Arts and Culture

The Rio Olympics medal table, adjusted for the size of each country's economy

The full moon rises through the Olympic Rings hanging beneath Tower Bridge during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor  (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS CITYSPACE TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY ENVIRONMENT) - RTR362IE

The 2016 Rio Olympics saw some countries punching above their economic weight. Image:  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Andy Kiersz
Quant Reporter, Business Insider
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Economic Progress

There tends to be a relationship between a country's wealth and its performance at the Olympics, with wealthier countries generally winning more medals than poorer countries. Despite that, the 2016 Rio Olympics saw some countries punching above their economic weight.

Using the final medal count from the Games compiled by Google, along with 2015 GDP figures adjusted by "purchasing power parity" (PPP) that accounts for the different cost of living in different countries from the World Bank and CIA World Factbook, we determined the number of medals each country won per $100 billion of GDP.

The Caribbean island nation of Grenada came in first, as it did when we looked at a population-adjusted medal count, winning a single silver medal while having a GDP of only about $1.4 billion. The United States, which came in first place in the overall medal count, was just 60th on the GDP-adjusted measure out of the 86 countries that won at least one medal.

Here's the GDP-adjusted medal count:

 GDP adjusted Olympic medal count
Image: Business Insider

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Arts and CultureEconomic Growth
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