Girls in Utah lag in high school sports participation compared to boys

SALT LAKE CITY — Girls are the minority when it comes to high school athletic participation in every state in the country, but most states are more equal than Utah.

In Minnesota, 49 percent of high school athletes were girls and 51 percent were boys in the 2017-18 school year, according to the National Federation of State High School Activities Associations.

In Utah, female athletes are just 42 percent of the total, with 33 states having higher participation from girls as a percentage.

Fox 13 took raw numbers from NFSHSAA and tabulated them to see how Utah compares statistically.

In terms of participation in sanctioned athletics, the most popular sport for high school girls in Utah is track and field, with 5,247 athletes, followed by volleyball with 3,605 and soccer with 3,550.

For boys, football outpaces all sports in terms of participation, then track and field followed by soccer.

In terms of programs, there are more basketball teams for boys and girls than any other sport, but those teams have fewer athletes.

Source: National Federation of State High School Associations’ Participation Data tabulated by Fox 13 News.

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