London Spy

The Olympic medal ‘per capita’ table

London Spy

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Great Britain proudly stand third in the Olympic medal table behind just China and the United States but Britain would actually be above those two countries if the Olympic medal table was done on a 'per capita' basis.

However, before you start petitioning the IOC to redraw the medal table, Britain would actually drop to ninth on a adjusted medal table due to its population size. (Thanks to medalspercapita.com for the information, correct as of the start of action on Saturday)

That drop would be even greater if you were to work off total medals as opposed to just golds. Team GB would be only 20th on that list, below even Australia whose poor performance at the Games has been greeted with some schadenfreude by people in these parts.

Tiny Grenada (population just over 100,000) would top both lists despite only winning one medal (Kiraini James in the men's 400m) while Jamaica are the best of the countries that have won multiple medals.

The small island country of 2.7 million people has won 10 medals in London, meaning athletes won one medal for every 300,000 citizens. India (four medals) finished in last place. Its athletes would have needed to win 4,138 medals to have the same rate as Jamaica.

How about big countries? Obviously the per capita rates are dominated by nations with small populations and lower medal counts. But where do the big boys stand? Of countries with more than 20 million people, Australia has been the winner of most medals even in a disappointing Olympics. The nation has won 30 medals for its 22 million people.

If the threshold is 50 million residents, then Great Britain, population 62 million, leads with 54 medals overall.

The bottom five in the total medal count is India, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria and Thailand but at least those countries have won medals, which is more than Pakistan (179 million), Nigeria (162 million), Bangladesh (142 million), Philippines (92 million) and Vietnam (87 million) can say.

Total medals top 10

Rank Country Medals Population Population
per Medal
1 Grenada 1 110,821 110,821
2 Jamaica 10 2,705,827 270,582
3 Bahamas 1 353,658 353,658
4 New Zealand 12 4,432,620 369,385
5 Slovenia 4 2,057,540 514,385
6 Denmark 9 5,580,516 620,057
7 Trinidad and Tobago 2 1,317,714 658,857
8 Estonia 2 1,318,005 659,002
9 Hungary 15 9,962,000 664,133
10 Mongolia 4 2,736,800 684,200

Selected others

11. Australia

20. Great Britain

23. Ireland

42. USA

72. China

Gold medals top 10

Rank Country Gold Medals Population Population
per Gold Medal
1 Grenada 1 110,821 110,821
2 Bahamas 1 353,658 353,658
3 Jamaica 3 2,705,827 901,942
4 New Zealand 4 4,432,620 1,108,155
5 Hungary 8 9,962,000 1,245,250
6 Slovenia 1 2,057,540 2,057,540
7 Latvia 1 2,070,371 2,070,371
8 Croatia 2 4,290,612 2,145,306
9 Great Britain 25 62,262,000 2,490,480
10 Kazakhstan 6 16,718,000 2,786,333

Selected others

15. Australia

20. Ireland

25. USA

43. China

Eurosport / Yahoo! Sports Fourth Placed Medal

See the full tables at medalspercapita.com

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