Metanexus Blog: Thinking Big
Olympic Medal Count Normalized for Population
Here in the United States, NBC has treated viewers with a jingoistic broadcast of the London Olympics, focusing almost exclusively on U.S. athletes and the daily medal count (sponsored by McDonalds). A South African sets a world record in breast stroke and NBC interviews the third place U.S. finisher.
One wishes for an Olympic competition that would focus on the individuals and teams and not their nation states. When normalized for population, the small Caribbean island of Grenada comes in first with one gold medal per its total population of 110,821. Jamaica comes in second, and Trinidad and Tobago comes in third. The aggregate winners of the medal count—the United States and China—come in 49th and 74th respectively. For the full details, go to www.medalspercapita.com. We still need a count that normalizes for GDP per capita.
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