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How Many Gamers Are There? (New 2022 Statistics)

by Josh Howarth
October 7, 2022

Gaming has quickly gone from a niche hobby into one of the biggest markets in the entertainment industry. In fact, the gaming market has a current valuation of $197.11 billion.

And numbers continue to grow with each passing year. By 2025, the gaming industry is set to be worth over $268 billion.

We’ll take a deep dive into the latest data on the number of people that consider themselves “gamers”.

Contents

  • Globally, there are approximately 3.09 billion active video game players.
  • By 2024, there are expected to be 3.32 billion gamers worldwide.
  • The US has over 3,000 esports players.
  • Asia is home to almost 1.5 billion gamers.
  • 55% of males are gamers.
  • 52% of gamers subscribe to at least one gaming service.

How Many Gamers Are There In 2022?

According to the latest data, there are approximately 3.09 billion active video gamers worldwide.

That figure has risen by over 1 billion in just seven years (that’s a 32% increase.)

And the number of gamers is expected to hit 3.32 billion by 2024.

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Here’s a full breakdown of global active gamers over time:

Year Number of Gamers Increase Over Previous Year Increase Over Previous Year (%)
2015 2.03 billion - -
2016 2.17 billion 140 million ↑ 6.9%
2017 2.33 billion 160 million ↑ 7.37%
2018 2.49 billion 160 million ↑ 6.87%
2019 2.64 billion 150 million ↑ 6.02%
2020 2.81 billion 170 million ↑ 6.44%
2021 2.96 billion 150 million ↑ 5.34%
2022 3.09 billion 130 million ↑ 4.39%
2023 3.22 billion 130 million ↑ 4.21%
2024 3.32 billion 100 million ↑ 3.11%

The video game market is worth an estimated $197.11 billion. And esports players are increasingly contributing to that figure.

The latest data shows that the US has over 3x more active esports competition players than any other nation. This is perhaps no surprise, given that the US video games industry alone is worth an estimated $90 billion.

In fact, the US has a similar number of active esports players (3,629), as the rest of the top five nations combined (3,758).

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Here’s a detailed look at active esports competition players by country:

Country Esports Players
US 3,629
China 1,004
Russia 938
France 915
Germany 901
Brazil 889
South Korea 883
UK 710
Canada 603
Japan 594
Poland 499
Australia 499
Thailand 370
Sweden 363
Ukraine 302
Denmark 299
Finland 270
Philippines 259
Taiwan 204
Malaysia 169

Sources: VentureBeat, Juniper Research, IBISWorld, eSportsEarnings

Gamers By Region

Asia has more than 2x more gamers than any other region (1.48 billion). In fact, Asia has more active gamers than Europe, Latin America, and North America combined (1.42 billion).

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Here’s a closer look at the regional breakdown:

Region Number of Gamers
Asia 1.48 billion
Europe 715 million
Latin America 420 million
North America 285 million
MENA 168 million
Sub-Sahara African 144 million
Oceania 32 million

By nation, Japan and the UK have the joint-highest video game user penetration rate (58%).

As of 2027, the UK is expected to be the frontrunner with 70% of the population playing video games.

Here’s a look at the top five biggest gaming nations by user penetration:

Country 2017 2022 2027
Japan 53% 58% 67%
UK 50% 58% 70%
Sweden 47% 51% 64%
South Korea 45% 57% 64%
France 43% - -
Mexico - 53% -
Nigeria - - 63%

Sources: DFC Intelligence, Statista

Gamer Demographics

The majority of gamers in the US are male (55%).

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In terms of raw numbers, there are approximately 1.7 billion male gamers. And 1.39 billion female gamers worldwide.

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Here’s how the distribution of gamers by gender has varied in the US each year since 2006:

Year Male Gamers Female Gamers
2006 62% 38%
2007 62% 38%
2008 60% 40%
2009 60% 40%
2010 60% 40%
2011 58% 42%
2012 53% 47%
2013 55% 45%
2014 52% 48%
2015 56% 44%
2016 59% 41%
2017 59% 41%
2018 55% 45%
2019 54% 46%
2020 59% 41%
2021 55% 45%

According to the latest data, 4 in 5 (80%) gamers are over 18. That accounts for 2.47 billion adult gamers. And 618 million under 18 gamers.

Here’s a more detailed look at gamers by age in the US:

Age Group Proportion Number of Gamers
Under 18s 20% 618 million
18-34 years 38% 1.17 billion
35-44 years 14% 433 million
45-54 years 12% 371 million
55-64 years 9% 278 million
65+ years 7% 216 million

Sources: Theesa, Ipsos, Ipsos

Gamer Subscriptions

According to US gaming statistics, 52% of gamers subscribe to at least one gaming service. That accounts for around 1.61 billion gamers globally.

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Console gamers (74%) are more likely to subscribe to a gaming service than PC gamers (66%) in the US. Extrapolating the data, 2.29 billion console gamers will likely subscribe to a gaming service. While 2.04 billion PC gamers are likely to do the same.

Looking specifically at subscription services, the latest available data shows that there are approximately 100 million Xbox Live users worldwide.

This figure has more than doubled from just 39 million at the start of 2016.

While major competitor Sony has accrued just shy of 50 million (47.3 million) PlayStation Plus subscribers as of June 2022.

That figure has also grown by over 2x since 2016 (20.8 million).

Sources: Morning Consult, Microsoft, Sony

Gamer Preferences

Two-thirds of gamers (66%) agree that relaxation is the most popular reason for playing video games in the US. Globally, that would account for 2.04 billion people playing video games to unwind.

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Here are the top six reasons given for playing video games as of February 2021:

Reason Share of Respondents Number of Gamers (Global)
Unwind, relax, and decompress 66% 2.04 billion
Fill time while taking a break, waiting or commuting 52% 1.61 billion
Escape and be highly entertained 51% 1.58 billion
Spend time by myself 48% 1.48 billion
Solve a problem, use my brain and think logically 37% 1.14 billion
Be comforted by something familiar 32% 0.99 billion

The most popular video games in the US are casual games with 63% of people claiming to play these regularly. This is followed by action games (39%) and shooter games (39%).

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Here’s how these figures translate to gamers on a global scale:

Type of Game Share of Respondents Number of Gamers (Global)
Casual games 63% 1.95 billion
Action games 39% 1.21 billion
Shooter games 39% 1.21 billion
Racing games 37% 1.14 billion
Family games 33% 1.02 billion
Adventure games 31% 0.96 billion

Sources: Ipsos, Ipsos

Conclusion

The number of active gamers continues to grow year-over-year.

Gaming has become a multi-billion dollar market that caters to virtually every type of gamer imaginable.

And the industry shows no signs of declining.