X2: Elite Athlete Demographic Profile
An elite athlete is likely to be a highly educated, affluent, married male in his 40s. The following information presents details about these extreme athletes.
- Endurance athletes are likely to be either in the 30-39 age bracket or in the 40-49 group (23.3% and 20.1%, respectively).
- Regarding triathlon athletes, this group has an older demographic, and in 2018, the largest group age group was the 45-49 age bracket.
- Although both genders have significant representation, men account for nearly 60% of the USA Triathlon’s membership, which is an interesting development of the more extreme levels of endurance competitions, given that women made up around 57% of the participants in overall race events in 2018 (including 5K races all the way through Triathlons).
- Caucasian is the vastly dominant race; in fact, over 90% of U.S. Triathlon participants belong to this group.
- Triathletes are likely to be married, with 40% at least one minor in their household.
- Three is the median number of people living in triathletes’ households.
- The median income for triathletes is $126,000. Endurance sports tend to be an elite sport; surveys conducted by USA Triathlon, Running USA and USA Cycling all show that most participants are above the $75,000 mark.
- Healthcare is the most common field of work among triathletes (13.82%), followed by business and financial operations (10.20%), management (8.23%), education (8.23%), military or U.S. government (7.86%), sales and marketing (7.53%), and computer and mathematical (6.84%).
- Eighty percent of those who participate in Triathlon hold a 4-year college degree or higher, while nearly 29% have a master’s degree; meanwhile, USA Cycling reports that 66% of cyclists have at least an undergraduate degree.
- Among those who participated in The Triathlete 2018 Audience Study, California was the most common state of residence, followed by Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
- Considering their age bracket and income level, they are likely to be homeowners.
To create a demographic profile of Elite Athletes, the research team leveraged surveys and industry reports about endurance sports, with an emphasis on triathletes. We compared separate reports and information tends to be cohesive among the sources. The only requested data not publicly available was home ownership, therefore, we cross-referenced their age bracket and income level to provide a response.
In order to present a recent and accurate profile of the athletes, we also used the 2016 official triathlon survey due to its larger sample size (it is not an annual survey, the previous one was in 2009); however, we checked the information provided to ensure it was still corroborated by more recent sources, such as the 2018 study.