Playing a high school sport could be the key to adult success. Youth who participate in school sports not only are more likely to go to college, but also earn more money as working adults, whether they played on the football team or faced opponents one-on-one on the tennis court, according to a Harris Poll.
Who’s playing? Almost everyone. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of American adults say they participated in some form of athletic activity as a student with about half joining a school team and the other half joining a sports team outside of school. Participating in school sports appears to have long-lasting benefits well into adulthood. 64 percent of those who participated in high school sports went on to some form of higher education, compared with 45 percent of those who were not on a team. In addition, youth athletes are more likely to have capped off their education with a four-year college degree (20 percent vs. 14 percent), compared with those who didn’t participate and are also twice as likely to have some form of post-graduate education (12 percent vs. 6 percent).
Participation in athletics is also associated with higher incomes. Fifteen percent of adults who participated in athletics have a personal income greater than $100,000, compared with just 9 percent of those who did not participate. The same is true for household income levels. Twenty-eight percent of those who participated in high school sports have a household income over $100,000, compared with just 15 percent of those who did not.