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Gamer Demographics: Facts and Stats About the Most Popular Hobby in the World

Bojan Jovanovic Image
Updated:

May 06,2022

When you think about the word “gamer,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? It’s probably one of the stereotypes about gamers the media has been using to depict this particular demographic, right? Although some still imagine them like that, long gone are the times of the archetypal pimply teen sitting in his parents’ basement. Gaming has become a mainstream form of entertainment, and a big business; in turn, gamers are a new demographic, one that’s more diverse than ever.

To help fight the stereotype, today, we will be looking at the current state of the gaming world. We’ll go over statistics, recent studies, and some fun facts to showcase just how vast the gamer group really is. And as they say, GL HF.

Key Gamer Demographics
There are 3.24 billion gamers across the world.
The average gamer is 35 years old.
50% of Europeans play video games.
Over 1.7 billion people are PC gamers.
46% of American gamers are female.
Asia is the biggest gaming market, with 1.48 billion video game players.

Statistics and Facts About Gaming Demographics

There are 3.24 billion gamers in the world today.

(Statista)

Video games have grown so much recently, both as a hobby and industry. Right now, the music and movie industry put together earn less than video game companies. However, for the people playing, it’s not just about the money. Video games help bring people together and, thanks to smartphones and the lower entry price for some consoles, anyone can become a gamer. As a result, the number of people who spend their free time playing video games is rapidly increasing.

The average age of a video game player is 35.

(GameSparks)

Another stereotype-defying fact is that the majority of gamers aren’t kids. In fact, the average age of gamers has been shifting upwards in recent years, as more people who grew up playing video games became game-loving adults. All the Nintendo and Sega kids are now in their 30s and 40s; the crowd that witnessed the rise of arcades is still gaming to this day, too.

Asia is the biggest gaming market, with 1.48 billion players.

(Statista, Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

It should come as no surprise that Asian countries have the most gamers globally. After all, many gaming companies hail from this continent, as does most of the world’s population. However, the percentage of gamers is smaller than in Europe, for example, where practically half the population between the ages of six and 60 play games.

Over 666 million people in China play video games.

(Statista)

China is, undoubtedly, the biggest market in the world when it comes to video games, having doubled in size between 2010 and 2020. Online gaming is massive in this country, with 532 million people saying that they play online games or engage in online multiplayer gaming in some way.

Globally, the male-to-female gamer ratio is close to 50:50.

(Wikipedia)

Just like how gamer demographics testify to the datedness of the idea that games are just for kids, they do the same thing for gender norms. In fact, there are nearly as many female gamers as there are male in the world. The exact ratio differs between countries: Some locations, like France, have more female gamers, while in Canada, it’s almost a perfect split.

Statistics and Demographics for Gamers in the US

More than 214 million Americans play video games.

(Entertainment Software Association)

Gaming has always been big in the US and has kept its place as one of the nation's favorite pastimes. Out of 214.4 million gamers, 51.1 million are children, while 163.3 million are adults.

People aged 18 to 34 make up 38% of the US gaming population.

(Statista)

The majority of gamers in the United States are adults, and only 21% of them are under 18 years old. Among the adult crowd, people between the ages of 18 and 34 make up the majority. Still, senior gamers are a significant demographic, too: 15% of American gamers are older than 55.

45% of American gamers are female.

(Statista)

Just like the gamers’ demographic characteristics have shifted over the years regarding average age, gaming has also moved away from being a  predominantly male hobby. Nowadays, there are nearly as many female gamers as male gamers, although it’s still not a 50:50 split. 

In 2014, the ratio came closest to that (52% men and 48% women), but after the year-long Gamergate harassment campaign against women in gaming was launched by a subset of male gamers, the percentage of women in gaming dropped. They were discouraged by the hate prominent women gamers were receiving, and this imbalance has only recently begun remedying itself.

Nearly 10% of the American gaming population plays video games for 20 or more hours per week.

(Statista)

In a 2021 survey, 9.8% of American gamers said they tend to game for 20 or more hours per week. On the opposite side of the spectrum, only 7.6% of surveyed gamers said they devote less than an hour per week to video games.

