Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Best Sporting Nation On Earth (Per Capita)

In their book "Soccernomics" Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski came up with a system for determining which countries have historically performed the best at sports given their population. They awarded points to countries based on their success in the following sports: rugby union, karate, cricket, baseball, basketball, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, golf, chess, cycling, auto racing, the Summer and Winter Olympics, and the men's soccer World Cup. They then divided each country's total points by population to work out each country's sporting efficiency rating.

The winner? Norway, and by a considerable margin. Norway has been very successful at the Winter Olympics and women's soccer, and has a population of only five million. Sweden finished second on the table, Australia third, and New Zealand fourth.

Unsurpisingly, on the "raw" points total, the US came out as the most successful sporting nation.

The top 10:

Norway - 4 points per million inhabitants
Sweden - 1.22
Australia - 0.98
New Zealand - 0.97
United Germany - 0.91
Britain/England - 0.85
Hungary - 0.80
West Indies - 0.77
France - 0.67
Italy - 0.54


tom caulfield said...

What about the Irish???

No.1 golfer, ranked no.3 rugby, 2 world boxing champs, biggest UFC draw, one of the best equestrian, even top 10 cricket (which almost no-one plays) and our biggest sports are our national games, Gaelic football and hurling. Surely per capita, the Irish are right up there with Australia.

darenkov said...

This can't be a conversation withiut Croatia, who for a relatively young country with a population of only 4 million, yet are consistently among top performers in soccer, water polo, tennis, volleyball, handball, basketball, Olympic skiing and shooting. I think they should rank #1