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Countries with the Most Nobel Prizes

Name the countries whose citizens have won the most Nobel prizes.
Source: Wikipedia
Some winners are claimed by multiple countries
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 14, 2023
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First submittedAugust 18, 2015
Times taken75,815
Average score84.2%
Rating4.86
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#
Country
413
United States
138
United Kingdom
115
Germany
76
France
34
Sweden
30
Russia / Soviet Union
29
Japan
#
Country
27
Canada
25
Switzerland
25
Austria
22
Netherlands
21
Italy
19
Poland
#
Country
15
Hungary
14
Australia
14
Denmark
14
Norway
13
Israel
12
India
+6
Level 65
Dec 10, 2015
I got them all except for Netherlands, which I typed in but spelled wrong.
+14
Level 48
Mar 3, 2016
type in Holland - always accepted in my experience, shorter and easier to spell
+45
Level 62
Nov 28, 2018
Holland is a part of the Netherlands, it would be like if you typed in Texas for the USA.
+26
Level 63
Oct 17, 2019
Not quite. A lot of Europeans actually say Holland when referring to the Netherlands. Well knowing it's just a part of the Country. Never heard anyone say Texas while reffering to the US as a country though.
+15
Level 71
Oct 19, 2019
It's like saying EU for Europe
+6
Level 79
Oct 19, 2019
I mean, I'm sure a lot of people call it Holland and don't realise it's just a part of the country. Generally it's just an alternate name for most folk.
+9
Level 57
Jan 10, 2021
Carry, if you type in Holland it autofills Netherlands, so while the name itself might be disputed, he's just saying that its easier to spell Holland everytime rather than typing out Netherlands.
+1
Level 47
Oct 28, 2021
You can just type holland if you know its not correct
+1
Level 24
Feb 11, 2022
In the U.K we say Holland instead of Netherlands. It's like me saying an American or Aussie was incorrect because they said "soccer," not football.
+1
Level 65
Jan 26, 2024
Not really. It's not a matter of British vs. American, it's a matter of correctness, and the region of Holland excludes the rest of the country of the Netherlands.
+12
Level 39
Dec 22, 2019
The Website of the Netherlands is actually Holland.com
+7
Level 64
Sep 25, 2020
That's quite amusing, is it really?
+31
Level 65
Dec 10, 2015
How to win: Guess US, Canada, Israel, and South Africa. Then guess every rich European country you can think of. Then guess Russia.
+12
Level 70
Dec 10, 2015
and australia!
+11
Level 58
Dec 15, 2017
and japan!
+105
Level 75
Dec 15, 2017
you mean 'guess all of the correct answers'
+3
Level 68
Oct 30, 2023
I found that that helps on many quizzes!
+12
Level 51
Dec 15, 2017
Australia should be the first country guessed, they're such awesome people.
+46
Level 32
Dec 15, 2017
thats what an australian would say
+10
Level 89
Dec 15, 2017
Have you seen Steve Irwin? That man was a legend.
+2
Level 51
Dec 16, 2017
It's what ALL people say. Totally f**king awesome!
+6
Level 89
Jul 25, 2018
You certainly don't sound like a New Zealander.
+2
Level 59
Oct 21, 2019
How many people in this comment thread were actually Australian you think?
+1
Level 28
Oct 26, 2021
Lol Im Bri'ish not joking on this one I somehow got them all but israel was a last gasp guess
+8
Level 42
Dec 15, 2017
I prefer to win based on logical thinking and knowing more than the names of countries. Knowing what types of prizes Nobel gives out, and what countries have had advancements in science, or famous scientists, or big well-funded science industries, plus countries that have been notable in literature or peace breakthroughs.
+3
Level 42
Dec 15, 2017
Also, knowing what countries pride themselves on good research colleges--something someone else alluded to.
+5
Level 66
Dec 15, 2017
Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his rap to sell records?
+1
Level 51
Dec 16, 2017
So you would've said Australia for sure based on that logic. Well done!
+3
Level 60
Oct 19, 2019
What about India?
+1
Level 47
Mar 8, 2021
I think India is on the list now. But either way only 4 Indian citizens have one a Nobel Prize, 6 if you include the 2 that won when India was still a British colony. If you add all the laureates of Indian ethnicity, then I guess it would be 10.
+1
Level 79
Oct 19, 2019
@cosmokim No.
+1
Level 29
Dec 13, 2019
and myanmar!
+1
Level 55
Jun 30, 2020
obviously... congo!
+1
Level 65
Oct 26, 2021
LIECHTENSTEIN!!! YOU FORGOT LIECHTENSTEIN!!!
+5
Level 59
Dec 11, 2015
Always forget about Isreal!
+4
Level 51
Dec 16, 2017
Too busy thinking about Australia. It is hard to think of any other country.
+7
Level 17
Apr 24, 2019
nice to see how patriotic you are
+2
Level 43
Oct 19, 2019
Me too! Whenever I think of "western" countries, or countries with notable military, global impact, sport participation etc. I always forget about Israel, and Turkey.
+1
Level 67
Mar 15, 2020
*Israel
+2
Level 66
Mar 11, 2016
Good to see that Norway didn't give every prize to themselfs. But why so many USA and UK
+19
Level 62
Apr 21, 2017
USA and UK have by far the best schools in the entire world (Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, etc), so motivated prodigies from other countries are likely to move to one of these countries for school. Also, USA and UK have plenty of money and endowments to support expensive experiments. If you look at nobel prize winners, plenty of Americans and British winners were born in India or other countries.
+12
Level 73
May 31, 2017
Also, assume this list includes Peace prizes, which are handed out with regularity to US Presidents and statesmen
+3
Level 74
Oct 22, 2017
@grantdon It would be interesting to see a quiz with those taken out!
+2
Level 70
Oct 22, 2017
@TinklePork: I agree in the direction of your answer. However, (1) you have to distinguish between school and reasearch. nobel prizes are for researches. (2) Your cited "schools" do a great job in eduaction, but as do also other (public) universities (at least in continental-Europa). I would rather argue that the anglosaxonian universities are easier to access (you just need to speak English and a lot of money/a stipend). (3) In continental-Europe, a lot of research is done at research institutes and not at the universities. Compare Havard with CRNS (France) or MPG (Germany), see e.g. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7556_supp/fig_tab/522S34a_T2.html .
+1
Level 82
Oct 22, 2017
A few prizes less wouldn't affect the score much.
+5
Level 37
Dec 15, 2017
Only reason the USA is ahead of the UK is probably population difference otherwise theyd be nearly equal
+3
Level 82
Dec 16, 2017
They don't give out one Nobel prize to every smart person in the country... they give out only one per category. If having a large population was so advantageous then China, India, Brazil and Indonesia would make the list. None of them do, of course, because that's definitely not the the only factor.
+2
Level 58
Dec 17, 2017
@grantdon Nobel Peace Prizes have little to do with it, those are more spread out and fewer given per year than the scientific Nobel Prizes. For example, the USA won 23 Peace Nobel Prizes, but 99 (or slightly less, depending who is counted) Physics Nobel Prizes.
+18
Level 62
Dec 15, 2017
Norway? They only award the peace prize. All others are by the Swedish academy.
+9
Level 70
Oct 22, 2017
India

China

Islamic world

Africa

Latin America

Rip :-(

+1
Level 56
Oct 28, 2023
To understand why these countries aren't listed, we have to look at the history and geopolitics.

These countries aren't allowed to develop by the imperial core, more commonly known as the west, through colonialism and neo-colonialism. This is called 'Theory of Unequal Exchange' and it explains how the wealth is extracted from the east/south to the west/north.

If you would like to learn more about it: I'd recommend watching "Why Do Poor Countries Stay Poor? (Unequal Exchange and Imperialism)" by Hakim on Youtube. He also recommends books that you can read about this topic.

+2
Level 22
Oct 28, 2023
Just PC nonsense really.

-Some ME countries are among the richest in the world.

-USA has a similar troubled colonial history to all of Central and Sth America yet it has prospered while they struggle.

-Islam and China have extensive histories as colonisers...far longer than the Europeans. And now they are extracting wealth and knowledge from the west.

The narratives are simplistic cherry picking that make excuses for toxic cultures (such as Islamic suppression of women) and attempt to stigmatise progressive societies that have rejected old practices.

+1
Level 63
Oct 28, 2023
cental and south america definitely did not have similar colonial histories to the usa. in many of those countries, after their european colonizers left, the usa just stepped in and took over that mantle.
+3
Level 67
Dec 15, 2017
Remember this the next time you are tempted to call Americans stupid.
+24
Level 55
Dec 16, 2017
Interesting that over a quarter of the winners were foreign born. Remember that the next time you want to stem the tide of murderers and rapists.
+6
Level 82
Apr 24, 2019
Being foreign born does not preclude you from being an American, including the parents of our stupid president, who may have been born in Europe to hear him tell it. (they weren't)
+6
Level 67
Oct 19, 2019
I'm staunchly pro-immigrant. I don't really think my resentment at the petty and inaccurate perception of Americans held by many non-Americans has anything to do with immigration, but...okay.
+1
Level 79
Oct 16, 2023
Your original comment makes just as much sense (which is not much) as the reply. How does the number of Nobel Prizes awarded to the US in any meaningful way reflect the intelligence of its hundreds of millions of citizens?
+1
Level 51
Oct 28, 2021
The funny thing is America is a country based on immigrants. Basically nobody is native there, only the people who are stuffed into small reservations. The 'real' Americans are really just Irish, Italian and other poor European migrants' decendents
+1
Level 22
Oct 28, 2023
Most were already experts in their respective fields and then went to the US as it offered scholarships, academic postings and assistance with their work.

The results are proof of the benefit of targeted migration and recruitment for knowledge centers.

Meanwhile the US has many times more migrants than any other country and plenty of social issues to go with it. Including by far the highest crime rate of any developed country and some of the lowest rates of access to healthcare and higher education as a result of so many ppl who are not integrated into the mainstream.

+8
Level 51
Dec 17, 2017
I'm tempted now after reading that comment.
+2
Level 82
Apr 24, 2019
well at least you tacitly acknowledge your desire to do this has more to do with spite than anything else.
+1
Level 12
Oct 28, 2023
Except that Americans (in average) really are relatively uneducated on some matters, especially regarding the world outside USA, history, geography.

Even for hard sciences, the average US student is relatively bad compared with several first world countries (though to be fair, my country isn't better regarding that, you're not alone). Having good facilities for the elites, and enabling a good environment for research, doesn't mean the average person is better. That's the problem in the US.

That being said, I'd say many americans are ignorant, not really "stupid". You just don't care about culture in general.

+4
Level 84
Oct 17, 2019
Because only 1 in 1 million of us are really smart? Where's that quiz - Nobel prize winners by population?
+4
Level 67
Oct 19, 2019
One in one million of us has won a Nobel prize. That doesn't mean the rest of us aren't smart. I was speaking mostly tongue-in-cheek, but I do bristle at the fact that people are so quick to highlight the worst of America's culture and ignore the many brilliant people who work hard and make breakthroughs across all different industries. Americans are not stupid. People just like to highlight the worst of our culture because they resent America's conduct on the world stage (fair enough). But that resentment motivates them to unfairly characterize all or most Americans as fat, lazy idiots waving oversize American flags. It's just not accurate.
+1
Level 79
Oct 16, 2023
You make it sound like this is just a foreign perspective and that Americans who interact with other Americans every day don't tend to find each other stupid
+1
Level 12
Oct 28, 2023
And don't forget Nobel Prizes don't cover every field. For maths, Field Medals are relatively comparable (in prestige at least), the US and France dominate in that. Per capita, it's France.

In general though, don't confuse a country with good facilities for research, with a "smart" country. The school children with the best average level are from countries like Finland or Sweden, I don't think it's strictly linked with nobel prizes or anything else, it's just a loose indicator as anything else.

+4
Level 34
Oct 4, 2020
If Sweden had the same population as the US they would have 1088 nobel prizes....
+1
Level 56
Mar 3, 2022
This doesn't prove that Americans aren't stupid. People in the US are actually quite smart, just not in geography.
+1
Level 71
Dec 15, 2017
Really surprised no India, or China
+2
Level 39
Dec 16, 2017
I think India has also got 12
+2
Level 91
Jan 11, 2018
Only 10. And that includes Indian-born Britons Ronald Ross and Rudyard Kipling, as well as Macedonian-born Mother Teresa.
+5
Level 73
Aug 4, 2019
And not a single islamic country...
+15
Level 82
Oct 2, 2019
If they were awarding prizes 1000 years ago they might have a few.
+4
Level 82
Oct 22, 2019
India has the third largest Muslim population in the world.
+3
Level 82
Oct 22, 2019
but not a majority
+1
Level 51
Oct 28, 2021
indonesia has the first but thats just because Indonesia has a lot of people, not because of an overwhelming muslin majority
+1
Level 82
Jun 25, 2022
Indonesia is 87% Muslim. That's pretty overwhelming. India has more than a billion more people than they do, too. So...
+1
Level 79
Oct 20, 2020
Not among the leaders, but the decision making is kind of arbitrary. I remember Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel being awarded the Nobel Peace prize for their contribution to peace between Egypt and Israel. Mr Sadat ended up getting shot. There are 4 Egyptians who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, putting them (at time of writing) in 29th place.
+2
Level 79
Oct 16, 2023
Is this supposed to be a meaningful comment in any way?
+1
Level 68
Oct 19, 2019
Got India with 0:01 second left.
+4
Level 20
Oct 19, 2019
Proud to be Israeli, only 8 million people but still have the same amount of Nobel prizes as Australia and India, that its population is 153 times larger than Israel.

