Is football’s (soccer’s) popularity in the US increasing?

How is soccer trending in the United States? Anecdotally, it seems like the World Cup is generating a lot more interest here this year than it did when it was hosted here twenty years back.

1 Answer

According to Google Trends there has not been a significant increase in popularity over time, although the world cup certainly generates unusually high interest (search term “soccer”; graphs limited to US region):

US Soccer trend

Here is the same trend compared with basketball (search term “soccer” in blue, “basketball” in red):

US Soccer vs. Basketball trend

Basketball has increased in popularity over the years, while soccer has remained mostly stagnant.

Searches for “MLS” (Major League Soccer) actually show decreasing interest in professional soccer:

US MLS Interest Decreasing

For comparison, “NFL” (blue) and “NBA” (red) have had a strong increase in recent years:

US Searches NFL and NBA

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