Badminton, often celebrated as the fastest racket sport in the world, has captured the hearts of an estimated 220 million people who play the game regularly. This shuttlecock-driven pastime finds its most fervent followers stationed in Asia, specifically in China and South Korea, where the sport’s rich tapestry weaves through the fabric of their cultures. Unlike the intense contact of table tennis, badminton is a non-contact game played indoors, offering a blend of grace and agility that has become a popular sport in England and Denmark.

In these Asian hotspots, badminton is quite popular, overshadowing even basketball and table tennis in terms of local affection. The game is played with great enthusiasm, from the indoor courts of Jakarta to the bustling gymnasiums of Seoul. With a history that spans decades, the sport grew in popularity across these regions, making the badminton rackets and shuttlecocks as familiar as the local cuisine. Badminton’s popularity is evident in the number of people playing the game and in the pride of the nations that consistently secure Olympic badminton medals.

where is badminton most popular

The Global Landscape of Badminton Enthusiasm

Surprisingly, ranking as the second most played sport in the world, badminton’s appeal extends far beyond its Asian strongholds. The popularity of badminton can be attributed to several reasons: its health benefits as an aerobic sport, its status as an Olympic sport sanctioned by the Olympic Committee, and the accessibility that allows badminton players to enjoy the game worldwide. 

With badminton leagues flourishing and an estimated 220 million people playing badminton regularly, the sport enjoys a global presence that competes with other sports, even eclipsing basketball in some regions.Therefore, it’d be best to learn about thr countries where badminton is popular for it helps with cultural understanding and to give you global perspective. 

Asian Dominance in Badminton’s Popularity

Asian countries, with their unparalleled passion and skill, have long dominated the world stage of badminton. This dominance is not just in the number of people playing badminton but also in their consistent performance in international competitions. Here is the breakdown.


Indonesia’s love affair with badminton is deep-rooted and pervasive. From children playing badminton in alleys to professional players training on world-class courts, the sport is a national obsession. The popularity of badminton in Indonesia is reflected in the country’s impressive haul of Olympic medals and the establishment of robust badminton leagues that cultivate an ever-growing pool of talent.

The health benefits of the sport, combined with its status as an Olympic Games regular, bolsters its appeal among Indonesians. The badminton players here are not just athletes; they are national heroes who inspire the millions who take up badminton rackets, contributing to the estimated 220 million people who play badminton with fervour.


China’s influence in the realm of badminton is formidable. The country’s players are often among the top ranks, and its commitment to the sport is reflected in the extensive training and development programs. Badminton is a racquet sport played with intense focus and precision in China, contributing to the nation’s reputation as a powerhouse on the international scene.

The health benefits of badminton have not gone unnoticed in China, with the sport being promoted as an activity that enhances physical fitness and mental agility. This focus on well-being, alongside the pride of competing at the highest levels, including the Olympic Games, has ensured that badminton remains a sport deeply ingrained in Chinese society.


Malaysia’s badminton history is as rich as it is long-standing. The nation’s connection to the sport can be traced back to the colonial era. Since then, it has blossomed into a defining element of Malaysian culture. The popularity of badminton in Malaysia is evident in the widespread participation across all levels, from grassroots initiatives to professional competitions.

Badminton leagues and training camps are widespread, providing a solid foundation for nurturing talent. The country prides itself on its badminton traditions. It continues to contribute to the global narrative of the sport, with Malaysian players often ranking among the best in the world.

South Korea 

South Korea’s dedication to badminton is showcased by the presence of its players on the global badminton stage. The country has produced world-renowned players such as Lee Yong Dae and Son Wan Ho, who have become synonymous with sports excellence. South Korean players are known for their tactical acumen and rigorous training regimes, which have earned them Olympic medals and international acclaim.

The country’s investment in badminton is apparent in the state-of-the-art facilities and the strategic development of the sport at all levels. South Korea’s approach to badminton has made it a competitive player on the international circuit, with a legacy that inspires the next generation of athletes.


A commitment to excellence and innovation has marked Japan’s ascent in the badminton world. With a systematic approach to training and development, Japan has closed the gap between itself and the traditional Asian badminton powerhouses. The country’s players have made significant strides on the badminton stage, challenging the dominance of their regional neighbours.

Japanese badminton is characterized by a blend of technical prowess and strategic gameplay, traits that have propelled its players to the forefront of the sport. As a rising power in badminton, Japan continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, inspiring a new wave of players to aim for greatness.


In Thailand, badminton is more than just a sport; it’s a community affair. Across the nation, badminton courts are filled with enthusiasts of all ages, playing the game with infectious enthusiasm. This community spirit has fuelled badminton growth in Thailand, making it a beloved pastime and a competitive pursuit.

