Olympic Medal Analysis
To that end, they did a great job.
I've been curious about the Olympics and the medal count that was shown everywhere. As Americans, we've grown accustomed and expect to lead the medal race. There was something odd though. The Chinese actually had more golds (after the very first medals awarded on the first day to the US Women's Fencing team who swept the medals there).
So, I got to thinking. China had more gold, but the US had more overall medals. Do you count only gold (the gold is, after all, given to the actual winner), do you count total medals? Surely, gold are worth more. What if you weighted the total medal count to give more credit for doing better?
If you're going that far, why not factor in the population of the country? The top three medal winners, no matter how you count them were the most populated countries. What about proportion? What about rich countries? Can you "buy" more medals?
If you were curious too, then I have the break down for you.
First, I start with the raw data of the top eleven countries (I meant to do the top ten, but I miss counted) as ranked by the official Olympic site. Then I include the population in millions, then the Per Capita GDP based on the IMF report (references sited below).
I move the decimal point around a bit to show more clearly the breakdown. The number of gold medals by population, for instance, is in the ten millionths (or only one in ten million for the low end). Since I move the decimal, the same amount for each country there should be no problem.
I sorted by the numbers in the first column of each table, but I highlighted the winners of the other categories in each table as well.
So here are the results. The winners were: China, US, Australia and Ukraine (I know it looks fuzzy, but if you click on the charts they will pop up big and clear)