Which U.S. States Are The Most Interested in Soccer?

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The United States is all set to host the 2026 World Cup, and the anticipation has sent soccer’s pulse soaring to new heights in the heart of America. 

This sudden increase in popularity has further been fueled by the soccer legend Lionel Messi’s MLS debut with Inter Miami CF, setting the backdrop for our latest study, featuring which states are most captivated by the sport.

Using Google search data for soccer-related terms and U.S. Census Bureau population statistics, we’ve tapped into America’s growing fascination with soccer.

Our rankings reveal New Jersey as the leaderboard topper with the most per capita soccer interest, closely followed by other soccer-enthusiastic states like California and Florida.

Also, populous states such as Texas and New York featured in the top 10 rankings, suggesting a widespread appeal of soccer in areas with larger populations.

The insights led to a deeper analysis of state-wise soccer enthusiasm, featuring regions with the highest and lowest soccer popularity.

Key Findings

  • A massive search volume of 4.12 million across the U.S. with a set of chosen keywords underscores a strong, nationwide enthusiasm for the sport.
  • New Jersey ranks 1st in soccer interest among U.S. states with 1,878.2 monthly searches per 100,000 residents, followed by California at 1,791.6.
  • Despite Messi’s high-profile move to Inter Miami, Florida still ranks 3rd in the nation with 1,757.1 searches per 100K residents, suggesting broader interest in the sport.
  • West Virginia (383.6/100k), Montana (384.9/100k), and Mississippi (401.4/100k) sit at the bottom, indicating the least per capita interest in soccer among all states.
  • The top ranks are dominated by populous states- California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Their high search interest in soccer echoes a clear trend: bigger populations have the highest interest.

Ranking States by Soccer Interest per 100K Residents (Infographic)

states most interested in soccer

Ranking States By Soccer Interest Per 100K Residents (Table) 

10 U.S. States With The Highest Interest in Soccer in 2024

10 U.S. States With The Highest Interest in Soccer in 2024

1. New Jersey

New Jersey, ranked #1 in the U.S. for soccer interest with 1,878 searches per 100,000 people, shows its huge love for the game. This passion is clear from the over 174,500 monthly searches by its 9.3 million residents. This strong soccer culture makes New Jersey a great host for the 2026 World Cup at MetLife Stadium. The state’s top ranking in soccer enthusiasm promises an exciting atmosphere for the global event.

2. California

California’s love for soccer is evident, ranking second with an impressive 1,791 searches per 100,000 individuals. With its population of 39.0 million, the Golden State racked up an immense 698,100 soccer-related searches monthly as they gear up to host the World Cup at two locations: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. 

3. Florida

Florida is gearing up to shine as a host for the 2026 World Cup, solidifying its reputation as a haven for soccer fans. Ranking third among states, Florida, with its 22.6 million population and total of 397,300 soccer-related searches per month, sees 1,757 searches per 100,000 people. The arrival of the legendary Lionel Messi to play for Inter Miami CF in MLS has undoubtedly played a crucial role in boosting the state’s soccer fervor.

4. Maryland

Affirming the state’s robust soccer engagement, Maryland demonstrated a strong interest spread across 6.2 million residents, contributing to 99,700 monthly searches, ranking fourth at 1,613 searches per 100,000 inhabitants.

5. Texas

Texas, with its robust soccer spirit, is poised to host the World Cup 2026 at two iconic venues in Dallas and Houston. Rightfully claiming the fifth position, the state sees 1,569 searches per 100,000 residents, reflecting a passionate engagement with the sport. This translates into 478,600 monthly searches among its 30.5 million residents.

6. Massachusetts

Massachusetts, at sixth spot, is all set to serve as one of the hosting states for the World Cup 2026. The state’s enthusiasm for soccer is commendable, with 1,521 searches per 100,000 people. With 7.0 million residents, Massachusetts showcases its passion through 106,500 monthly searches, highlighting a vibrant soccer community.

7. New York

The Empire State, New York, ranks seventh with 1,469 soccer searches per 100,000 residents. With a population of 19.6 million, this translates to 287,600 monthly searches, illustrating New Yorkers’ strong interest in the sport.

