While watching the opening ceremonies, during the parade of nations, I noticed that population data and the number of olympians was displayed for each nation. This made me curious. Which nations have more olympians relative to their population? Beyond population, how do nations compare in the number of olympians they send and the number of medals they win?
I was able to pull population data from the world bank, London 2012 medal counts from Wikipedia, and the number of current olympians from Wikipedia as well.
Looking at the data, you can see some crazy stuff. The cook Islands has .82 summer olympians per 1,000 people in their country for Rio 2016! In London 2012, Jamaica won .004 olympic medals per 1,000 people in their country, by far the highest of any nation.
When we move on to looking at share of olympians (Rio 2016) versus share of medals (London 2012) we see the USA dominating. The USA makes up 5% of Olympians in Rio 2016 but won nearly 11% of all medals in London 2012! That being said, Russia and China averaged a higher number of medals per athlete than the US in London 2012.
Explore the data for yourself and happy olympics!