There is at least one gamer in 75% of American households.

(Entertainment Software Association)

As we can see, video games are a very popular hobby in the US. The statistics on gamers reveal that in three out of four families in the country, you’ll find a person who plays video games, be it on their smartphone, console, or PC.

46 million US residents who play video games have some sort of disability.

(Entertainment Software Association)

Accessibility in video games has become a big talking point in recent years. Developers and publishers are more actively trying to accommodate people with various disabilities by including different settings in their games - text to speech, color filters, simplified and alternate inputs, bigger fonts, sometimes even special controllers. After all, gaming is meant for everyone, and this big video game demographic should get to enjoy the latest titles.

In the US, 55% of parents play video games with their children.

(Entertainment Software Association)

The image of video games among American parents is also changing for the better, not least because the generation who grew up playing them have now become parents themselves. For example, 73% of surveyed parents believe video games are educational, while 66% of them found great entertainment in family game time. Everything is set for a new generation of avid gamers to grow up.

European Gamers Demographic

Every other European plays video games.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

Video games are a part of pop culture in Europe. A recent study by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe showed that 50% of people ages 6 to 64 play video games - on a PC, console, or smartphone.

The average gamer in Europe is 31.3 years old.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

As we’ve discussed earlier, the idea that gaming is only for kids is a myth long busted. Many people grew up as gamers, and an increasing number of games target a more mature crowd, so it comes as no surprise that the expected gamer age is above 30 now.

In Europe, 23% of gamers are over 45 years old.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

That’s the biggest age group among European gamers. Let’s see how the demographic of video gamers is split among other age groups:

  • 6-10 years old - 9%
  • 11-14 years old - 9%
  • 15-24 years old - 22%
  • 25-34 years old - 20%
  • 35-44 years old - 16%
  • 45-64 years old - 23%

47% of European video gamers are women.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

The number of female video game players is growing across Europe - in research conducted in 2019, female gamers accounted for 45% of the European gaming population. There are now 56 million women in Europe who play video games. Women are in the majority when it comes to mobile gaming, accounting for 53% of total smartphone and tablet video game players.

Europe’s average gamers spend 9.5 hours a week playing video games.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

Europeans are still spending most of their free time watching TV - 23.5 hours a week - followed by spending 14 hours a week on social media platforms. Video games come in third place as the most popular screen-based activity, although with less than 10 hours a week. In fact, the average time European gamers spend playing video games hasn’t passed the 10-hour mark in the past five years.

76% of surveyed European gamers play for at least an hour a week.

(Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

It’s clear that most gamers in Europe spend some time gaming every week. Only 8% of people said they play video games as infrequently as once a year.

Statistics on Gamer Demographics by Platform

25% of UK gamers are PC gamers.

(Statista)

PC gaming is not dead, and in the UK, 10.4 million people play video games on their desktops or laptops. This gaming segment is likely to grow further, provided GPU prices finally drop, but luckily there are optimization tools to get us through. Despite the current issues with purchasing PC components, the number of people who play video games on their PCs is on the rise. Analysts predict that PC gamers worldwide will surpass 1.8 billion by 2023.

56% of Millennials who play video games are PC gamers.

(Statista)

In three age groups - Generation Z, Millennials, and Generation X - more than 50% of gamers play games on their PCs. The demographics of PC gamers were especially interesting for the younger crowd, from 10 to 22 years of age, as this goes against the belief that they mostly play games on their phones.

In the UK, 26% of gaming adults play console video games.

(Statista)

Despite the tremendous amount of sales sports and racing games - typical console titles - generate in the UK, the majority of people in this country don’t play on consoles. Instead, 39% of players prefer playing video games on their smartphones.

79% of people under 22 years of age play mobile games.

(Statista)

The mobile gaming demographic is drastically different from other gamers. As mobile games predominantly target a younger crowd and their smartphones are their entryway into gaming, the popularity of mobile games among Generation Z is to be expected. Still, that doesn’t mean older gamers don’t engage with mobile games. In fact, 72% of Millennials said they actively play mobile games, while 68% of Generation X gamers also play games on their smartphones.

2.6 billion people play mobile games.

