularly attractive to young citizens in South Korea, as those aged 13-18 play the sport at the highest rate. According to recent studies, 27% of South Koreans who said they play badminton regularly were in this age range, followed by 14% in the 19-29 range and 13% in the 30-39 range.

Other Countries

The countries that round out the top 10 are Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. Clearly, badminton is quite popular in Asian countries, as seven of the top 10 nations are in Asia. That being said, there is still some European interest in badminton, with the fifth, sixth, and seventh-ranked nations located on the European continent.

Some of the same factors that were mentioned above for China and South Korea are true for nations around the world. The simple skills required to play badminton and the lack of equipment needed both allow badminton to be played by individuals and pairs across the globe. Overall, while simplistic in nature, badminton has millions of fans around the world, and its popularity is only growing in many places.