Pickleball Statistics: How Pickleball Became the Fastest 2024


Pickleball has become the fastest-growing sport in America. For three consecutive years, pickleball remains one of the most played sports in the US. This paddle sport is a blend of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. 

There are several reasons for its worldwide popularity. It is a fun and easy-to-play sport and is easily accessible as well. But today we are about to discuss some pickleball statistics, exploring its meteoric rise, player demographics, industry growth, and future projections.

The Rise of a Paddle Powerhouse: Player Numbers and Growth Pickleball Statistics

According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) in 2022, an estimated 36.5 million people in the US have picked up a paddle. But the numbers have increased dramatically in 2024. This figure showcases a staggering growth trajectory. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) reports an average growth of 223.5% over the last three years. Let’s break down this growth further:

  • 2017: 3.13 million players
  • 2018: 3.3 million players (5.4% growth)
  • 2019: 3.46 million players (4.8% growth)
  • 2020: 4.2 million players (21.4% growth) – A significant jump, possibly due to the pandemic and increased focus on outdoor activities.
  • 2021: 4.82 million players (14.8% growth)
  • 2022: A massive leap to 8.9 million players (85.7% growth)
  • 2023: 13.6 million players (70% growth) 

While 2024 statistics aren’t yet finalized, considering the consistent growth pattern, we can expect the number of players to be well above 15 million in the US alone.

Demographics of Pickleball Players

Pickleball isn’t just for retirees anymore. APP research reveals a surprising shift in player demographics:

  • Pickleball Age Groups: Normally, pickleball was considered a sport for the older generation. However, the average age of pickleball players (playing at least once a month) is now a surprising 34.8 years old.
  • Millennials and Gen Z Take the Court: Over 70% of players fall between 18 and 44. And there’s a significant chunk of players (40%) that falls between 25 and 34. This younger demographic shows a long-lasting player base for the future.
  • Gender Parity: While participation is still slightly higher among men, the gap is narrowing. Women are actively taking part in the sport. This makes pickleball a truly inclusive activity.

These statistics show that pickleball has a very diverse range of players enjoying the sport. You get to see people of all ages enjoying the sport. 

Industry Growth and Opportunities

The number of pickleball players has been increasing day by day. So, the pickleball industry has been witnessing massive growth in the past couple of years. Here are some key statistics showcasing this trend:

Court Construction: 

The number of pickleball courts in the US is skyrocketing. There are currently 13,969 courts in the US alone. Communities are actively building new courts. Moreover, the existing tennis courts are also being converted to pickleball courts to accommodate the growing demand.

Pickleball Courts by States in the US: 

California has the most pickleball places in the US with 1,048 locations. Florida is close with 1,071 places to play, and Texas comes third with 755 locations.

Equipment Sales: 

Pickleball paddle and equipment sales are booming. Leading sporting goods manufacturers are expanding their pickleball offerings to cater to the growing market.

Tournament Surge: 

Professional pickleball tournaments are attracting larger audiences and sponsorships. Prize money is also increasing, attracting top-tier athletes and further fueling the sport’s professionalization. 

In 2023, there were 47 big pickleball tournaments in the US hosted by Major League Pickleball (MLP), the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), and the American Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP). The total prize money for these tournaments was about $9-11 million.

Officiating Growth: 

USA Pickleball, the governing body, reported a 20.2% increase in credentialed referees at the beginning of 2024, signifying a focus on maintaining professionalism and fair play.

Media Attention: 

Pickleball is getting increased media coverage, with dedicated channels and programs showcasing the sport and its rising stars.

The pickleball paddle market size is estimated at $152.8 million in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at 7.7% CAGR through 2028. This industry growth creates a ripple effect, generating new jobs, boosting local economies, and fueling increased interest in the sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pickleball the fastest-growing sport in the US?

Based on the reported growth rates and increasing player numbers, pickleball does hold the title of the fastest-growing sport in the US. The SFIA’s 223.5% average growth over the last three years is a strong indicator of its increasing popularity. 

Why is pickleball so popular?

Easy to Learn, Fun to Play: Pickleball has a relatively low barrier to entry. The rules are simple to understand, making it accessible for people of all ages and athletic abilities.
Social and Competitive: Pickleball can be enjoyed casually with friends or competitively in tournaments. This versatility caters to diverse interests.
Health Benefits: Pickleball offers a fantastic low-impact workout, promoting cardiovascular health, improving hand-eye coordination, and increasing flexibility. It’s a great way to stay active and have fun simultaneously.

What is the future of pickleball?

Continued Growth: With a strong player base across demographics and increasing accessibility, the sport’s popularity is likely to keep rising.
Professionalization: We can expect to see more professional tournaments, higher prize money, and the emergence of pickleball superstars attracting even more attention.
Global Expansion: Pickleball’s appeal isn’t limited to the US. The sport is gaining traction in other countries like Canada, Europe, and Asia. We might see international competitions becoming more prominent.
Technological Advancements: New technologies like interactive courts, data analytics for players, and improved equipment are likely to enhance the playing experience.


Overall, pickleball is a rapidly growing sport in the US. The rise in popularity of this sport can be attributed to many factors. The statistics too clearly show how its popularity has been increasing day after day. Pickleball’s growth statistics suggest it will continue to capture hearts and paddles for years to come. 

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