Women's World Cup 2023 in numbers

  • More countries than ever competed in Australia & New Zealand
  • Most attended Women's World Cup to date
  • Players to be individually compensated for their involvement
More people than ever before attended the Women's World Cup
More people than ever before attended the Women's World Cup / Jenny Evans/GettyImages

2023 provided us with the biggest and best Women's World Cup in the competition's 32-year history, offering enormous hope for future tournaments.

Spain won a tightly contested final against England, but that is only a fraction of the overall story, with new history, records broken and more irrefutable proof that women's football is going places.

32 countries competing

This was the first time that the Women’s World Cup was expanded to 32 teams, up from the 24 it had previously been in 2019 and 2015. Doubts came before the tournament began as to whether the international women’s game was deep enough to support a larger World Cup, given that the United States had won a game 13-0 in 2019 and Germany and Switzerland each scored 10 in games in 2015.

But it wasn’t the case. Only three teams scored more five times in a single game out of 64 total matches, while Morocco reach the second round at their first ever appearance. Jamaica and South Africa also got through to the knockouts, having exited in 2019 without a win or even a point. What’s more, Germany crashed out at the group stage, the United States failed to get beyond the last 16 and there were no former champions left by the semi-finals.

This was actually the most competitive Women’s World Cup ever.

164 goals

There 164 goals scored across the 64 matches, with champions Spain scoring 21 of those across their seven outings. Runners-up England only managed 13 by comparison.

The average goals per game figure across the tournament was 2.56, which was actually less than in both 2019 and 2015 when it was 2.81 each time.

But that is an indicator of increased competitiveness rather than reduced quality or excitement.

1,978,274 total attendance

This was the most attended Women’s World Cup yet, with cumulative in-stadium crowds close to two million fans across the 64 games. For reference, 2019 drew in 1.1m fans.

FIFA were originally targeting 1.3m ticket sales and then 1.5m, beating both targets.

More than 700,000 of the cumulative figure was from games held in New Zealand, where there had been pre-tournament concern over ticket sales. The previous record football attendance in the country was just over 37,000 for a men’s World Cup qualifier in 2017, but numerous games here attracted more than 40,000 and the new record is 43,217 for Spain’s semi-final against Japan.

The average attendance of 30,911 comfortably surpassed each of the last three World Cup and is third on the all-time list behind 1999 in the United States (37,944) and 2007 in China (37,218).

The attendance at the final in Sydney, which had previously hosted the 2000 Olympics and 2003 Rugby World Cup final, was 75,784. It was the first final attendance over 70,000 since 2011 in Germany and second on the all-time list only to the iconic 1999 Rose Bowl final (90,185).

152,000,000 in prize money ($)

The total prize fund made available by FIFA stood at $152m (£120m), of which $110m (£86m) is performance-related. Players are to be directly compensated for the first time, with nearly half that $110m (£86m) supposed to go directly in their pockets and the amount dependent on how their team got.

Members of Spain’s winning squad should be paid $270,000 each (£212,000), while those in the England side that finished runners-up are in line to get $195,000 (£153,000).

  • Winners: $270,000 (£212,000)
  • Runners-up: $195,000 (£153,000)
  • Third place: $180,000 (£141,000)
  • Fourth place: $165,000 (£130,000)
  • Quarter-finals: $90,000 (£70,000)
  • Last 16: $60,000 (£47,000)
  • Group stage: $30,000 (£23,600)

The money owed to individual players will still be paid through each national federation, leading FIFA president Gianni Infantino to hint last month there can be no absolute guarantees the players will be paid. However, FIFA head of women’s football Sarai Bareman has said she "personally be making sure that every dollar that gets paid that is for those players will end up in their bank accounts".

National federations will also be paid separate prize money, while it is then up to each country whether they separately also compensate players for their efforts. That has already caused controversy, with the FA locked in a dispute with England players since before the World Cup began over apparent refusal to pay their own bonuses amid requests of up to £100,000 per player.