The Final Page

Home Page. The NUTS statistical review of British Athletics has been published annually by NUTS since 1958 and has faithfully catalogued the progress of British Athletics. The 2013 edition has just been released and contains a new and unique insight into the state of our sport’s demography. Read “The Final Page” here.

The Final Page by Rob Whittingham

 

Whilst the Power of 10 website is unsuitable for producing the lists in this Annual it now offers a unique chance to look at track and field athletics as a whole. Almost every performance by athletes over the over of age of 16 is recorded and analysis can provide a detailed view of the sport.

The figures below are take from UKA’s Power of 10 website, with corrections and additions from my own database. I have produced both UK figures and estimated England figures using   85% as the factor. ( a percentage I have verified by analysis of thousands of athletes). Where dates of birth are not known, I have used the ratios of known dates of birth in the same age group to allocate percentages of these athletes to specific years.

 

Year Age UK England
of Birth in 2012 Total Men Women Total Men Women
1996 16 4529 2610 1919 3850 2219 1631
1995 17 3131 1775 1256 2577 1509 1068
1994 18 1929 1186 743 1640 1008 632
1993 19 1526 971 555 1297 825 472
1992 20 1075 686 389 914 583 331
1991 21 920 604 316 782 513 269
1990 22 772 506 266 656 430 226
1989 23 684 462 222 582 393 189
1988 24 587 390 197 499 332 167
1987 25 482 320 162 410 272 138
1986 26 451 307 144 383 261 122
1985 27 382 270 112 325 230 95
1984 28 339 226 113 288 192 96
1983 29 268 179 89 228 152 76
1982 30 292 189 103 248 161 88
1981 31 270 190 80 230 162 68
1980 32 272 177 95 231 150 81
1979 33 231 151 80 196 128 68
1978 34 168 112 56 143 95 48
1977 35 185 113 72 157 96 61
1976 36 191 121 70 163 103 60
1975 37 183 128 55 156 109 47
1974 38 213 148 65 181 126 55
1973 39 183 118 65 155 100 55
68-72 40-44 1151 780 371 978 663 315
63-67 45-49 1048 723 325 881 615 276
58-62 50-54 884 631 253 751 536 215
53-57 55-59 458 339 119 389 288 101
48-52 60-64 329 245 84 279 208 71
pre48 65+ 370 299 71 314 254 60
Totals 23403 14956 8447 19894 12713 7181

These numbers give the first accurate way to determine drop out rates. Looking at overall figures for the UK it can be seen that 76% of athletes in the sport at 16 have dropped out by the age of 20, this number rises to 90% by the age of 26. (widely regarded as the peak age for performance across all track and field events)

The figures also show that by the age of 16 there are about a third more men than women doing track and field and this ratio increases to almost 2:1 for athletes in the 20 to 34 age group. (an important factor in determining the structure of leagues)

A great deal more analysis will be done on these figures, but the small amount done on the 2012 numbers confirms an in depth analysis done for 2011. Some of the facts –

20% of athletes in the 20 to 34 age range only compete in 1 meeting in the whole year.

50% of athletes, 20-34, compete 4 meetings or less in a year.

Only 20% of athletes , 20-34, compete in 10 meetings or more.

Perhaps using percentages hides the true meaning, here is a starting example showing the complete analysis for English women athletes aged 34 in 2012.

Of the 48 estimated athletes, 40 have known dates of birth, of these, 17 competed in 1 meeting in 2012, just 8 competed in 5 or more meetings and only 1 competed regularly (10 or more meetings). There are 329,900 women aged 34 in England (2011 census).

 

The numbers shown above bear no relation to the Sport England poll figures which seem to be an order of magnitude too large.


Demographic distribution of all track and field athletes who competed in 2012

 

 

 

 

Category: Governance