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Old 30 September 2013, 08:23 PM
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Ponder 17% of people over 7 feet tall are in the NBA

Comment: I read online today that "17% of people over 7 feet tall are in
the NBA". My own preliminary research suggests that this will be a hard
claim to disprove as there is little reliable census data regarding
height. I would love to know if this is true as it would be quite a fact!
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Old 30 September 2013, 08:36 PM
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I think we can debunk the "are" part pretty easily. First, we'll assume that someone goes into the NBA at age 20 (after junior year in college). This Reuters article says that the average age of an NBA player is 27. Assuming linear age. that means that players retire by age 34. If the average life expectancy is 70, then a person spends only 20% of their life being in the NBA ("are in"). You'd have to have something like 85% of every person in the world over 7 feet play in the NBA for 14 years to get to 17% of the population being in the NBA.
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Old 30 September 2013, 08:38 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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How many people that tall are there? 30 or 40? If there are 40 and 10 of them are in the NBA, that would be 25%. But I have heard that parts of Europe, particularly the netherlands, have come to a fairly astonishing average height, to the extent where 7-footers would be expected to be more common than that, in order to bring the averages up. Specifically I had read that the average in The Netherlands had grown to 2 meters, over 6'7", and an average that tall would require quite a few 7 footers, even if that is only the average for the male population.
Similarly, aren't there several ethnic groups in Africa where the average is well over 6 feet? That has to lead to a fair number of individuals taller than 7 feet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
I think we can debunk the "are" part pretty easily. First, we'll assume that someone goes into the NBA at age 20 (after junior year in college). This Reuters article says that the average age of an NBA player is 27. Assuming linear age. that means that players retire by age 34. If the average life expectancy is 70, then a person spends only 20% of their life being in the NBA ("are in"). You'd have to have something like 85% of every person in the world over 7 feet play in the NBA for 14 years to get to 17% of the population being in the NBA.
Ah, but don't extraordinarily tall people tend to have shorter lifespans than the rest of the adult population?


ETA: I did some checking and another site, confirming that Netherlands has the tallest average men's height, stated that it was 6 feet rather than 2 meters. I can only guess that someone had heard 2 yards, and then thought they would express it as meters, without a proper conversion - hey, a meter's about a yard, right?

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 30 September 2013 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 30 September 2013, 08:41 PM
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This is probably coming from Forbes which gets it from here

Quote:
An actual accounting of 7-footers, domestic or global, does not exist in any reliable form. National surveys by the Center for Disease Control list no head count or percentile at that height. (Only 5% of adult American males are 6’3″ or taller.)…

The curve shaped by the CDC’s available statistics, however, does allow one to estimate the number of American men between the ages of 20 and 40 who are 7 feet or taller: fewer than 70 in all. Which indicates, by further extrapolation, that while the probability of, say, an American between 6’6″ and 6’8″ being an NBA player today stands at a mere 0.07%, it’s a staggering 17% for someone 7 feet or taller.
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Old 30 September 2013, 09:31 PM
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So, not all 17% of people, 17% of American males between 20 and 40.
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