About one in 20 American adults (5%) told a recent Pew Reseach Center survey that they play fantasy sports — a game in which contestants pick real professional athletes to be on their virtual teams, then compete against other virtual teams based on statistics arising from the real-world performances of the players they have chosen. Men are nine times more likely than women to play in a fantasy league. Younger men are much more likely to do so than older men. Among those who report playing fantasy sports, just under half say that they pay money to play and about three quarters say that their league is run on the internet. Just as it is in the real world, football is the most popular game in the fantasy world, with two-thirds of fantasy players saying they play it, compared with 16% who play fantasy baseball and 13% who play fantasy basketball. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.