June 4, 2008, 12:37 pm
Olympic Medals: Small is Beautiful
By Lisa Agustin
With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, the Economist’s Daily Chart presents a different way of considering wins per country. Using the 2004 Athens Olympics as an example, the typical approach is to show the total number of medals won by each country. As one might expect, the bigger “superpower” countries make up the top ten. But slicing the data a different way — in this case, medals per million citizens — puts the Bahamas in first place. It’s an interesting take; an added plus would have been some reference to total populace for each of these smaller countries to put it all in perspective.
An additional take would be to divide large countries into states or regions. I suspect California would do quite well. It’s astonishing how many top U.S. athletes live in just a few of the warmer, dryer states.
Posted by Henry Woodbury on June 26, 2008 at 8:32 am