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Rio 2016 Olympic Games: Medals per capita

Which country has the most medals per capita in 2016?

We are crunching the numbers during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to show how many medals countries are winning relative to their population. 

This differs from the traditional medal table, which ranks countries based on how many gold, silver, and bronze medals they have won.

August 22 2016: New Zealand finishes third on medals per capita table at Rio

New Zealand’s 18 medals at the Rio Olympics put us in third place for total medals per capita, Statistics NZ said today.

At the end of the Games, New Zealand has finished with four gold medals, nine silver, and five bronze.

Based on total medals per capita, New Zealand is behind only Grenada and the Bahamas. Australia came in at 14th, picking up 29 medals, including eight gold. With 18 medals, New Zealand won the equivalent of about four medals for every one million people.

Based on gold medals per capita, New Zealand’s four golds puts us in fifth place – just behind Fiji, with one gold medal. The Bahamas tops the gold medals per capita table, with one gold medal from a population of just under 400,000.

At the 2012 London Olympics, using this alternative ranking system, New Zealand came fourth in both the gold and total medal rankings. In 2012, New Zealand won six gold medals, two silver, and five bronze.  

Gold medal count, per million population, final count, Rio 2016 Olympic Games

 Rank

 Gold medals per million population

 Country

 Population 

(million)

   Actual number won
Gold Silver Bronze Total

 1

 2.58

 Bahamas flag

Bahamas

0.39

1

 0 

1

2

 2

 2.15

 Jamaica Flag

Jamaica

2.79

6

3

2

11

 3

 1.18

 Croatia Flag

Croatia

4.24

5

3

2

10

 4

 1.12

 Fiji flag.

Fiji

0.89

1

0

0

1

 5

 0.88

New Zealand Flag

New Zealand

4.53

4

9

5

18

 6

 0.81

Hungary flag

Hungary

9.86

8

3

4

15

 7

 0.73

Image, flag of Bahrain.

Bahrain

1.38

1

1

0

2

 8

 0.56

Image, Kosovo flag.

Kosovo

1.80

1

0

0

1

 9

 0.50

 Georgia flag

Georgia

4.00

2

 1

4

7

 10

 0.48

Slovenia flag

Slovenia

2.07

1

 2

1

4

Updated 10am NZT Tuesday, 30 August 2016.
Note: Population estimates are 2015 estimates from the United Nations, except for Kosovo, which is the 2015 population estimate sourced from The World Bank.
Source: Statistics New Zealand, with medal counts from www.rio2016.com.

 

Medal count, per million population, final count, Rio 2016 Olympic Games

 Rank  Total medals per million population  Country Population

(million)

 Actual number won
 Gold  Silver  Bronze  Total
 1

 9.36

Grenada Flag

Grenada

0.11

0 1 0 1

 2

 5.15

Bahamas flag

Bahamas

0.39

1

0

1

2

 3

 3.97

New Zealand Flag New Zealand

4.53

4

9

5

18

 4

 3.94

Jamaica Flag

Jamaica 2.79

6

3

2

11

 5

 2.65

Denmark flag

Denmark

5.67

2

6

7

15

 6

 2.36

Croatia Flag Croatia 4.24

5

3

2

10

 7

 1.93

Slovenia flag Slovenia

2.07

1

2

1

4

 8

 1.85

Flag of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan

9.75

1

7

10

18

 9

 1.75

Georgia flag

Georgia

4.00

2

1

4

7

 10

 1.52

Hungary flag

Hungary

9.86

8

3

4

15

Updated 10am NZT Tuesday, 30 August 2016.
Note: Population estimates are 2015 estimates from the United Nations.
Source: Statistics New Zealand, with medal counts from www.rio2016.com.

 Graph, Gold medals per million population, final count (30 August 2016), Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Graph, Total medals per million population, final count (30 August 2016), Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Commentary from past dates

19 August 2016: New Zealand in second place at Rio in medals per capita ranking

New Zealand now has 15 medals at the Rio Olympics, putting us in second place for total medals per capita.

