Crowning The Victor: Which States Have The Skills To Survive The Hunger Games?

Luckily the odds were in our favor this fall, as we’re being served a fresh slice of Hunger Games pie. As we eagerly await the launch of The Ballad of The Songbirds to transport us to the dystopian world of Panem, we’ve got a study to get you in the Hunger Games spirit.

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you have what it takes to become victorious in the Hunger Games? Ever thought it’s finally time to put your advanced knot-tying, foraging, or archery skills to the test? Well buckle up tributes, as we’re about to reveal exactly which state… sorry, District has the highest chance of winning the games, and which would simply become another addition to the (hypothetical) tribute graveyard.

Here’s what we found:

We conducted a nationwide survey of over 2,000 Americans to establish their confidence in a set of physical, survival, and strategic skills that are required to ultimately ‘survive’ the Hunger Games arena.

  • Nevada and Wisconsin were the top most likely states to survive the Hunger Games, with an overall average score of 2.9/5

  • Mississippi came in 3rd place, with an average score of 2.8/5

  • Indiana was the state least likely to win, with a score of 2.3/5

  • Out of all of the skills surveyed, Americans have the most confidence in their ‘strategic’ ability

The States Most Likely To Win The Hunger Games

The ultimate tribute: States most likely to be victorious in the Hunger Games:

Tributes should be ready to assemble in the following states; Nevada, Wisconsin and Mississippi - as they came out as the most likely to win. To be considered, states had to show confidence in various essential training stations that were used on-screen, for example; archery, ax-wielding, obstacle courses, spear throwing, foraging, and shelter-making (to name a few). 

Let’s kick the victory lap off in the Western territory with none other than the Silver State, Nevada who scored one of the highest overall averages, 2.9/5. It turns out that Nevada has the most confidence in their skills, as they scored 2.5 (physical skills), 2.8 (survival skills), and 3.4 (strategic skills) across the board. When it comes to the likes of making quick decisions, staying calm under pressure, and being a good judge of character - Nevada has it covered, as they averaged over 3.5 for all of these skill sets. On the other hand, we wouldn’t put our trust in their ability in martial arts, rope courses, or spear throwing as they scored below 2.3 in these more physical areas. Skills aside, when we popped the question to the folks of Nevada about volunteering for the ‘Hunger Games,’ a whopping 100% said, ‘’thanks, but no thanks!’’. 

Tied for first with Nevada, all set to cozy up on the loveseat and be Nevada’s true ally is Wisconsin. They soared in strategic skills, boasting high scores in the likes of determination through tough situations, a good judge of character, and staying calm under pressure (a solid 3.8 and above). Though, when it comes to skills like martial arts, advanced knot-tying, and hammock making, it seems the Wisconsin’s might need to 180 back to the training stations, with scores all below 1.9. Looks like stepping into Katniss Everdeen’s shoes isn’t on their to-do list, as a unanimous 100% of respondents expressed they would not volunteer as tributes. They’ve got their own adventures to chase, it seems.

Taking the bronze medal, just behind Nevada and Wisconsin is Mississippi. This state proudly boasts some of the top scores in the strategy department (3.6), as they’re all geared up to employ their logic-centric minds to battle for victory. Their highest-ranked skill sets across the board were as follows; determination through tough situations, making quick decisions, good judgment of character, and mastering the fine art of fishing. Need to rely on an ally for survival? Well, your best bet is a Mississippian, seeing as they scored the highest for survival skills across all states, at 2.7

On the flip side, you might want to reconsider asking Mississippians for tips on martial arts and archery skills, as their scores dipped below a 2 in both departments! Reel in those fishing rods, it looks like the games might have to recruit elsewhere, as it turns out only 27% of Mississippians would actually volunteer themselves as a tribute for the Hunger Games.

Doomed Districts: States with the lowest chances of survival:

Put down your bow and arrow, and avoid sponsoring these states as they’re least likely to survive the Hunger Games.

If you’re a proud member of the Hoosier state, you might not be so proud when the hypothetical Hunger Games lands on your doorstep, as Indiana is named the least likely to survive scoring just 2.3/5 overall. Indianians fell short in the ‘physical skills’ category, but not all is lost. When it comes to judgment of character, or determination through tough situations, Hoosiers scored an above-average of 3.2. 

Next in line as the second least likely to emerge victorious in the Hunger Games, is Sunflower State Kansas, who, while brimming with confidence in survival skills (3), they might not be your go-to athletes. Back to the training station, they go, as wrestling, martial arts, and rope courses all needed a little bit of extra… attention, scoring below a 1.5 for all 3. Looks like they might want to stick to charming the Capitol with their survival skills, and leaving the high-flying acrobatics to the pros. 

Sadly, it looks like the next Katniss won’t be recruited from the Show-Me-State, Missouri. They found themselves in joint second place with an overall score of 2.4. Skills like martial arts, advanced knot-tying, and spear-throwing didn’t rank high on their confidence scale, earning them a modest 1.7 in this category. 

District devotion: States most likely to volunteer as tributes:

It’s all well and good that these states have the skills that it takes to have the best chance of surviving the Hunger Games, but who is the most courageous of the lot? Who would be willing to stand tall in the reapings when it really boils down to it? Well, it turns out that none other than Mississippi had the highest response rate when being asked if they would volunteer (27%), followed by California (20.5%), and Oregon (20%). 

Whether you’re a physical god, a keen survivalist, or a budding strategist - while watching the Hunger Games: The Ballad of The Songbirds, ask yourself - do you have what it takes to survive until the end and crown victory? 


We conducted a Nationwide survey of over 2,000 Americans to establish their confidence in every skill the tributes are required to learn at the different ‘’training stations’’ inside the gymnasium of the training center in the Hunger Games trilogy. 

To gauge participants’ confidence in these skills, we asked them to provide a ranking of 1-5 for each skill. We took the average of each state’s response for the skills, to find out the collective average confidence per state. We were then able to rank the states based on their averages, the highest average being deemed the ‘‘most likely’’ to survive in the context of the Hunger Games. 

The 25 skills assessed were categorized into three main groups: physical, survival, and strategic.

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