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What States Produce the Most Professional Athletes?

MLB players by state per capita
Business Insider

Thanks to some outstanding research by the folks at Business Insider, we have good news if you’re a kid growing up in Wyoming or Mississippi—you have a (relatively) great chance of becoming a Major League Baseball player someday. If you’re from Utah, though? Eh, not so much.

After combing through tons of info at Sports Reference, researchers were able to organize the birth states of all professional athletes in the four major sports, both active and retired players. It’s fascinating stuff (if you’re into this sort of thing), and you should check out the full sequence of maps, which also includes birthplaces of athletes around the globe, broken down by the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.

Some of their findings are somewhat predictable, like showing that a large chunk of NHL players were born in Minnesota, or that most current football players come from Texas, Florida and California:

NFL players birth states
Business Insider

But it gets really interesting when they break the data down on a per-capita basis. It turns that while most NFL players overall come from those three big warm-weather states above, a child born in Louisiana actually has a far greater chance of making it to the pros:

NFL players birth states per capita
Business Insider

But Louisiana isn’t even the likeliest place in America to produce a professional football player. To find out where the No. 1 location is, you’ll have to go read the maps for yourself:

See all 25 maps at Business Insider

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