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Worldwide demographic analysis of women’s football

Women’s football steadily grows and the process of professionalisation is continuing.

Although still comparatively less available than for men, data on the demographic profile of female players is now more accessible for women too.

The 96th Monthly Report of the CIES Football Observatory analyses the composition of 223 teams from 19 leagues around the world: 14 European and 5 non-European.

On average, the clubs studied played with footballers aged 25.2.

Northern European teams are the most focused on using young female footballers, while two non-European leagues are the oldest: Brasileiro Feminino and the NWLS in the USA.

The figures for today’s UEFA Champions League finalists are 27.2 years for Olympique Lyonnais and 25.9 years for Barcelona.

In terms of the main origins of expatriates, with 159 women footballers playing abroad in the leagues studied, the United States confirms its leadership in this field.

Canadians and Swedes are also migrating in large numbers (60 expatriates in both cases). The wide range of origins involved (97 nationalities) bears witness to the geographical expansion of women’s football.

Clubs in financially stronger leagues tend to rely on more experienced players, as well as on more footballers imported from abroad.

This is particularly the case for the English Women’s Super League, where the average age of players in the teams is 28.8 years, and where expatriates played 61.3% of the minutes.

Olympique Lyonnais are at 51.1% and Barcelona at 27.3%.

May the best team win!

>>> Full report

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group created in 2005 within the Swiss-based Centre International d’Étude du Sport (CIES). It specialises in the statistical analysis of football, in particular in the areas of demographics, transfer values and performance (technical, tactical, physical).

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About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel.

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CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport

Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone +41 32 718 39 00
Fax +41 32 718 39 01


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