^^ I agree and it changes each year based on how many are applying. I don't see a lot of value in asking your MOC since it really has nothing to do with whether or not you apply. Most likely your parents aren't going to relocate just to improve your 'chances' of getting a NOM.
Just to get an idea of how competitive the numbers were the previous years may be interesting facts to know. It should not be much of a deterrent but instead a motivational factor for any well-rounded, healthy high schooler who would like to serve to apply.
Went to a district reception for appointed candidates earlier this week and the congressman said VA-11 (our district) is usually among the most competitive. May have been a little self-promotion as a pat on the back for candidates, but makes sense given the Pentagon and a couple other military bases are in VA-11. All of Northern VA is usually competitive.
We are VA-11...very competitive! Lots of military families, great public and private high schools, robust sports and music programs.
The Catholic schools host "service academy nights" to help the kids prepare to apply and to learn more about all of their options (including ROTC).
I think there are some districts in Southern California that are also very competitive.
I noticed when my DS was applying that the same states that had high national merit qualifying scores tended to be pretty competitive for service academies. Of course you cant lump a whole state together when examining SA competitiveness. Example-here in Texas, there are some very competitive districts in the Dallas, Houston, Austin...areas and some others in west and south Texas where they may not even get enough applicants to have a full slate of nominees.
Thank goodness we are not in NOVA & CA. Our district is very competitive too. With top high schools in PA, the Valley Forge Military Academy, & few boarding schools the competition is fierce. That is why having an awesome plan B college is very important!
According to my BGO this year was a very competitive all around. Supposedly, no one from my district was accepted to USNA. One person was waitlisted and I got into NAPS. I don't know how competitive this area is with West Point being a couple of counties north and USMMA to the south on Long Island.
It comes down awareness of the Service Academies and numbers of applicants. Some areas like Northern VA /DC area are naturally competitive, there is a strong awareness of Military in general, and USNA in particular. Same for areas with a strong Navy presence --there are a lot of active service members, grads, etc. and all contribute to awareness of the Service Academy. I have heard there can be over 100 candidates from each Congressional District in some of these areas, so the competition is fierce --first to get a Nomination and then to get the appointment from among a MOC slate.
There are other areas of the country with little military (let alone Navy) presence, and little awareness of the the Naval Academy. One of the roles of the BGO is to promote awareness so that we can attract the best and brightest candidates. I'm from a smaller, Midwestern state and I know that the total number of candidates in our state is probably less than the total number of applicants in a single congressional district like Northern Virginia. Our candidates are every bit as qualified as the "more competitive" districts (all that I am aware of have done very well at USNA), but there are a lot less of them, and I suspect much easier for Admissions to accurately select the "best" and most qualified, than having to pick from a more competive pool where the ten persons on the MOC slate are all essentially the same.
Also, it's important to remember that candidates who live in a "less competitive" area are not necessarily less competitive. It's just that there are fewer of them in their geographic region, which can be an advantage. IOW, if you are an outstanding candidate who lives in ND, you could be the only outstanding candidate in the state. If that same person lived in northern VA, there could be more than a dozen equally outstanding candidates. This is what makes it challenging.
I personally live in MD-01. (30 minutes from the academy, basically whole eastern shore). And was told by my BGO that almost 1/4 of the applications opened come from MD. Alot of kids from around here want to go and we don't get a ton more slots than other states ( I saw more people from MD at USAFA SS than USNA) I can only assume the DMV area in a whole is VERY competitive compared to say... North Dakota. I don't know the specifics but thats what I was told.