The Top 10 Gold Medal Winning Countries, Per Capita, In Winter Olympic History

  1. Liechtenstein: 1 gold medal per 18 000 people, 2 gold medals, population 35,500
  2. Norway: 1 gold medal per 49 000 people, 98 gold medals, population 4,770,000
  3. Finland: 1 gold medal per 129 000 people, 41 gold medals, population 5,300,000
  4. Austria: 1 gold medal per 163 000 people, 51 gold medals, population 8,300,000
  5. Switzerland: 1 gold medal per 205 000 people, 37 gold medals, population 7.600.000
  6. Sweden: 1 gold medal per 214 000 people,  43 gold medals, population 9,200,000
  7. Estonia: 1 gold medal per 335 000 people, 4 gold medals, population 1,300,000
  8. East Germany: 1 gold medal per 410 000 people, 39 gold medals, population 16,000,000 *
  9. Netherlands: 1 gold medal per 656 000 people, 25 gold medals, population 16,400,000
  10. Canada: 1 gold medal per 876 000 people, 38 gold medals, population 33,300,000 

* Population of East Germany at the unification of Germany

For a list of the complete, all time Winter Olympic Medal Tally (not per capita) see here:

The Above medal table that I have composed was created mainly for my own interests. The 2010 Winter Olympics start in a little over a week and I’m not overly knowledgeable about the Winter Olympics.

The per capita table has more use and is more relevant when accounting for a single event such as 1 Olympic Games. The above table has the flaw of a variable countries population over time between the first and last Olympics. This influences the per capita numerical output. The populations used in this table were approximate 2008 populations.

It is interesting to note the geographical locations of the countries in the above table, with the exclusion of Canada, are all within a relatively small area. It is also of interest to see the almost proportional population of the countries, relative to their number within the top 10. If Austria and Switzerland are interchanged (numbers 4 and 5) and Estonia is removed (number 7) then the population of the countries is proportional to their position in the top 10. This emphasizes the ease in which smaller population countries have an advantage over larger population countries in doing well in the per capita medal tallies. This contrasts the traditional medal tallies which are mainly dominated by larger population countries

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