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9% of London 2012 Olympians are African

July 27, 2012  »  StatisticsNo Comment

Curious about how well-represented African nations are at the London 2012 Summer Olympics? The Guardian‘s Datablog published an interactive data explorer (courtesy of Craig Bloodworth at the Information Lab) that visualizes the number of athletes by country, sport, and gender.

We took the opportunity to export the data and compare how Africa stacks up against the rest of the world in terms of representation. The three most powerful stats are:

  1. Of the 10,960 total athletes, 955 are from Africa. In other terms, just under 9% of Olympians are African. For reference, Africa constitutes 15% of the world’s population.
  2. Per 100,000 population, Africa boasts 0.09 Olympians versus 0.17 for the rest of the world. In other terms, the density of African Olympians is almost 50% that of the rest of the world.
  3. 40% (381) of African Olympians are female. The average for the rest of the world is 45%.

Category statistics by country

  • Most Athletes: South Africa (134), Egypt (118), Tunisia (84), Morocco (72), Nigeria (53)
  • Fewest Athletes: South Sudan (0, but 1 independent), Equatorial Guinea (2), The Gambia (2), Mauritania (2), Sao Tome and Principe (2), Sierra Leone (2), Somalia (2)
  • Highest Density of Athletes (per 100,000): Seychelles (7.1), Gabon (1.8), Sao Tome and Principe (1.2), Mauritius (0.8), Tunisia (0.8)
  • Lowest Density of Athletes (per 100,000): DRC (0.01), Sudan (0.01), Tanzania (0.02), Malawi (0.02), Somalia (0.02), Mozambique (0.02), Chad (0.02)
  • Highest % Female Athletes: Angola (86%), Cameroon (74%), Cape Verde (67%), Comoros (67%), Burundi (67%), Chad (67%), Malawi (67%)
  • Lowest % Female Athletes: Gabon (7%), Eritrea (14%), Benin (20%), Libya (20%), Senegal (20%)

And, just for fun, we added a column comparing the athlete density with the rate of Internet penetration (ITU 2011 data). No correlation can be found between this data. After all, athletics and communications technology are two vastly different endeavors (and sections of the national budget).

  • Highest ratio of Athletes to Internet User (x 100,000): Gabon (23), Seychelles (16), Guinea-Bissau (11), Djibouti (9), Comoros (8), Burundi (6), Central African Republic (6)
  • Lowest ratio of Athletes to Internet User (x 100,000): Sudan (0.1), Nigeria (0.1), Tanzania (0.1), Ghana (0.3), Zimbabwe (0.3), Uganda (0.3)

Full African Olympic athlete data is included for your browsing pleasure:

Country# Athletes Athletes per 100,000 pop. % Athletes FemaleAthletes per Internet User (x100,000)
Algeria390.1146%0.76
Angola350.1786%1.18
Benin50.0520%1.46
Botswana40.2025%2.81
Burkina Faso50.0360%0.96
Burundi60.0767%6.07
Cameroon390.1974%3.74
Cape Verde30.5767%1.78
Central African Republic60.1350%5.83
Chad30.0267%1.30
Comoros30.4267%7.56
Congo-Brazzaville70.1843%3.18
Democratic Republic of Congo40.0125%0.47
Djibouti60.6650%9.43
Egypt1180.1331%0.38
Equatorial Guinea20.2750%4.58
Eritrea140.2514%4.08
Ethiopia350.0449%3.56
Gabon281.807%22.50
Gambia20.1150%1.00
Ghana90.0433%0.25
Guinea30.0333%2.12
Guinea-Bissau50.2960%10.85
Ivory Coast100.0460%2.01
Kenya510.1241%0.42
Lesotho40.1950%4.47
Liberia40.0950%3.07
Libya50.0720%0.43
Madagascar70.0357%1.74
Malawi30.0267%0.54
Mali60.0433%2.15
Mauritania20.0650%1.26
Mauritius110.8464%2.40
Morocco720.2225%0.43
Mozambique60.0233%0.57
Namibia90.3944%3.27
Niger60.0433%2.69
Nigeria530.0343%0.11
Rwanda70.0629%0.92
Sao Tome and Principe21.1750%5.81
Senegal350.2620%1.48
Seychelles67.0533%16.34
Sierra Leone20.0350%1.26
Somalia20.0250%1.62
South Africa1340.2649%1.25
Sudan60.0133%0.07
Swaziland30.2433%1.34
Tanzania80.0225%0.14
Togo60.0833%2.41
Tunisia840.7924%2.03
Uganda160.0431%0.34
Zambia70.0529%0.44
Zimbabwe70.0543%0.34