Olympians: Colorado home to 1 in 8, but Vermont sends most per capita, by a lot

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Olympians: Colorado home to 1 in 8, but Vermont sends most per capita, by a lot

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:04pm -- tim

by Jennifer Cheeseman Day, US Census Bureau As we celebrate the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, we take a bird’s-eye view of population statistics of the 31 states US athletes call home.

  • This year, Colorado contributed the largest number (31 out of 244) of winter Olympians, making up 13 percent of the U.S. team.

USA Hockey portrait of Montpelier's Amanda Pelkey, ice hockey.

Not surprisingly, Colorado is the number one state for skiing establishments (40). However, California has the most sports centers, places that can include ice skating rinks, at 3,788.

  • On a per capita basis, Vermont (at 24 athletes per million population) and Alaska (at 9 athletes per million population) beat out all other states.

  • While states with large populations contributed many Olympians, most come from less populous states. About 7 in 10 athletes come from states with fewer than 10 million residents.

The nine largest states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina), which account for more than half of the total U.S. population, contributed only 3 out of 10 Olympians.

  • Colorado’s workforce has one of the largest number of coaches, umpires and professional athletes on a per capita basis— about 2,000 per million population.


Jennifer Cheeseman Day is a demographer in the Census Bureau's Communications Directorate.