Jamaica, Grenada lead per-capita medal count

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

Fourth-Place Medal analyzed the per-capita medal count and came up with 10 facts about medals and population from the London Olympics. Thanks to medalspercapita.com for the information.

1. Jamaica, the small island country of 2.7 million people, has won nine medals in London, giving it the highest per-capita medal rate of any nation with multiple medals. Athletes won one medal for every 300,000 citizens. India (four medals) finished in last place. Its athletes would have needed to win 4,138 medals to have the same rate.

2. If Jamaica were a state in the U.S., it would rank No. 35 in population. Nevada has approximately the same number of residents.

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3. The island nation has won all nine medals in track (and, more specifically, the sprints). That was good for second on the athletics medal count, ahead of Russia, Great Britain, Kenya, Germany, Australia and China.

4. One nation was ahead of Jamaica in the per-capita rate: Grenada. The tiny island country in the south Caribbean has won a gold medal courtesy 400 runner Kirani James. It's the first medal ever won by one of Grenada's 100,000 citizens. How tiny is the country? Only nine athletes were sent to the Olympics. (Which is actually a lot, if you think about it.) It's total size: The same as Winston-Salem, N.C.

5. How about big countries? Obviously the per-capita rates are dominated by nations with small populations and lower medal counts. But where do the big boys stand? Of countries with more than 20 million people, Australia has been the winner even in a disappointing Olympics. The nation has won 30 medals for its 22 million people.

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6. If the threshold is 50 million residents, the host nation is ahead: Great Britain, population 62 million, has won 54 medals overall.

7. The United States is 40th on the per-capita medal count. Athletes have won 90 medals for 313 million people; a ratio of one medal per 3.5 million residents.

8. Top five: Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Slovenia and Denmark.

9. Bottom five: India, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey and Algeria.

10. At least those countries have won medals, which is more than Pakistan (179 million), Nigeria (162 million), Bangladesh (142 million), Philippines (92 million) and Vietnam (87 million) can say.

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