Norway wins 2023 Per Capita Cup

Norway came third in Handball in 2023 – pic. by Christoffer Borg Mattisson from Pixabay

Norway is once again the world’s sportiest nation, having won the 2023 Per Capita Cup. It’s the Scandinavian country’s eighth Per Capita title since GSN records began in 2008, and the second in succession in the last three years.

In the Per Capita Cup, a country’s population is divided by the number of GSN points scored, yielding a figure for the number of inhabitants a country needs in order to score one GSN point. The lower the number, the sportier the country (which must have a minimum of 10 top-eight placements in the year to qualify).
This is Norway’s fourth win in the last five editions of the Per Capita Cup, a streak interrupted only by Slovenia in 2021. It’s instead very much a first on the podium, in the runner-up spot, for Latvia, which edged out third-placed Slovenia thanks to a great showing in Basketball, by far Latvia’s main sport this year.
Norway topped the ranking primarily, but not exclusively, thanks to its Snow & Ice sports prowess. It won the overall Snow & Ice sports group ahead of Germany and Sweden, scoring 67.2% of its points in this category.
Norway’s top two sports were, unsurprisingly, Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon, but Handball was its third-best sport, and it scored valuable points also in Orienteering and Athletics, and in 25 different sports in total (the full list is here).
By comparison, Latvia scored points in only 13 sports and Slovenia, which came third in this year’s Per Capita ranking, also with Basketball as its main sport, in 16.
New Zealand, which ranked fourth in this year’s Per Capita Cup, scored points in 17 sports, leading with Rugby Union, and fifth-placed Sweden in 27 – two more than Norway – with Football its top discipline, after taking bronze in the women’s World Cup.
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Greatest Sporting Nation is a ranking of countries based on their performance in top-level international tournaments in sports in which there is genuine global competition. Countries (national teams and/or individual athletes) score Qualifying Points by finishing in the top eight places in Qualifying Events.
These Qualifying Points are then weighted to produce GSN Points, based on a formula that takes into account individual vs team sports, the sport’s participation (number of countries) and the frequency (annual/biennial/quadrennial) of the tournaments.
The Country scoring the most Points in a calendar year wins the Global Cup for that year. The country that scores the most points relative to its population wins the Per Capita Cup. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the ‘How It Works’ section on the site.