Tag Archives: olympics

Olympic Medals per Capita – Update

Since my last post, about Beijing 2008 Olympic rankings by population and economy size, there has been a lot of action in the medals per capita stakes. The Bahamas knocked Jamaica from the number one spot with a Bronze in the triple-jump, only to have Jamaica regain the crown as it continued to win Gold in track and field. Then, with a Silver in the Men’s 4 x 400m relay, the Bahamas got to the front again in what is now an unassailable lead.

For the blow-by-blow on MPC, visit the LA Times MPC blog. I can’t help mentioning that Australia has now pulled ahead of New Zealand!

Previously, the charts I used were static, unable to keep up with these rapid changes so, although the Games are drawing to a close now, I thought I would include Swivel charts which will update as the last results come through. This time I am showing rankings in terms of a simple total medal count per million of population (previously I used a points system, 3 points for Gold, etc).
Beijing Olympics 2008: Medals per mil. Population by Country
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Olympic Medal Count by Population and GDP

Now that the swimming is over, Australia is likely to see its rankings in the Olympic medal tally start to fall. To feel better about this situation, people like to start pointing out that we still look pretty good for a small country and it’s certainly true that of the countries currently in the medal tally (as at 22 August 2008), we rank only 36th in terms of population. Ever since I blogged about the data-sharing siteĀ  Swivel, I have been regularly updating a data-set with the medal tally. So, it was a simple matter to add in population as well. The chart below provides a high-level overview of the medal results by population. It shows both the total number of medals won and the gold medals. The further a country sits in this chart above a 45 degree line, the better it is doing by population.

Total Medals (blue) and Gold medals by Population

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