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 should be read as the number of Nobel laureates of a country for every 10 million of its population.

The figures include all Nobel Prizes awarded up to and including 13 October 2016.

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
(2015)[2]
Laureates/
10 million
 Faroe Islands 1 48,199 207.473
1  Saint Lucia 2 184,999 108.109
2  Luxembourg 2 567,110 35.267
3  Sweden 30 9,779,426 30.677
4  Iceland 1 329,425 30.356
5   Switzerland 25 8,298,663 30.125
6  Norway 13 5,210,967 24.947
7  Denmark 14 5,669,081 24.695
8  Austria 21 8,544,586 24.577
9  United Kingdom 130 64,715,810 20.088
10  East Timor 2 1,184,765 16.881
11  Ireland 7 4,688,465 14.930
12  Israel 12 8,064,036 14.881
13  Germany 105 80,688,545 13.013
14  Netherlands 20 16,924,929 11.817
15  United States 360 321,773,631 11.188
16  France 62 64,395,345 9.628
 European Union[3] 474 505,150,401 9.383
17  Hungary 9 9,855,023 9.132
18  Finland 5 5,503,457 9.085
19  Belgium 10 11,299,192 8.850
20  Cyprus 1 1,165,300 8.581
21  Trinidad and Tobago 1 1,360,088 7.352
22  New Zealand 3 4,528,526 6.625
23  Canada 23 35,939,927 6.400
24  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 3,810,416 5.249
25  Latvia 1 1,970,503 5.075
26  Australia 12 23,968,973 5.006
27  Slovenia 1 2,067,526 4.837
28  Macedonia 1 2,078,453 4.811
29  Czech Republic 5 10,543,186 4.742
30  Liberia 2 4,503,438 4.441
31  Lithuania 1 2,878,405 3.474
32  Italy 20 59,797,685 3.345
 Tibet[4] 1 3,195,085 3.130
33  Poland 12 38,611,794 3.108
34  Croatia 1 4,240,317 2.358
35  Palestine 1 4,668,466 2.142
36  Belarus 2 9,495,826 2.106
37  Costa Rica 1 4,807,850 2.080
38  Romania 4 19,511,324 2.050
39  Japan 25 126,573,481 1.975
40  Portugal 2 10,349,803 1.932
41  South Africa 10 54,490,406 1.835
42  Greece 2 10,954,617 1.826
43  Spain 8 46,121,699 1.735
44  Russia 23 143,456,918 1.603
45  Bulgaria 1 7,149,787 1.399
 Hong Kong 1 7,287,983 1.372
46  Guatemala 2 16,342,897 1.224
 World[5] 885 7,349,472,099 1.204
47  Argentina 5 43,416,755 1.152
48  Chile 2 17,948,141 1.114
49  Azerbaijan 1 9,753,968 1.025
50  Algeria 2 39,666,519 0.504
51  Ukraine 2 44,823,765 0.446
52  Egypt 4 91,508,084 0.437
53  Taiwan 1 23,381,038 0.428
54  Colombia 2 48,228,704 0.415
55  Yemen 1 26,832,215 0.373
56  Ghana 1 27,409,893 0.365
57  Venezuela 1 31,108,083 0.321
58  Peru 1 31,376,670 0.319
59  Morocco 1 34,377,511 0.291
60  Turkey 2 78,665,830 0.254
61  Iran 2 79,109,272 0.253
62  Mexico 3 127,017,224 0.236
63  Kenya 1 46,050,302 0.217
64  Korea, South 1 50,293,439 0.199
65  Myanmar 1 53,897,154 0.186
66  Vietnam 1 93,447,601 0.107
67  Pakistan 2 188,924,874 0.106
68  India 10 1,311,050,527 0.076
69  China 9 1,376,048,943 0.065
70  Bangladesh 1 160,995,642 0.062
71  Nigeria 1 182,201,962 0.055
72  Brazil 1 207,847,528 0.048

