List of countries by Nobel laureates per capita

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This article includes a list of countries by Nobel laureates per capita. That is, a list of countries ranked by their Nobel Prize winners in relation to their population. Because the population of a country is significantly higher than its Nobel laureates, the figures have been multiplied by 10 million. Thus, the number on the rightmost column can be read as the number of Nobel laureates a country possesses for every 10 million people.

The figures include all Nobel Prizes awarded up to and including 14 October 2013.

Note: Non-sovereign entities are marked in italics.

All prizes[edit]

All five prizes (Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine) and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences are considered.

Rank Country Nobel
laureates[1]
Population
(2013)[2]
Laureates/
10 million
 Faroe Islands 1 49,469 202.147
1  Saint Lucia 2 182,273 109.726
2  Luxembourg 2 530,380 37.709
3   Switzerland 25 8,077,833 30.949
4  Iceland 1 329,535 30.346
5  Sweden 29 9,571,105 30.300
6  Denmark 14 5,619,096 24.915
7  Austria 21 8,495,145 24.720
8  Norway 11 5,042,671 21.814
9  United Kingdom 121 63,136,265 19.165
10  East Timor 2 1,132,879 17.654
11  Israel 12 7,733,144 15.518
12  Ireland 6 4,627,173 12.967
13  Germany 104 82,726,626 12.572
14  Netherlands 19 16,759,229 11.337
15  United States 346 320,050,716 10.811
16  France 59 64,291,280 9.177
17  Hungary 9 9,954,941 9.041
18  Belgium 10 11,104,476 9.005
 European Union[3] 456 509,472,390 8.950
19  Cyprus 1 1,141,166 8.763
20  Trinidad and Tobago 1 1,341,151 7.456
21  Finland 4 5,426,323 7.371
22  New Zealand 3 4,505,761 6.658
23  Canada 22 35,181,704 6.253
24  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 3,829,307 5.223
25  Australia 12 23,342,553 5.141
26  Latvia 1 2,050,317 4.877
27  Slovenia 1 2,071,997 4.826
28  Macedonia 1 2,107,158 4.746
29  Czech Republic 5 10,702,197 4.672
30  Liberia 2 4,294,077 4.658
31  Lithuania 1 3,016,933 3.315
32  Italy 20 60,990,277 3.279
 Tibet[4] 1 3,117,917 3.207
33  Poland 12 38,216,635 3.140
34  Croatia 2 4,289,714 2.331
35  Palestine 1 4,326,295 2.311
36  Costa Rica 1 4,872,166 2.052
37  South Africa 10 52,776,130 1.895
38  Portugal 2 10,608,156 1.885
39  Greece 2 11,127,990 1.797
40  Spain 8 46,926,963 1.705
41  Russia 23 142,833,689 1.610
42  Japan 19 127,143,577 1.494
 Hong Kong 1 7,203,836 1.388
43  Bulgaria 1 7,222,943 1.384
44  Romania 3 21,698,585 1.383
45  Guatemala 2 15,468,203 1.293
46  Argentina 5 41,446,246 1.206
 World[5] 851 7,162,119,434 1.188
47  Chile 2 17,619,708 1.135
48  Belarus 1 9,356,678 1.069
49  Azerbaijan 1 9,413,420 1.062
50  Algeria 2 39,208,194 0.510
51  Egypt 4 82,056,378 0.487
52  Taiwan 1 23,329,772 0.429
53  Yemen 1 24,407,381 0.410
54  Ghana 1 25,904,598 0.386
55  Peru 1 30,375,603 0.329
56  Venezuela 1 30,405,207 0.329
57  Morocco 1 33,008,150 0.303
58  Iran 2 77,447,168 0.258
59  Mexico 3 122,332,399 0.245
60  Kenya 1 44,353,691 0.225
61  Ukraine 1 45,238,805 0.221
62  Colombia 1 48,321,405 0.207
63  Korea, South 1 49,262,698 0.203
64  Myanmar 1 53,259,018 0.188
65  Turkey 1 74,932,641 0.133
66  Vietnam 1 91,679,733 0.109
67  India 9 1,252,139,596 0.072
68  Bangladesh 1 156,594,962 0.064
69  China 8 1,385,566,537 0.058
70  Nigeria 1 173,615,345 0.058
71  Pakistan 1 182,142,594 0.055
72  Brazil 1 200,361,925 0.050

Scientific prizes[edit]

Only the awards for Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences are considered.