(Statista, Newzoo)

Between all gaming platforms, mobile takes the cake as the biggest one. As we’ve seen with demographics of mobile gamers, pretty much everyone plays games on their phones, especially in recent years, as mobile games became more and more advanced. After all, everyone already owns a smartphone, so starting up a game is a simple matter. According to analysts at Newzoo, mobile games generated over $77 billion in revenue during the first year of the pandemic.

41% of PlayStation gamers are women.

(SONY)

The entertainment giant Sony revealed that the console gaming demographic has drastically changed since the PlayStation 1 era. During the first generation of PlayStation, only 18% of PS1 gamers were women. Now, two decades later, a significantly bigger female audience is playing on their PS4 and PS5 consoles. Old-school gamers have also stuck with the brand, as this crowd still regularly enjoys PlayStation games.

Esports Demographics and Statistics

In 2022, the esports market revenue is expected to reach $3.2 billion.

(Dept)

The rapidly growing esports market is recording progressively higher revenue each year. Events like Dota 2 International, League of Legends Worlds, and various battle royale games bringing in millions of viewers meant tens of millions of dollars in prizes for competitors and revenue for the organizers. At this rate, experts predict, esports will surpass UEFA Champions League in earnings.

The demographic of gamers that follow esports is between 18 and 34 years old.

(Dept)

The average esports fan is a young adult - either a young Millennial, or an older member of Generation Z. These fans have jobs and are more than eager to support their favorite teams and events by purchasing merchandise and crowdfunding tournament prizes.

Men account for 70% of the esports audience.

(Dept)

Despite the split between male and female video game players being very close to 50:50, the esports audience is still predominantly male. The trend of watching esports being a “boys world” is changing, albeit slowly, as in 2016, more than 80% of the esports audience was male.

The global esports audience is expected to grow to 577 million people by 2024.

(Statista)

The esports boom is far from peaking, if predicted video game demographic statistics are anything to go by. In 2021, 474 million people around the world watched esports. Compared to just one year before, that was a 10% increase. Considering how many young gamers are becoming interested in esports - either as competitors or fans - it’s natural that the market will continue to grow for years.

The Asia Pacific region has the biggest share of esports viewers.

(Statista)

Esports have always been big in Asia. From the first Starcraft tournaments in 1999 to the massive popularity of League of Legends, PUBG, and mobile games, Asians have been devoted fans of everything related to competitive video gaming. The very first TV station dedicated to esports broadcasts was in South Korea. This is still the biggest esports crowd, and it’s set to become even bigger.

Analysts predict 15.5% of internet users in the US will watch esports by 2023.

(Statista)

The Age of the Gamer is replacing the Age of the Jock in the US. This country is one of the fastest-growing markets for esports, hosting significant events like Overwatch League, and teams building esports arenas all over the country. Even though US esports are still a far cry from these games’ biggest market - the Asia Pacific region - analysts predict they will become the next big thing in the US very soon.

92 million Europeans tuned into esports broadcasts in 2020.

(Statista)

In 2018, the esports audience in Europe was 79 million strong. Over the past years, it kept growing thanks to numerous events like Dreamhack, IEM, and general interest in esports growing across the continent.

Further Reading

FAQ
What demographic plays the most video games?

Both console and PC gaming demographics are overlapping now. Video games are most popular among people ages 18 to 35. When it comes to male and female gamers, both demographics play video games pretty much equally.

What are the demographics of PC gamers?

PC gamers are mostly Millennials, around 30 years of age, and European. But, there are nearly as many PC gamers among Generations Z and X, with more than 1.7 billion people in total playing video games on this platform.

What is the average age of gamers?

The average age of people that play video games is 35. In Europe, the average age is slightly lower - 31. In all cases, there’s a trend of the average age slightly rising every several years, as the generations that grew up playing video games keep engaging with the hobby as they grow older. 

What are the demographics of esports players?

An esports player needs to be at least 18 years old to play professionally in international events. Depending on the game, the ages when pro gamers retire vastly differ, so the professional gamers demographic sits between 18 and 35 years old. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, DieHardBirdie is a 79-year-old CS:GO pro and the oldest esports champion.

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