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
(2015)[2]
Laureates/
10 million
 Faroe Islands 1 48,199 207.473
1  Saint Lucia 1 184,999 54.054
2  Luxembourg 2 567,110 35.267
3   Switzerland 20 8,298,663 24.100
4  Austria 18 8,544,586 21.066
5  Denmark 10 5,669,081 17.640
6  Sweden 17 9,779,426 17.383
7  United Kingdom 104 64,715,810 16.070
8  Norway 8 5,210,967 15.352
9  Netherlands 19 16,924,929 11.226
10  Germany 89 80,688,545 11.030
11  United States 327 321,773,631 10.162
12  Israel 8 8,064,036 9.921
13  Cyprus 1 1,165,300 8.581
14  Hungary 8 9,855,023 8.118
 European Union[6] 346 505,150,401 6.849
15  New Zealand 3 4,528,526 6.625
16  France 37 64,395,345 5.746
17  Canada 20 35,939,927 5.565
18  Finland 3 5,503,457 5.451
19  Belgium 6 11,299,192 5.310
20  Latvia 1 1,970,503 5.075
21  Slovenia 1 2,067,526 4.837
22  Australia 11 23,968,973 4.589
23  Ireland 2 4,688,465 4.266
24  Lithuania 1 2,878,405 3.474
25  Czech Republic 3 10,543,186 2.845
26  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 3,810,416 2.624
27  Croatia 1 4,240,317 2.358
28  Italy 13 59,797,685 2.174
29  Japan 22 126,573,481 1.738
 Hong Kong 1 7,287,983 1.372
30  Poland 5 38,611,794 1.295
31  Russia 16 143,456,918 1.115
32  Belarus 1 9,495,826 1.053
33  Azerbaijan 1 9,753,968 1.025
34  Romania 2 19,511,324 1.025
35  Portugal 1 10,349,803 0.966
 World[5] 671 7,349,472,099 0.913
36  South Africa 4 54,490,406 0.734
37  Argentina 3 43,416,755 0.691
38  Spain 2 46,121,699 0.434
39  Taiwan 1 23,381,038 0.428
40  Venezuela 1 31,108,083 0.321
41  Morocco 1 34,377,511 0.291
42  Algeria 1 39,666,519 0.252
43  Ukraine 1 44,823,765 0.223
44  Turkey 1 78,665,830 0.127
45  Egypt 1 91,508,084 0.109
46  Mexico 1 127,017,224 0.079
47  Pakistan 1 188,924,874 0.053
48  Brazil 1 207,847,528 0.048
49  India 6 1,311,050,527 0.046
50  China 5 1,376,048,943 0.036

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.[7]
  • No award was attributed to Azerbaijan, but, according to the Nobel Prize website, Lev Landau (Physics, 1962) was born in the area that is now held by that country (then part of the Russian Empire).[8] 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.[9][10]

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 Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
    • Physics: 1 each to France, Morocco 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.
  • 2014 update:
    • Physiology or Medicine: 2 to Norway and 1 each to the United Kingdom and the United States.
    • Physics: 3 to Japan and 1 to the United States.
    • Chemistry: 2 to the United States and 1 each to Germany and Romania.
    • Literature: 1 to France.
    • Peace: 1 each to India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
    • Economic Sciences: 1 to France.
  • 2015 update:
    • Physiology or Medicine: 1 each to China, Ireland, Japan and the United States.
    • Physics: 1 each to Canada and Japan.
    • Chemistry: 2 to the United States and 1 each to Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
    • Literature: 1 each to Belarus and Ukraine.
    • Peace: Not applicable.
    • Economic Sciences: 1 each to the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • 2016 update:
    • Physiology or Medicine: 1 to Japan.
    • Physics: 3 each to the United Kingdom and the United States.
    • Chemistry: 1 each to France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
    • Peace: 1 to Colombia.
    • Economic Sciences: 2 to the United States and 1 each to Finland and the United Kingdom.
    • Literature: 1 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 2015 Revision. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Population Estimates and Projections Section. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Includes every credit given separately to each of the 28 EU member states. It does not include the Peace Prize given to the EU in 2012.
  4. ^ A population estimate for 2015 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+(2015-2010)*(3002166-2616329)/(2010-2000)=3195084.5.
  5. ^ a b In this case each Nobel laureate was only counted once, Source: "Nobel Prize Facts". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  6. ^ Includes every credit given separately to each of the 28 EU member states.
  7. ^ "Gabriel Lippmann – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  8. ^ "Lev Landau – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  9. ^ "Lawrence Bragg – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  10. ^ "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]