Rank Country Nobel
laureates[1]
Population
(2013)[2]
Laureates/
10 million
 Faroe Islands 1 49,469 202.147
1  Saint Lucia 1 182,273 54.863
2  Luxembourg 2 530,380 37.709
3   Switzerland 20 8,077,833 24.759
4  Austria 18 8,495,145 21.189
5  Denmark 10 5,619,096 17.796
6  Sweden 16 9,571,105 16.717
7  United Kingdom 96 63,136,265 15.205
8  Norway 6 5,042,671 11.898
9  Netherlands 18 16,759,229 10.740
10  Germany 88 82,726,626 10.637
11  Israel 8 7,733,144 10.345
12  United States 313 320,050,716 9.780
13  Cyprus 1 1,141,166 8.763
14  Hungary 8 9,954,941 8.036
15  New Zealand 3 4,505,761 6.658
 European Union[3] 330 509,472,390 6.477
16  France 35 64,291,280 5.444
17  Belgium 6 11,104,476 5.403
18  Canada 19 35,181,704 5.401
19  Latvia 1 2,050,317 4.877
20  Slovenia 1 2,071,997 4.826
21  Australia 11 23,342,553 4.712
22  Finland 2 5,426,323 3.686
23  Lithuania 1 3,016,933 3.315
24  Czech Republic 3 10,702,197 2.803
25  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 3,829,307 2.611
26  Croatia 2 4,289,714 2.331
27  Ireland 1 4,627,173 2.161
28  Italy 13 60,990,277 2.131
 Hong Kong 1 7,203,836 1.388
29  Poland 5 38,216,635 1.308
30  Japan 16 127,143,577 1.258
31  Russia 16 142,833,689 1.120
32  Belarus 1 9,356,678 1.069
33  Azerbaijan 1 9,413,420 1.062
34  Portugal 1 10,608,156 0.943
 World[5] 640 7,162,119,434 0.894
35  South Africa 4 52,776,130 0.758
36  Argentina 3 41,446,246 0.724
37  Romania 1 21,698,585 0.461
38  Taiwan 1 23,329,772 0.429
39  Spain 2 46,926,963 0.426
40  Venezuela 1 30,405,207 0.329
41  Morocco 1 33,008,150 0.303
42  Algeria 1 39,208,194 0.255
43  Ukraine 1 45,238,805 0.221
44  Egypt 1 82,056,378 0.122
45  Mexico 1 122,332,399 0.082
46  Pakistan 1 182,142,594 0.055
47  Brazil 1 200,361,925 0.050
48  India 6 1,252,139,596 0.048
49  China 4 1,385,566,537 0.029

Inclusion criteria[edit]

The list of Nobel laureates by country was compiled by BBC News using the following criteria:[1]

  • Prizes are allocated to the country/countries stated on the winner's biography on the website of the Nobel Prize committee (www.nobelprize.org).
  • Where the website mentions multiple countries in relation to a prize winner (country of birth; country of citizenship; country of residence at time of award) each of those countries is credited as having won the prize.
  • Where a prize has multiple winners, the country (or countries) of each winner are credited.
  • Prizes which were declined by the winner are included.
  • Prizes won by organisations are not allocated to countries.
  • Winners from Belarus and Ukraine are not credited to Russia. Winners born in what was then Poland but is now Ukraine are credited to Poland.

Note: The BBC News figures included all Nobel Prizes awarded up to and including 8 October 2010. Nobel prizes announced after that date were added generally following the same criteria outlined above (see Updates section below for details).

Corrections[edit]

This is a list of corrections made to the original figures provided by BBC News:

  • No award was attributed to Luxembourg, but, according to the Nobel Prize website, Gabriel Lippmann (Physics, 1908) was born in that country.[6]
  • No award was attributed to Azerbaijan, but, according to the Nobel Prize website, Lev Landau (Physics, 1962) was born in that country (then part of the Russian Empire).[7] The justification for this correction is that BBC News did credit Latvia for Wilhelm Ostwald's 1909 Chemistry Prize, even though his birthplace, Latvia's capital Riga, was by the time he was born (1853) also part of the Russian Empire.
  • Australia was credited with only one Nobel laureate in Physics, but up to and including 8 October 2010 there were two Physics laureates associated with that country: William Lawrence Bragg (1915) and Aleksandr Prokhorov (1964), both of whom were born there according to the Nobel Prize website.[8][9]

Updates[edit]

This section details how Nobel Prizes announced after 8 October 2010 were added.

  • 2010 update:
    • Economic Sciences: 2 to the United States and 1 each to Cyprus, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
  • 2011 update:
    • Chemistry: 1 to Israel.
    • Literature: 1 to Sweden.
    • Peace: 2 to Liberia and 1 to Yemen.
    • Physics: 3 to the United States and 1 to Australia.
    • Physiology or Medicine: 2 to the United States and 1 each to Canada, France and Luxembourg.
    • Economic Sciences: 2 to the United States.
  • 2012 update:
    • Physiology or Medicine: 1 each to the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States.
    • Physics: 1 each to Morocco, France and the United States.
    • Chemistry: 2 to the United States.
    • Literature: 1 to China.
    • Peace: Not applicable.
    • Economic Sciences: 2 to the United States.
  • 2013 update:
    • Physiology or Medicine: 2 to the United States and 1 to Germany.
    • Physics: 1 each to Belgium and the United Kingdom.
    • Chemistry: 3 to the United States, 2 to Israel, and 1 each to Austria, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
    • Literature: 1 to Canada.
    • Peace: Not applicable.
    • Economic Sciences: 3 to the United States.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Which country has the best brains?". BBC News. 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Total Population - Both Sexes". World Population Prospects, the 2012 Revision. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Population Estimates and Projections Section. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Includes every credit given separately to each of the 28 EU member states.
  4. ^ A population estimate for 2013 was calculated using the average annual population growth in the Tibet Autonomous Region between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. 2000 census population: 2,616,329 (Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China). 2010 census population: 3,002,166 (Source: Xinhua News Agency). Formula used: 3002166+3*(3002166-2616329)/10=3117917.1.
  5. ^ a b In this case each Nobel laureate was only counted once, Source: "Nobel Prize Facts". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  6. ^ "Gabriel Lippmann – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  7. ^ "Lev Landau – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Lawrence Bragg – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Aleksandr M. Prokhorov – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Emeka Nwabunnia, Bishop Emeka Ebisi (2007), The Nobel prize (1901-2000): handbook of landmark records, University Press of America, ISBN 978-0-7618-3573-8 

External links[edit]