Every four years the USA and China battle it out for top place in the Olympic medals table. Sure, they get the most medals, but they’re also two of the four largest countries in the world. But, what would happen if we counted Olympic medals based on the population of each country instead?
Well, check out the tabs below for more information about what would happen if we counted Olympic medals per capita instead. The first tab provides an up to date medal table for Rio 2016 based on the number of people in each country. The second tab contains a map and table listing the per capita medal count for the last Olympics, London 2012.
The news of today is that New Zealand are closing quickly on second place, there are two new entrants into the top ten (Georgia and Armenia) and Australia have broken the one medal per million people barrier.
Grenada hold on to top spot with one medal per 106,825 people and the Bahamas cling on to second with one medal per 388,019 people.
Two medals for New Zealand yesterday puts them in perfect position (one medal per 459,570 people) to challenge for second place – two more medals would see them overhaul the Bahamas.
Slovenia (one medal per 516,942 people) and Jamaica (one medal per 558,667 people) both picked up medals yesterday too. They’re chasing hard from 4th and 5th place respectively. Jamaica, in particular, are expected to pick up more sprint medals in the next few days.
Two big moves into the top ten today from Georgia and Armenia. They’ve rocketed up into 8th and 9th place. Georgia picked up two medals yesterday to move up from 22nd and Armenia picked up three medals (quadrupling their medal count) to move up from 31st place.
Bahrain and Jamaica are also climbing the top of the table – Bahrain up six places from 11th to 6th (one medal per 688,619 people) and Jamaica up one to 6th (one medal per 698,334 people. Early pacesetters Slovenia and Fiji drop to 4th and 9th place respectively.
Australia have broken through the one medal per million people barrier – their medals yesterday brought their total to one medal for every 990,882 people. Although they’re in 14th place in the overall table, they are comfortably top of the table when it comes to major countries (those with a population of more than 20 million). They’re followed by Great Britain (one medal per 1.3 million people), France (one medal per 2.3 million people) and Canada (one medal per 2.6million people.
The United States’ Rio medal tally per capita remains a little disappointing – just one medal for every 3.8 million people. They’re continuing their slide down the table from 38th to 40th yesterday and from 40th to 41st today. They’re only just behind Russia though (they’ve also got medal per 3.8 million people).
China, the world’s largest country sits near the bottom of the table in 68th place (down from 60th yesterday) with one medal per 26.9 million people. Indonesia remains stubbornly at the bottom, propping up the table with one medal for every 128.8 million people.
After a slow start, hosts Brazil are beginning to pick up medals – their eleven medals come at a price of one per 18.9 million people, putting them in 64th place.
|57||United Arab Emirates||1||9,156,963||9,156,963|
Table accurate at 10.00am British Summer Time 17 August 2016.
Note: Two medals have been won by Independent Olympic Athletes – they are not recorded in this table.
Although the USA and China topped the official 2012 London Olympic medals table, our unofficial per capital medal table shows a very different story.
Grenada may have just one a single gold medal, but when you consider that they have a population of just over 100,000 people – the equivalent of a small city – their achievement is impressive enough to put them at the top of our table.
Jamaica’s 12 medals spread across a population of 2,723,246 shows an impressive performance and consistency – they won a medal for every 226,937 and a Gold medal for every 680,812 people.
Hosts Great Britain managed a medal for every million people, more or less, making them the best performer among the major Olympic nations. Certainly a far stronger performance than the USA (one medal per 3,143,175 people), Russia (one medal per 1,809,877 people), or China (one medal per 15,647,540 people).
Underperforming countries in the medal table are India, who picked up six medals (two silver and four bronze) at a rate of 214,338,339 per medal, and Indonesia, whose two medals came at a rate of one per 129,352,500 people.
Three of the world’s eight largest countries (Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh, with a combined population of more than 500 million people) didn’t win a single Olympic medal in 2012. Poor Bangladesh have never won a single Olympic medal in their entire history.
|Country||Total Medals||People per medal||People per Gold||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Population (2016)|
|Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||4||337,417||1,349,667||1||0||3||1,349,667|
|New Zealand (NZL)||13||361,029||782,230||6||2||5||4,693,380|
|Great Britain (GBR)||65||1,001,492||2,244,724||29||17||19||65,097,000|
|Czech Republic (CZE)||10||1,055,384||2,638,461||4||3||3||10,553,843|
|Puerto Rico (PUR)||2||1,737,091||#DIV/0!||0||1||1||3,474,182|
|South Korea (KOR)||28||1,814,336||3,907,800||13||8||7||50,801,405|
|United States (USA)||103||3,143,175||7,037,978||46||28||29||323,747,000|
|North Korea (PRK)||6||4,213,500||6,320,250||4||0||2||25,281,000|
|Dominican Republic (DOM)||2||5,037,523||10,075,045||1||1||0||10,075,045|
|Hong Kong (HKG)||1||7,324,300||#DIV/0!||0||0||1||7,324,300|
|South Africa (RSA)||6||9,159,483||18,318,967||3||2||1||54,956,900|
|Chinese Taipei (TPE)||2||11,749,702||#DIV/0!||0||1||1||23,499,404|
|Saudi Arabia (KSA)||1||32,248,200||#DIV/0!||0||0||1||32,248,200|