8. Virginia

Virginia’s enthusiasm ranks eighth, with 1,458 searches per 100,000 people. This interest is significant in a state of 8.7 million, resulting in 127,100 monthly soccer-related searches, showcasing Virginia’s growing soccer culture.

9. Illinois

In ninth place, Illinois shows a solid soccer following with 1,417 searches per 100,000 residents. This interest manifests in 177,900 monthly searches among its 12.5 million inhabitants, reflecting a state deeply engaged with the sport.

10. Nevada

Nevada, ranking tenth in soccer interest, showcases a growing passion for the sport with 48,000 monthly searches among its 3.2 million residents, translating to 1,503 searches per 100,000 people. 

Despite its renown for entertainment and gaming, Nevada’s interest in soccer highlights the diverse range of interests among its population, adding to the vibrant cultural landscape of the state.

10 U.S. States With The Least Interest in Soccer in 2024

10 U.S. States With The Least Interest in Soccer

1. Montana

Montana may be more known for its open skies, but soccer has yet to find a place here. Ranking at the bottom, the state sees about 4,840 searches per month, leading to 427 searches per 100,000 people among its 1.1 million residents. It’s a small start, but definitely a start.

1. West Virginia

Soccer interest in West Virginia is the second lowest in all of America. With 7,670 searches per month, it’s clear that the state’s 1.8 million residents are slowly embracing the sport, with 433 searches per 100,000 people.

3. Mississippi

In Mississippi, soccer is gaining some ground, comparatively. With 13,100 searches per month, the state’s 2.9 million population contributes to 446 searches per 100,000 people, showing a budding interest in the sport.

4. Alabama

Alabama’s soccer interest is on the rise. Ranking with 24,860 searches per month, translating into 487 searches per 100,000 residents in a state of 5.1 million people, indicating a growing soccer culture.

5. Wyoming

This least dense state of the U.S., Wyoming is slowly catching up to the soccer craze. With just 3,050 monthly searches and 522 searches per 100,000 residents, the state ranked as the 6th least interested in soccer.

6. South Dakota

With 4,830 searches per month, the state’s 0.9 million people contribute to 525 searches per 100,000 residents, showing that soccer has its fans here, too. South Dakota’s soccer interest might be modest, but it’s there.

7. Alaska

In Alaska, soccer is catching on with 3,870 searches per month, much like the awe-inspiring northern lights. A total of 528 searches per 100,000 residents with a population of 0.7 million indicates low-interest trends.

8. Arkansas

Arkansas is gradually warming up to soccer. With 17,780 searches per month, this interest adds to 580 searches per 100,000 people among its 3.1 million residents, showing a cozy, growing soccer community.

9. North Dakota

Soccer interest in North Dakota is sprouting, much like the state’s wide-open fields. With 4,620 searches per month, the state’s 0.8 million people contribute to 589 searches per 100,000 residents, a small but growing number.

10. Louisiana

Soccer interest in Louisiana is slowly catching up. As the 10th least interested state, 29,820 searches per month are contributed by 4.6 million people, resulting in 652 searches per 100,000 residents.


To gauge the enthusiasm for soccer in all 50 U.S. state, we employed a comprehensive two-step methodology:

Google Search Data Collection:

  • We selected a range of search terms specifically associated with soccer, encompassing popular keywords related to the sport.
  • Using SEMrush, we determined each state’s total monthly search volume for these soccer-related keywords.

Combining Search Data with Population Statistics:

  • We sourced the most recent population figures for every state from the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • To create a standard measure of comparison, we calculated the number of searches per 100,000 residents. This involved dividing each state’s search volume by population and multiplying by 100,000, resulting in a uniform metric.

Data Analysis:

  • By merging the search data with population statistics, we could rank the states based on their per capita interest in soccer. States showing higher search frequencies per 100,000 residents were interpreted as having a greater interest in the sport.
  • This approach, considering both the volume of searches and the size of the population, provided insightful perspectives on which states demonstrated the most substantial enthusiasm for soccer.

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