Amanda Ripley (author of the very interesting book The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way) has a worthwhile read on the role of school sports in the U.S. versus other countries in this month’s Atlantic.
One argument in favor of school sports has always been that it’s especially important for kids at the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum. The suggestion is that sports keeps kids in school who would otherwise drop out…and maybe once in a while even gets a kid a college scholarship.
This made me wonder which kids participate in sports. Turns out that while intramural sports draw from across the socioeconomic spectrum, when you look at teams that compete against other schools it’s very much the kids at the top who participate. Check out the blue bars below.