New Zealand now has four gold medals, eight silver, and three bronze.

That leaves New Zealand behind only Grenada in our total medals per capita ranking. Grenada has one silver medal, from a population of about 110,000.

Based on gold medals per capita, New Zealand’s four golds puts us in fifth place. The gold medals per capita table is topped by the Bahamas, with one gold medal from a population of just under 400,000.

The New Zealand medals today went to:

  • Gold – to 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling
  • Silver – to 470 sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie and to 49er sailors Molly Meech and Alex Maloney
  • Bronze – to K1 500 paddler Lisa Carrington and shot-putter Tom Walsh.

17 August 2016: New Zealand in third place on the per capita medals table at Rio

New Zealand now has 10 medals at the Rio Olympics, putting us in third place overall for medals per capita, Statistics NZ said today.

With three gold medals, six silver, and one bronze, New Zealand is behind Grenada and the Bahamas for the number of medals for their respective size.

On a gold medals per capita basis, New Zealand’s three medals puts us in sixth place, with the table topped by tiny Bahamas with a single gold medal for a population of less than 400,000. Fiji is in second place with a gold from the rugby sevens.

Overnight, Lisa Carrington won a gold medal in kayaking, defending her Olympic title when she won the K1 200.

Laser sailor Sam Meech came through under pressure to win a bronze medal.

Sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling have already sewn up the 49er gold medal with their medal race still to come. Their expected medal is not included in the latest update.

15 August 2016: New Zealand moves to top of the per capita medals table at Rio

On a medals per capita basis, New Zealand now ranks at the top of the table with two gold medals and six silver at the Rio Olympics, Statistics NZ said today.

With eight medals overall at the half way stage at Rio, New Zealand is the highest performing country, with the equivalent of 1.77 medals for every one million people.

Slovenia is second on 1.45 medals for every one million people. Hungary and Denmark are third and fourth respectively, with Fiji coming in fifth based on its one gold for the men’s rugby sevens win.

However, on a per capita basis for gold medals alone, Fiji tops the table, with its one gold for a population of just under 900,000. On that basis, New Zealand’s two gold medals leave it in sixth place, with a population of more than 4.5 million.

During the weekend, Mahe Drysdale’s single sculls gold medal was the high point for the New Zealand team.

On Saturday, New Zealand won two silver medals, for shot-putter Valerie Adams and at the rowing where Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown also picked up a medal in the pair.

12 August 2016: First gold medal ranks New Zealand third in our total medals table

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won a gold medal in the men’s pair rowing event – New Zealand’s first gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

This win means New Zealand now ranks seventh in the gold medals by population table.

In the total medals by population table New Zealand now ranks third, after gaining two more silver medals. Luuka Jones won silver in women’s kayaking and the men’s sprint cycling team came second in track cycling.

Fiji has moved into first place on the gold medals by population table, with a gold in the men’s rugby sevens.

9 August 2016: New Zealand wins second silver medal

The New Zealand women’s rugby sevens team won a silver medal, losing in the final to Australia 24 to 17. New Zealand now has two silver medals, after Natalie Rooney came second in the women’s trap shooting on Monday.

In the 'all medals' per capita table, New Zealand remains in second place behind Kosovo, but ahead of Mongolia and then Australia.

8 August 2016

Natalie Rooney won a silver medal in the women’s trap shooting today – New Zealand’s first medal at the Rio Olympics.

In the 'all medals' per capita table, New Zealand is now ranked second, behind Kosovo but ahead of Australia, which has five medals.

Rooney made it into the final against Australian Catherine Skinner, who took the gold medal.

Rooney is only the second New Zealand shooter, after 1968 bronze medallist Ian Ballinger, to win an Olympic medal.

On a population basis Kosovo is top of the gold medal table, with a gold in women’s judo. Kosovo has a population of just 1.8 million.

Page updated 30 August 2016.

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