Annual IIHF survey shows growth of hockey worldwide

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Hockey is growing world wide according to the IIHF's annual survey of players. Canada and the United States lead the way in most categories, but there are some surprising facts in the data as well.

Ice hockey is growing worldwide according to the International Ice Hockey Federation's annual survey of players.

The IIHF published the results of their 2013 survey on Friday, pointing out that worldwide, the total number of hockey players from 2012 to 2013 has increased 2.47 percent. 1.64 million people in the world play organized hockey.

As you'd expect, Canada leads the world with a total of 625,152 registered ice hockey players. They lead in nearly every other category surveyed, too: players under 20, female players, number of officials and total number of rinks both indoor and outdoor. The one category Canada doesn't have the worldwide advantage is among senior players (those over 20 years old), where the United States holds the edge.

South Korea, which will host the 2018 Winter Olympics, saw a 28.73 percent growth in their total number of registered players according to the IIHF, and of their 2,106 players, 1,796 are under the age of 20.

The IIHF has a full breakdown of the numbers at their site. You can also play around with the data in our chart below, which you can sort by simply clicking any category. Here are some of the quirkier stats we found:

* One nation in the world has more female players than male players: North Korea. The DPRK has nearly as many female players as Russia, 515 to 562. Russia has 66,551 male players, though.

* Japan has more outdoor ice rinks than Finland. They have more than every country besides Canada, Russia and Sweden, actually.

* The USA and Canada have played head-to-head in every single gold medal game in Women's World Championship history, and that's not surprising: Combined, the two nations have 152,930 female players. The rest of the world combined? 26,442.

* Morocco, Malaysia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Andorra, Israel, and Thailand all have female players in organized hockey, but none of those nations have enough female players to ice a standard 20-to-23-woman team.

* 63,156 of Russia's 66,551 total players are under the age of 20. A lot of them are learning hockey on outdoor sheets of ice, too. The country has more than 2,000 outdoor rinks (second only to Canada) and just 386 indoor rinks.

* There are more female hockey referees (one) in Lithuania than there are female players (zero).

* Should the Czechs be worried? Only 23,209 of their 105,242 male players are under the age of 20, a percentage lowest among leading hockey nations.

Which other interesting facts can you pull out of the data below? All numbers via the IIHF.


Registered Players Officials Rinks
Nation Total Senior U20 Female Male Female Indoor Outdoor Population
Canada 625,152 91,379 446,543 87,230 31,804 1,484 2,631 5,000 34,568,211
United States 510,279 137,766 306,813 65,700 23,056 1,247 1,898 85 316,668,567
Czech Republic 107,722 82,003 23,209 2,510 4,333 206 158 23 10,162,921
Finland 66,636 24,778 37,071 4,787 1,700 50 259 15 5,266,114
Russia 66,551 2,833 63,156 562 1,156 13 386 2,064 142,500,482
Sweden 64,214 13,060 47,968 3,186 3,169 81 352 139 9,119,423
Germany 34,256 9,586 21,556 3,114 192 17 201 45 81,147,265
Switzerland 26,466 11,476 14,082 908 1,021 40 158 29 7,996,026
France 18,041 6,763 10,022 1,256 99 7 124 5 65,951,611
Japan 15,474 7,746 5,620 2,108 820 68 110 120 127,253,075
Austria 11,372 5,867 4,853 652 413 22 45 72 8,221,646
Slovakia 9,230 2,025 6,754 451 511 16 60 17 5,488,339
Belarus 7,255 3,219 3,977 59 127 0 30 3 9,625,888
Italy 6,909 2,002 4,502 405 156 6 45 24 61,482,297
Norway 6,899 2,284 3,972 643 199 17 44 2 4,722,701
Great Britain 6,798 2,289 3,815 694 292 27 84 0 63,395,574
Latvia 4,569 2,851 1,636 82 161 22 17 0 2,178,443
Ukraine 4,367 591 3,764 12 77 0 25 7 44,573,205
Kazakhstan 4,324 444 3,773 107 46 7 18 81 17,736,896
Denmark 4,198 1,627 2,165 406 102 4 25 0 5,556,452
Hungary 3,913 209 3,216 488 86 5 18 18 9,939,470
Australia 3,658 2,203 1,067 388 375 29 20 0 22,262,501
Netherlands 2,888 1,465 1,194 229 45 5 26 2 16,805,037
Poland 2,575 713 1,494 368 76 3 35 6 38,383,809
Mexico 2,345 390 1,597 358 18 2 23 0 116,220,947
South Korea 2,106 120 1,796 190 62 11 43 4 48,955,203
North Korea 1,575 640 420 515 20 0 3 12 24,720,407
Estonia 1,341 568 700 73 23 1 7 6 1,266,375
Hong Kong 1,337 597 661 79 9 0 4 0 7,182,724
New Zealand 1,277 665 428 184 50 10 6 3 4,365,113
Romania 1,188 156 947 85 52 5 6 15 21,790,479
Lithuania 1,073 464 609 0 33 1 8 4 3,515,858
Belgium 1,032 255 732 45 38 3 18 1 10,444,268
Mongolia 976 460 516 0 8 0 0 13 3,226,516
India 910 300 345 265 10 0 3 12 1,220,800,359
Slovenia 886 148 687 51 37 1 7 0 1,992,690
Spain 854 236 530 88 30 1 18 0 47,370,542
Turkey 790 310 320 160 80 30 8 3 80,694,485
Greece 713 463 153 97 4 2 0 0 10,772,967
Israel 653 270 374 9 5 0 2 0 7,707,042
Serbia 652 192 449 11 24 2 3 1 7,243,007
Iceland 611 62 445 104 18 3 3 0 315,281
China 610 118 308 184 63 32 58 43 1,349,585,838
Croatia 552 99 402 51 14 1 2 4 4,475,611
Chinese Taipei 546 65 439 42 35 4 4 0 23,299,716
Bulgaria 488 61 378 49 30 1 3 5 6,981,642
South Africa 483 159 257 67 8 2 5 0 48,601,098
Singapore 434 308 95 31 20 1 1 0 5,460,302
Luxembourg 392 130 235 27 26 8 3 1 514,862
United Arab Emirates 371 118 186 67 12 0 4 0 5,473,972
Kuwait 340 89 179 72 1 1 2 0 2,695,316
Georgia 335 80 255 0 4 0 3 1 4,555,911
Kyrgyzstan 330 228 102 0 6 0 1 4 5,548,042
Ireland 297 189 70 38 14 4 0 0 4,775,982
Malaysia 230 118 97 15 1 0 1 0 29,628,392
Bosnia & Herzegovina 203 58 135 10 6 0 2 0 3,875,723
Morocco 156 82 56 18 3 0 2 0 32,649,130
Thailand 145 53 83 9 15 3 11 0 67,448,120
Macau 137 48 61 28 8 0 1 0 583,003
FYR Macedonia 126 79 47 0 0 0 1 4 2,087,171
Liechtenstein 87 65 22 0 0 0 0 0 37,009
Andorra 56 23 24 9 0 0 1 0 85,293

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