I am feeling very Olympic today!

I am feeling very Olympic today!

Georgia Allan 08 Feb, 2018

Over the weekend, my most favourite movie of all time, Cool Runnings, was on TV.

For those of you not familiar with Cool Runnings (shame!), it’s the fictionalised account of the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

It got me thinking about the Winter Olympics that are starting this Friday in South Korea. They’ve been in the news quite a bit already (from the Russian ban relating to doping, to the joint South Korean and North Korean ice hockey team). So I thought I’d have a look at which countries were competing this year, and just how well represented their populations will be.

Who will be there?

This year, 92 countries will be competing in the Winter Olympics. Unsurprisingly, over half of the participating countries are located in Europe – with climates more conducive to winter sports. Countries sending the most athletes are:

United States (241)

Canada (226)

Switzerland (170)

Russian Athletes competing under Olympic Flag (168)

Germany (156)

Per capita representation

However, if you look at the number of athletes per 100,000 population, it shows that some very small countries are well represented at these Games.

Country Athletes Population Athletes per 100,000 population
Liechtenstein 3 38,155 7.86
Monaco 3 38,897 7.71
Andorra 5 76,953 6.50
Slovenia 71 2,081,260 3.41
San Marino 1 33,557 2.98
Norway 109 5,353,363 2.04
Switzerland 170 8,544,034 1.99
Finland 106 5,542,517 1.91
Latvia 34 1,929,938 1.76
Estonia 22 1,306,788 1.68
Bermuda 1 61,070 1.64
Iceland 5 337,780 1.48
Austria 105 8,751,820 1.20
Sweden 119 9,982,709 1.19
Slovakia 56 5,449,816 1.03

What about Australian representation? We’ll be sending a team of 51 athletes, or 0.21 athletes per 100,000 population. I think that’s pretty good for a country with fairly limited access to snow and exposure to winter sports. How many Australian kids (or adults for that matter) would have heard of or seen skeleton or luge?!

.id is a team of demographers, urban economists, spatial planners and Census data experts who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help governments and organisations plan for the future. Access our free demographic resources here.

Tags: Fun stuff
Georgia Allan

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University in Adelaide. At .id, Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy. Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas. When not in the office, she is likely to be cooking, knitting, crocheting, or buried in a good book.

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