This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click to view our full disclosure.

Health and fitness are important parts of our overall well-being. But affordability and availability can play a role in how people have access to these facilities. We found which states have the highest average gym membership cost ranging between $106 and $84.51 per month!

The number of health clubs continued to grow in the United States between 2008 to 2022. There were a staggering 31,028 health clubs, with a peak of 41,370 clubs in 2019, according to Statista website.

Due to several factors, some states are known for being more into sports or physical fitness than others. We analyzed all the states in the US and created an index to reveal which state is the sportiest.

To work this out, we used factors such as the number of health clubs and professional athletes per state, which we will discuss below.

How Did We Find The Most Sportiest States?

The factors below are important in deciding which states are the sportiest because they reflect different aspects of the question.

  • The number of health clubs – health clubs include gyms or various fitness centers where individuals can play sports, use saunas, or otherwise exercise.
  • The number of sports franchises – sports franchises may include things like NFL teams or any other sports teams that commercially play.
  • The number of health club visitors – refers to the average number of people who visit health clubs, indicating how much of the population is interested in being healthier or sportier.
  • The average cost of gym membership – the cost of gym membership is likely to be higher in states where gyms and similar facilities are more in-demand. This will happen primarily in sporty states, as more people need the facilities.
  • The number of professional athletes per state and capita – the number of pro athletes by state and capita is a good indicator of how sporty the state is and how many people are encouraged to pursue careers in sports.

Why is This Important to Know?

You may need to know the sportiest states in the US if you wish to pursue a career in sports. Better accessibility to health clubs can improve your chances of getting into a career or enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

This might also be good to know if you enjoy sports, as the number of sports franchises may draw you in. Alternatively, you might just be curious.

Whichever it is, below is what you need to know.

Most Sporty US States

Most Sporty US States

Below is a list of the 10 sportiest states based on the unique factors we have looked at:

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Delaware
  4. Vermont
  5. Texas
  6. Arizona
  7. Florida
  8. Ohio
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Georgia

Here, it’s interesting to note that many of the sportiest states are also among the largest in the country. This includes states like Alaska, Texas, California, and Arizona. While Alaska is sparsely populated when its size is considered, it has a fair number of health clubs. It also has an impressive number of professional athletes and low gym membership costs (an average of $35.89).

The runner-up has higher gym membership costs ($66.50) but has 162 professional athletes and an impressive 18 sports franchises and over four thousand health clubs.

Least Sporty US States

Below is a list of the 10 least sporty states based on the unique factors we have looked at:

  1. South Carolina
  2. Hawaii
  3. Maryland
  4. Oregon
  5. New Mexico
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Tennessee
  8. Maine
  9. Wyoming
  10. Idaho

States like New Mexico, Oregon, and Hawaii might be surprising to see on this list due to all the sporting opportunities in the area. However, Hawaii and New Mexico have no sports franchises, while Oregon only has two.

While none of the lowest-scoring states have an especially low number of health clubs (except Wyoming, with just 62), the other factors play a strong role. Overall, a lack of professional athletes and sports franchises have brought these states down on the list.

States With the Most and Fewest Professional Athletes

States With the Most and Fewest Professional Athletes

These are the states with the most professional athletes:

  1. California – 162
  2. Texas – 147
  3. Florida – 120
  4. Georgia – 107
  5. Minnesota – 85

These are the states with the fewest professional athletes:

  1. New Mexico – 0
  2. West Virginia – 0
  3. Montana – 1
  4. Vermont – 1
  5. Idaho – 2

As you can see from the numbers, some of the top scoring states overall sportiness also have the most professional athletes. These states are namely California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia.

States With the Most and Fewest Health Clubs

US States With the Most and Fewest Health Clubs

These are the states with the most health clubs:

  1. California – 4,326
  2. Texas  – 2,584
  3. Florida – 2,296
  4. New York – 2,111
  5. Illinois – 1,346

These are the states with the fewest health clubs:

  1. Wyoming – 62
  2. Alaska – 72
  3. North Dakota – 80
  4. Vermont – 93
  5. South Dakota – 107

As you can see from the numbers and overall scores, there is at least some correlation between the number of health clubs and the sporty scores in each state. California, Texas, and Florida are all in the top 10. However, Alaska, which takes the number one spot for the sportiest state, has among the fewest health clubs!

Which States Have the Most and Least Expensive Gym Memberships?

Most and Least Expensive Gym Memberships?

States such as New York and Washington have the highest gym membership costs ($106 and $84.51, respectively). Massachusetts comes in third place with an average gym membership cost of $78.09. The top-scoring sporty states have gym memberships ranging from $66.50 to $32.90 (California and Arizona, respectively).

As such, looking only at the cost of gym memberships might not help determine the sportiest states on its own. This is especially true when you look at the gym costs of some of the lowest-scoring states. Among these states, the highest gym membership cost is $72.00 (Maryland) and the lowest is $37.67 (Idaho).

Does Population Play a Role in the Answers?

Population plays a key role in the data, impacting the index significantly. Alaska may not have many health clubs, but its smaller population means that this matters less. Similarly, states like California and Texas, with populations of around 30 million or more, will require far more health clubs and professional athletes to get their index up.

Overall, it is crucial to look at each of the factors we have considered together unless you are looking for specific information regarding the states.


The sportiest states include Alaska, California, Delaware, Vermont, and Texas, whereas the least sporty ones are New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, Hawaii, and South Carolina. With all factors taken into account, hopefully, you can use this data to make a choice that is right for you, and make a move if you need to!


Credit data source:
Anchor text: Exercise With Style
Link to source:

2023 Compiled sportiest datasheet

Fitness Stats Data