As the 2014 Commonwealth Games come to end have you ever wondered how fair the playing field is?
Most members of the Commonwealth are developing countries and many are small islands. Only a few countries, like the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, are rich enough and have sufficiently large populations to have well nourished populations that have time to hone their skills in competitive sports. This significantly reduces the competition at the top of the medal tally. For example, to illustrate the inequality between Commonwealth countries compare the richest and poorest countries. The richest country, Australia, has over 125 times more income per person than the poorest country, Uganda.
Countries rankings would change dramatically if the medal tally were revised to adjust for differences in income per person and population size, as has been done for the table below. This removes disparities in wealth and population and allows for a fairer comparison of how countries have performed.
|Rank||Country||Revised Medal Tally||Change in Ranks|
|9||Trinidad and Tobago||38||4|
|15||Isle of Man||24||14|
|18||Papua New Guinea||14||3|
Small islands countries and some African countries perform substantially better when the medal tally is revised to take into account income per person and population size. Nauru, Samoa and Kiribati take the top three places because they are middle-income countries with tiny populations and still managed to get five medals between them (including a gold and three silver). While Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada fall to the bottom third of the rankings.
Commonwealth Games 2014 <http://results.glasgow2014.com/medals.html>
World Bank 2014 <http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators>