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International statistics

IN FOCUS / 2018-06-14

World Cup 2018: Statistics on the participating countries

The World Cup – the international football competition contested by the senior men's FIFA national teams – has kicked off on the 14th June. 32 teams are aiming to win the title over the course of the next weeks. The smallest participating country is Iceland, with slightly more than 330 000 inhabitants. The largest country taking part is Brazil, with a population of over 207 million people.

If you look at the number of men each country has to offer within the classic football age bracket (15- to 34-year-olds), Brazil is in a good position: In 2017, approximately 35 million men aged 15 to 34 lived here. In Germany, the corresponding figure for 2017 was just 9.7 million. So far, Brazil has won the cup five times, whilst Germany was successful on four occasions. But of course past competitions show that population figures are not exactly the decisive factor in this context: Spain won the World Cup in 2010 with only 4.8 million men in the key age group.

Our special World Cup feature offers a direct head-to-head comparison of all participating countries in terms of economy, population, labour, sport and communication. And the data include a few surprises: Costa Rica, for instance, is top of the league in terms of mobile phone contracts per inhabitants. If it space to kick a ball you are looking for, then Australia and Iceland are the countries with the best conditions: Population density amounts to just 3 inhabitants per square kilometer compared to 526 in Korea. You also have the opportunity directly compare two countries competing in a match.

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2018

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