What Are the Odds of Your Child Becoming an American Sports Star?

Colm Phelan

Updated by Colm Phelan

Digital PR Manager

Last Updated 14th Mar 2024, 07:22 AM

What Are the Odds of Your Child Becoming an American Sports Star?

From the NBA to the NFL, it’s safe to say that we Americans have love of all things sporting, and for many of us, this love was formed very early in our childhood. Whether it was indulging in the great American pastime with your parents or hitting the football pitch for the first time at high school, sport is an integral part of American culture.

But while many of us loved playing sports growing up, very few of us ever got the chance to make it big in the MLB, NHL, or myriad other sporting tournaments televised on national TV. And that got us wondering – just how likely is it for someone’s child to become an American sports star.

To find out, we took a short break from the world of casinos and looked at how many athletes were featured from each US state in the four major American sports leagues (the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL). We then cross-referenced this data with the number of male births per state and used it to calculate the odds of someone’s child becoming a sports star in their respective area. Here’s what we found out.

Odds of becoming a sports star

Which states are most likely to produce sports stars?

If you’re hoping that your child might one day become a sports superstar, then we have good news for people living in Louisiana. Data suggests that, out of the 28,719 births per year in this state, an average of 3.97 children per 1,000 births go on to play in the big leagues, especially in the NFL, which already has 90 well-known Louisiana players.

Besides Louisiana, parents from Alabama may also find themselves in the same spot. Sharing a similar number of yearly births with our first-place state, roughly 3.86 children from Alabama go on to become sports stars, with chances of breaking into the MBL being a particular highlight alongside the NFL.

As for the third most likely state, Georgia sees 3.82 children per 1,000 births going on to make a name for themselves in sports. Again, the NFL and MLB are the two top contenders for sporting opportunities, with the NFL already home to 162 Georgian players and the MBL playing host to 51.

Finally, in fourth and fifth, we have Mississippi and Florida. Despite its lower birth rate of just 17,578, Mississippi still comes in fourth for sporting star states, producing 3.75 per 1,000 births, soundly beating out Florida, which has 108,130 births per year, 218 NFL players, and 114 MLB stars, yet still only produces 3.35 athletes per 1,000 births.

Which states are least likely to produce sports stars?

It’s clear that the southern states of America have a distinct advantage over others when it comes to making sports stars, but are the northern states responsible for producing the least number of athletes?

Well, coming in at the very bottom of our rankings is Vermont. One of the most northern states in the entire country, it’s no surprise that Vermont’s sports star output is low, lacking both the weather conditions and possible enthusiasm for nurturing new players for such a high level of play.

In fact, Vermont had a score of 0 per 1,000 births and currently lacks any players in the four big leagues.

Just above Vermont, in second, sits West Virginia. With 8,599 births per year, West Virginia does have a few players in the NFL, and at least 1 in the MLB. This gives West Virginia a score of 0.47 – much higher than Vermont’s but still far below that of Louisiana and Alabama.

And as for the third least likely state to produce sports stars, Idaho, despite having a healthy yearly birth rate of 11,214, has just 0.62 players per 1,000 births. This state shares many of the issues found in Vermont and West Virginia and appears to lack the same sporting enthusiasm as states further south, although buzz for WV online casinos is alive and well.  

Which are the top states for each sport?

Finally, if there’s a particular league that you know your child loves, we’ll briefly touch on which states are the best for producing sports stars in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL respectively.

Interestingly, based on our data, it would appear that California is the best state for producing stars in the NFL, NBA, and MLB, already having 222, 59, and 236 players in these leagues. This is the most out of any state, despite California only being ninth on our table overall.

With that being said, Minnesota is the best state for producing new NHL stars, with 52 players overall, which at least gives the north one state they can point to and celebrate, alongside Michigan, which came in tenth.

However, despite these outliers, it would still seem that there’s a north-south divide when it comes to the number of sports stars produced by states, likely because the universities and facilities in the south are often tailored more towards sports education and therefore receive greater funding.

Of course, we also can’t deny the impact of player bias in our ranking, with the states with the most athletes naturally ranking higher than those with fewer. The number of athletes is also not the only indicator of how likely someone is to become a sports star. Any kid can become a famous athlete with the right training, encouragement, and discipline.

And there you have it; now you know just how likely your child is to become an American sports star. For more interesting odds and bets, visit casino.com, where you can find a variety of online casinos and games to try out.

Meet The Author

8 Years
Colm Phelan
Colm Phelan
Digital PR Manager Digital PR Manager

Colm Phelan has spent several years working in the iGaming industry and has plenty of experience when it comes to writing, researching and rigorously testing online casinos and sportsbooks. While Colm has invested a lot of his time into the digital marketing world but his other passions include poker and a variety of sports including golf, NFL and football.

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