I guessed every country but Japan...

+1
Level 36
Oct 19, 2019
moms train head bed
+1
Level 56
Mar 3, 2022
?
+3
Level 63
Oct 21, 2019
Surprise exclusions: Finland, Taiwan, Belgium

Surprise inclusions: Hungary

+2
Level 60
Feb 29, 2020
Taiwan? We only have one Nobel prize winner
+3
Level 76
Sep 5, 2020
I'm actually surprised that neither China nor India made the list. I know education in India is especially poor, but I would've thought that with greater than a billion people each, at least one would be more likely to make the list. That said, the Nobel prizes are fairly Euro/Anglo-centric
+2
Level 82
Oct 13, 2020
India seems to have snuck on in the last update. I was also surprised that China didn't make the cut-off. I imagine that in the near future they will. But, contrary to what many insecure Europeans looking at the stats would like you to think, population of a country really has very very little to do with their ability to win Nobel prizes.
+4
Level 14
Nov 18, 2020
maria skłodowska curie poland!!!
+1
Level 31
Apr 6, 2021
Has all except Poland, Austria and Switzerland

from the Netherlands (21 nobel price winners)

+1
Level 58
May 26, 2022
there is literally photo of marie sklodowska curie, the first woman who got the nobel prize, poland was the first thing that came to my mind
+3
Level 82
Oct 26, 2021
In terms of Nobel Prizes per million, this works out to:

1. Sweden - 3.17

2. Switzerland - 3.12

3. Austria - 2.44

4. Norway - 2.40

5. Denmark - 2.24

6. UK - 2.03

7. Israel - 1.50

8. Hungary - 1.35

9. Germany - 1.32

10. Netherlands - 1.28

11. USA - 1.21

12. France - 1.09

13. Canada - 0.74

14. Poland - 0.50

15. Australia - 0.47

16. Italy - 0.35

17. Japan - 0.23

18. Russia - 0.22

19. India - 0.01

This is obviously a pretty imperfect metric as relative population has fluctuated a lot over time. I'm also using Russia's current population, not the whole population of the former Soviet Union... not sure how these break down by SSR.

+1
Level 82
Oct 26, 2021
Also, since it seems to be a popular topic for debate here I looked at the figures for the EU as a whole. In total the EU has won about 370. I say about, because while I tried to eliminate double-ups from that number, there's bound to be some I missed. An example of what I did is Marie Curie, who would count as 4 Nobel Prizes towards the EU's total if one simply added up the totals for each member country. This is because she won in two categories - Physics and Chemistry - and is counted for two countries - France and Poland. I figured it was more than fair to count each of her separate awards towards Europe's total, but Europe's total shouldn't be inflated simply because she was of dual nationality.

Anyways, in terms of Nobel Prizes per million people, the EU scores 0.83, so the US has Europe beat there with its 1.21.

+3
Level 57
Oct 26, 2021
Maria Skłodowska-Curie was polish. Why it should count for 2 countries?
+6
Level 68
Oct 27, 2021
Maybe because she was a French citizen when she got the prizes? Or because she did all the relevant work while in France and a French citizen? People have complex lives, that extend well beyond the circumstances of their birth. I find French people who don't acknowledge that she was also Polish obnoxious - but so are Polish people who refuse to understand that she was also French. Grow up!
+1
Level 71
Oct 26, 2021
If anyone's curious about China, Wikipedia says they only have 3 Nobel winners. Interestingly, all of China's prizes have come in the past 12 years, whereas Taiwan had 4 prizes from the 1950s-1980s but none afterward. Maybe they refused to give out prizes to the PRC before it gained mainstream recognition? I'm not sure though.

Also, worth mentioning that, 5 other people of Chinese descent living abroad won the prize. This brings up the grand total to... 8.

+1
Level 65
Oct 26, 2021
I forgot Italy...
+1
Level 17
Nov 2, 2021
The five that I did get were ones I got right off the bat because of the fact that I knew them , but all the others were literally not very known to me . I could not have even guessed them .
+1
Level 21
Jun 5, 2023
guessed italy right as it was ending- the screen was literally going dark. damn
+1
Level 43
Jan 12, 2024
in Poland we only claim 8 Nobel Prize Winners (Rodblat, Wałęsa, Skłodowska-Curie, Tokarczuk, Reymont, Sienkiewicz, Szymborska i Miłosz). Connection of the rest to Poland is really far-fetched