An interesting no-show on this list is Canada. The country does well in every Winter Olympics—appearing third or fourth in all but one year above—but can’t seem to crack the top two.

Which countries have the best medal-to-population ratio in the Winter Olympics?

You might argue that countries with large populations, like Germany and the US, have an advantage: they simply have more choice. With that in mind, we analyzed how countries performed by comparing wins to population. Here’s what that looked like for the most recent winter Olympics. Do the countries with large populations have the best population-to-medal ratio? Certainly not—take a look at where China falls on the list.

Despite having the largest population in the world, China was only able to grab one win for every 154 million people, which is quite a contrast to its success at recent Summer Olympics. India had similarly bad luck in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. The country won two medals, meaning a single medal for every 656 million people.

Lichtenstein, with a population similar to a typical American college campus, had relatively great success at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It sent only three athletes and grabbed a bronze medal. It also beat out Norway for the top population-per-medal ratio—but only that once. Norway has held the top spot at every other Winter Olympics since 1998.

In the Winter Olympics, which countries have had the best athletes-to-medal ratio?

Now let’s take a look at how many medals a country receives with respect to the number of athletes it sends. Wealthy, populous nations tend to send hundreds of athletes. More people competing could easily mean more medals. But most nations just aren’t sending that many people. A way to compare countries with such different team sizes is by dividing the number of athletes in a team’s delegation by the total medals the nation won, giving us the number of athletes per medal.

Keep in mind, this comparison, while interesting, is not entirely fair. For example, some athletes win multiple medals all on their own, and then there are the team sports—participating in hockey means sending a whole group of people. And if they win, it’s only a single medal.

Here’s what the comparison looked like in 2018.

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