Slovenia tops Per Capita Cup table after October

Slovenia came fourth in the men’s Basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics - Pict. by Senol Sengül, Pixabay

Slovenia is currently leading in the 2021 Per Capita Cup, the ranking of the world’s sportiest nations, and is vying with title holder Norway, currently a close second, for final victory.

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).
Should Slovenia succeed in clinching this year’s Per Capita title, it would be a remarkable win on a number of counts.
First of all, because the Balkan country (population 2,065,895) would interrupt a four-year winning streak by Norway (population 5,277,762). For Slovenia, it would be the third Per Capita title after 2013 and 2014, equalling the tally of Jamaica and New Zealand, while Norway is the record holder with six titles.
Secondly, because Slovenia’s success has so far been built chiefly on sports that are traditionally the preserve of more populous countries, such as Basketball and Volleyball. These sports account respectively for 33.6% and 12.3% of the points bagged in 2021 by Slovenia, which finished fourth in both the men’s Basketball Olympics tournament and the men’s Volleyball World League.
Slovenia is also proving to be versatile, having scored points in 18 sports, with Road Cycling, Climbing and Judo the top point earners after Basketball and Volleyball.
The sporting year isn’t over yet, and the gap is quite slim between Slovenia and Norway (only a difference of 669 inhabitants per point in favour of the former). The crunch tournament will be one of the last in the year, the women’s Handball World Championship in December. Norway came fourth in this tournament in 2019 while Slovenia wasn’t in the top eight, and took silver at this year’s Tokyo Olympics behind France, so it will be the last chance for the Scandinavian country to pip Slovenia at the eleventh hour and be crowned the world’s sportiest nation for the fifth year in a row.
Follow GSN also on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with the latest results, to see if Slovenia can instead hold out and be crowned 2021 Per Capita champion!
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.