Where Athletes in the Premier League, the N.B.A and Other Sports Leagues Come From, in 15 Charts

Hi there, I’m Yang Hao!

I will use this webpage to present my viewer’s choice topic.


Introduction to the visualization

More and more data and evidences show that the composition of athletes in most of the top professional sports leagues becomes more and more international.

This interactive visualization shows where athletes in 15 of the best-known professional leagues come from. The data is about players’ birthplace in 15 leagues along years. Those 9 top European leagues are the Jupiler League, Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A, Eredivisie, Primeira Liga, Scottish Premiership, La Liga. And 6 American and Canadian sports leagues are M.L.B., N.B.A., N.H.L, N.F.L., M.L.S., U.S. Women’s Soccer.

There are 15 Stacked Area Charts. Stacked area charts are good choice for this project. It lets you see categorical data over time. Interaction allows you to focus on specific categories without losing sight of the big picture.



What is the data? And how it is collected?

To track the trend of the movement, charts are plots on birthplace of players, who are from 15 of the best-known leagues in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The table below shows you where the data comes from and what is it.

League Link
National Football League Pro Football Reference
National Basketball Association Basketball Reference
National Hockey League Hockey Reference
Major League Baseball Baseball Reference & Racial Composition
Wmen’s professional soccer (W.P.S., WUSA, N.W.S.L.) Roster data
Men’s soccer leagues in Europe and North America Worldfootball.net

The most reliable sources for American sports tend to list a player’s birthplace, while those for international soccer describe a player’s nationality. Most players are born in the country in which they have citizenship; the possibility of a small number of mismatches between birthplaces and nationality does not change the overall picture much.

What works and what needs improvement?



Who are the users that this visualization was made for?

What questions do people want to ask?

How can they find the answers with this tool?

-Women’s professional soccer has had fits and starts in the U.S., with two previous leagues – the Women’s United Soccer Association and Women’s Professional Soccer – both folding after a few seasons. the composition of women’s pro soccer in the U.S. has been relatively consistent: largely Americans, with foreigners coming mostly from Europe and Canada.