Thailand’s thriving badminton communities are supported by a network of clubs and leagues that foster talent and passion for the sport. With a focus on grassroots development and high-performance training, Thailand is nurturing a generation of players ready to take their place on the world stage.


Singapore, though small in size, has made significant strides in the world of badminton. The country’s strategic investment in the sport has paid dividends, with Singapore becoming a growing hub for badminton talent. With state-of-the-art facilities and a vision for excellence, Singapore is crafting a name for itself in the competitive arena of badminton.

 Singapore’s government and sports governing bodies have worked in unison to promote badminton as a critical sport for youth engagement and international competition. This concerted effort has seen a rise in participation and performance, cementing Singapore’s position as a rising star in the badminton community.

European Affinity Towards Badminton

Despite the Asian stronghold on badminton, Europe holds its ground with a strong affinity towards the shuttlecock game. Many countries are embracing this sport and if the trend continues, they may catch up with the Asian ones. Some of those countries are as follows: 


Denmark stands as a testament to European badminton prowess. As the most successful European badminton nation, Denmark boasts a history of producing world-class players who have competed at the highest levels. With its comprehensive approach to training and player development, the Danish badminton system has consistently fostered talent capable of challenging the Asian hegemony.

The sport’s popularity in Denmark is evident in the widespread participation and viewership, with badminton holding a revered place among the nation’s favoured pastimes. The Danish commitment to badminton extends from the grassroots to the elite, with the country’s players often being counted among the best in the world.


England holds a special place in badminton history as the country where the modern version of the sport was conceived. This legacy is carried forward today, with badminton remaining a popular sport in England, enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. The Badminton Association of England, established in the 19th century, has played a pivotal role in shaping the sport’s rules and structure, influencing its global trajectory.

The nation continues to contribute to the sport through hosting prestigious tournaments and nurturing homegrown talent. England’s historical significance in badminton is matched by its ongoing efforts to promote and develop the game, ensuring its relevance in the contemporary sporting world.


With its cool climate, Sweden might seem unlikely for badminton to flourish. Still, the sport has found a warm reception among the Nordic people. The country has invested in creating an environment conducive to nurturing badminton talent, with clubs and training facilities dotted across the landscape. Sweden’s approach to badminton focuses on inclusivity and development, aiming to elevate the sport within the national consciousness.

With initiatives to increase participation and competitive success, Sweden is steadily building a reputation as a nurturing ground for badminton. The country’s efforts are beginning to bear fruit, with Swedish players making their presence felt on the European badminton circuit and beyond.

where is badminton most popular

Beyond the Borders – Badminton in Other Nations

While Asia and Europe dominate badminton, other nations are not far behind. The sport’s accessibility and simplicity contribute to its rise in countries not traditionally associated with badminton. This global spread indicates a sport that transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, offering a common ground for players worldwide. Here are some countries that are catching up in terms of popularity.

A Global Snapshot of Emerging Badminton Communities


Badminton is gaining ground in Canada as a popular sport among recreational and competitive players. The country’s national organization, Badminton Canada, founded in 1927, has been pivotal in promoting the sport, organizing tournaments, and nurturing homegrown talent. This has led to increased participation at the grassroots level and a heightened interest in badminton as a competitive sport.

Canadian players are now more visible on the international circuit, representing their country with pride and contributing to the sport’s growth in North America. With dedicated facilities and programs designed to develop players from a young age, Canada is quickly becoming a country to watch in badminton.

New Zealand 

New Zealand may be better known for its rugby prowess. Still, badminton is swiftly making its mark in the Pacific nation. The sport has seen a surge in popularity, increasing participation at both junior and senior levels. Local clubs and national organizations are working tirelessly to promote badminton, making it accessible to a wider audience and encouraging competitive play.

The country has hosted international events, drawing attention to its growing badminton scene. As New Zealanders continue to embrace the sport, there is a strong sense that this rising shuttlecock in the Pacific will soon compete with the traditional badminton strongholds, showcasing the global appeal of this dynamic sport.


In summing up the global passion for badminton, it’s evident thatitn is most popular in several Asian nations where the game is more than just a pastime. It’s an integral part of the culture, often introduced at an elementary school level and nurtured through schools and colleges. The fervour for badminton extends to international tournaments, where countries like Indonesia, China, and Malaysia consistently showcase their prowess. In these places, badminton ranks high as a celebrated sport in the country, woven into the fabric of society.

While Asia might dominate the landscape of badminton’s popularity, the enthusiasm for the game is shared worldwide. Thai players like Ratchanok Intanon have become household names, exemplifying how individuals from various nations contribute to the sport’s international appeal. From being played in schools across Europe to catching the interest of countries like Canada and New Zealand, badminton continues to be a sport that unites people in enjoying its dynamic, competitive nature—a truly global game that offers fun and fitness for all.

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