The contribution of sport to economic growth and employment in Europe

By 25/01/2015 Sport Industry News

Today we are going to have a look at sport in a more scientific way. Based on two publications of the European Commission about sport as a driver of innovation and economic growth, we are trying to show you that sport is more than just a great leisure time activity.

European Gross Value Added

Due to the studies the sport sector accounts for 1,76% of the European Gross Value Added (GVA = Gross Domestic Product + subsidies – (direct, sales) taxes), that means that it contributes more to the economy than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined. Converted to € that is about 175 billion. If you also add all the sectors that are influenced by sport, the share of sports at the European GVA is 2,98 % or almost 300 billion Euro, which actually is a lot.

Sport jobs in Europe

When it comes to sport jobs, the labour market of sport related employment represents 2,12 % of the total employment in Europe, which are round about 4,5 million sport job employees.
The largest number of sport jobs can found in Germany, where 1.15 million positions (nearly 27% of all European sport jobs!) are sport jobs. The runner-up is the UK with more than 610,000 followed by France with more than 400,000 sport jobs.
The European Commission also states that the sport sector has proved to be especially resilient during economy crisis, which makes it even more important for the European economy and attractive to job seekers.

Sport Sectors

Analyzing the specific sectors and their contribution to the economy especially the sectors Tourism, Fitness & Media and Education stand out.
Austria, Germany, Italy and Sweden are the most important countries for active sports holidays and in North-Europe, in particular in Sweden and the Netherlands a large part of the demand for sport activities is satisfied by fitness clubs and other commercial sport suppliers. A fun fact is the role of the Media in the UK, where pay television for football matches is a significant economic activity, unlike in all other European countries. Education is an import part in all countries, but in Denmark, Estonia and Latvia the shares of sport education in sport-related gross value added are especially high.

Here is an overview about the importance of sport in all 27 European Countries:


So – do you need any more reasons to land a sport job in Europe? We guess not 🙂

Since this was only an itsy-bitsy overview of the results of the studies of the European Commission, you can find the complete studies online over here:

Study on the Contribution of Sport to Economic Growth and Employment in the EU


Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on sport as a driver of innovation and economic growth

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