World Cup not that interesting for most Americans

News about the violence and instability in Iraq is not of great interest to Americans — but neither is the World Cup, except among millennials.

In a new Pew Research Center Poll, more Americans are following news about problems with care at veterans’ hospitals than instability and fighting in Iraq. If you include those following it fairly closely, the World Cup appears quite far on down the interest list, just above news on recent Supreme Court rulings. Mind you the poll was taken before Tuesday’s big match.

Americans over 50 are most concerned about the veterans’ hospitals news, then Iraq. They pretty much lead in interest of news about most of the other categories except for the World Cup. Those under 30 are most interested in what is going on in soccer than in any other news story. Call it the World Cup age gap.

And if the young are following the World Cup, Hispanics are following it much more than whites or blacks with 23 percent following it closely and another 32 percent following fairly closely. Which means that more than half of Hispanics questioned are following the World Cup.

Back in April, a Reuters/Ipsos poll asked Americans if they planned to watch the World Cup, and only one in three said they would. The poll went on to say 86 percent of Americans either know nothing or very little about the World Cup and more than two-thirds didn’t even know Brazil was hosting the event this year.

Soccer still has a long way to go in the United States despite the growth of Major League Soccer. And with the U.S. team knocked out of the Cup by Belgium, the percentage of those interested in World Cup news will probably get even smaller.

Pam Tobey is the graphics editor of the Morning Mix Web team at The Washington Post and a member of the Presentation Desk’s Information Design graphics team.
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