This visualization was really fun to make! I started with NFHS data for 2009-2010 state high school swimming and diving participants (for some reason, Idaho, Tennessee and South Dakota were missing data). Next, I divided number of high school swimming participants by 2010 Census state population data and multiplied by 1000.
The result is a heat map of what I’m calling “relative interest in swimming” as represented by the number of high school swimming participants per 1000 state residents. So for every 1000 residents, this number represents how many high school swimmers you would find. It’s a little clumsy, but should give you some idea in the level of interest the states have in high school swimming.
I was actually surprised to see some of the states with smaller populations (such as Wyoming) actually have a disproportional participation in swimming – so with fewer high school students overall, they had the highest relative interest in swimming.
The top 5 states with the most high school swimmers relative to state population were: Minnesota (1.65), Wyoming (1.65), Deleware (1.62), Pennsylvania (1.55) and Connecticut (1.35).
Even though the number of high school swimmers in California (48,483) and Texas (14,286) are impressive stats, these states end up 8th and 41st in respective interest level because of their large state populations.