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Iceland Leads Europe in Sports Employment

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Iceland Leads Europe in Sports Employment

Heimir Hallgrímsson and Hannes Þór Halldórsson

Iceland men’s national football team coach Heimir Hallgrímsson (left) with the team’s goalkeeper Hannes Þór Halldórsson. Photo: Golli.

Could Iceland’s relative success in football have to do with how many Icelanders work in sports-related jobs? Recent Eurostat research shows that two percent of Icelanders work in the sports industry, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe. RÚV reported first.

The figures are nearly even between men and women, with 2.2% of men working in sports-related jobs and 1.9% of women. The next country after Iceland with the most individuals working in sports is Sweden.

Statistics Iceland points out that of the 10 countries where the sports industry is proportionately largest, six qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The numbers, however, do not necessarily represent a correlation. Poland, whose men’s football team is in 8th place in the world rankings, has the fourth lowest proportion of people employed in sports.

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