It's well known I have a love of stats and maps, so I thought I'd attempt some analysis of where we are with contestant numbers available for half the state pageants. Fortunately I started collecting contestant numbers in 2007 which has made the job a little easier. Below you can download my spreadsheet, which has three pages: Miss contestant numbers, Teen, and the Combine Miss + Teen stats.
To the right I've provided a handy key of which states have managed to grow their numbers (represented by graduated shades of blue) and which have declined (represented in red). The first column and group of collective stats are the 2016 numbers compared to the average of the three previous years 2013-2015; the second are the last three years 2014-2016, compared to the first three years for which I have data, 2007 to 2009. My thinking in comparing to an average of three years in each case is to reduce the impact of any outliers, given that numbers do jump around a bit in each state each year. Leave a comment if I've confused you and you need further explanation!
In the latter case, I have only provided stats if I have numbers for at least two of those three years, which has ruled out a few states like Alabama and Mississippi that did not reveal contestant numbers at the time.
With all the maps I've used percentage change (because you can't compare Vermont with Texas!) but if you're interested in raw numbers, they're all in the spreadsheet.
Thoughts? Anything else you've noticed? Questions? I encourage you to please do leave a comment below.