Olympic Performance vs Economic Performance

The Olympics are now fully underway and we can begin to see some patterns about who is doing well and who is, well, not. This infographic has a lot more to say about who had been doing well up through 2008. That is important because that was the last year before the fiscal/financial crisis brought about the first global recession since World War II. Stay tuned for the post-Olympic piece where I look at medal performance in 2012 compared to GDP per capita. Some interesting stories appear to be happening.

One can clearly see that GDP per capita is (generally speaking) a good variable for estimating Olympic success. So the countries in this graphic are three major economic regions. The G7, BRIC, and the Future-7. The G7 are the world’s richest/most productive countries. BRIC are supposed to become the next G7. And the Future-7 is a Euromonitor International grouping that looks at a group of countries that are expected to become the next BRIC-like group of countries.

Economic Groups Compared
Economic Groups Compared

It is probably worth noting that despite this being an infographic for work, where I generally am not allowed to write analysis, the written analysis is mostly mine with some key ideas brought to my attention by co-workers.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? Well, they asked me not to say. But to be clear, this blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of…my employers. I think what I can say is that given my interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I have become an amateur genealogist and family historian. You will sometimes see that area of work bleed into my posts.

3 thoughts on “Olympic Performance vs Economic Performance”

  1. Brendan:

    You did not mention if it was your idea to make this correlation. I am assuming it was. Nevertheless, the concept is intriguing… And, it looks like a lot of work! I’ll share it.


  2. John,

    I admit this was the third in the series after the host nation and the BMI comparison and after those two—and several sketches that I dropped early on—I really began to see the GDP per capita pattern come to the front. This piece looks at that for those countries that have some interesting GDP stories going on these days.

    And in terms of work, this project (in theory I have two more to do) has been quite an undertaking. Not just in terms of the design and execution but trying to look at and understand the data side of the story.


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