What Percentage Of The U.s. Population Has Run A Marathon

Have you ever wondered how many people in the United States have completed the grueling challenge of running a marathon? As a passionate runner myself, I’ve always been curious about the percentage of the population that has achieved this incredible feat. Join me as we delve into the numbers and explore the world of marathon running in the U.S.

The Fascinating World of Marathons

Running a marathon is no small task. It requires months of training, dedication, and mental fortitude. The marathon distance is a staggering 26.2 miles, and completing it is a remarkable accomplishment that only a fraction of the population can claim.

Marathons have gained significant popularity over the years, with countless individuals challenging themselves to conquer the distance. The sense of achievement and personal growth that comes from crossing that finish line is truly unparalleled.

Understanding the Numbers

Now, let’s dig into the statistics. According to the Running USA Annual Marathon Report, in 2019, a total of 550,637 runners finished marathons in the United States. To put that number into perspective, we need to consider the total population of the country.

As of July 2021, the estimated population of the U.S. is around 332.9 million people, according to the United States Census Bureau. With these figures in mind, we can calculate the percentage of the population that has completed a marathon.

Percentage = (Number of Marathon Finishers / Total Population) x 100

Using this formula, we find that approximately 0.17% of the U.S. population completed a marathon in 2019. While this may seem like a small percentage, it still translates to a significant number of individuals who have pushed their limits and achieved an extraordinary goal.

The Impact and Significance

Running a marathon is not just about the numbers; it’s about the impact it has on individuals and communities. The marathon serves as a symbol of determination, resilience, and personal growth. It brings people together and fosters a sense of camaraderie among participants.

Completing a marathon can have a profound impact on a person’s life. It teaches us valuable lessons in discipline, perseverance, and setting and achieving goals. It’s not just about the physical challenge but also the mental and emotional strength it requires.


In conclusion, while the percentage of the U.S. population that has completed a marathon may be relatively small, the impact and significance of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. Running a marathon is a monumental achievement that represents the triumph of the human spirit.

Whether you are an avid runner or someone considering taking on the challenge, know that you are joining a remarkable community of individuals who have dared to push their limits and go the distance. So, lace up your shoes, set your sights on that finish line, and embrace the incredible journey of running a marathon.