FIFA Rankings Per Capita

FIFA World Rankings Teams

A flaw with measuring the best international football team in the world is that each country is different in terms of population. Therefore, larger countries always have an advantage because they have a larger pool of potential players to pull from. The following list will somewhat factor out this problem by rating each team by their FIFA points per head of population. This table is not claimed to be a clear cut method, but at least it gives an indication as to the teams that are punching above their weight (or not).

There now follows a listing of the current FIFA world rankings per capata for May 2017

Rank Fifa Rank Country Points Population Per Head
186Faroe Islands431494690.0087125270371344
448Cape Verde Islands4184988970.0008378482933351
675Equatorial Guinea2875512010.00052068120340856
825Northern Ireland82317103000.00048120212828159
1163Trinidad and Tobago43910658420.00041188093544822
15117San Marino12314480.00038158229458153
1669United Arab Emirates45314000000.00032357142857143
2223Costa Rica90240752610.00022133551691536
2333Republic of Ireland82340622350.00020259783099698
2521Bosnia and Herzegovina81544989760.00018115233333096
39110FYR Macedonia22520505540.00010972644465837
49113New Zealand30141157717.3133320585621E-5
5530Czech Republic679102354556.6338037732568E-5
6272Burkina Faso765132280005.7831871787118E-5
8564Saudi Arabia646270197312.3908454158926E-5
9949Korea Republic700488468231.4330512344682E-5
10351Congo DR712626000001.1373801916933E-5
10467South Africa539474320001.1363636363636E-5
11880China PR42513218518883.2151862387778E-7

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Republic of Ireland are #23
On 11/07/2018
Where are ireland
By Jeff on 10/07/2018
V Interesting and reflective of genuine ability. I wonder what the ranking would be if you added club success - i suspect Cyprus and Iceland would be most successful although Faroes v impressive also.
By Chris Duffy on 15/06/2018
You're just including the top 118 countries in soccer apparently. India and Indonesia have far worse results than United States.
By Tyler on 31/10/2017
Why not do the complete list of FiFA countries in the World per Capita, thanks! Good idea to create a list list like that, thanks.
By Brian on 08/09/2017
Lyr, the rankings have just been updated for May 2017
By Ranking Per on 30/05/2017
Great idea. Can you update it? Thanks!
By Lyr on 26/05/2017
Really cool idea. I was thinking of making a spreadsheet but you've already done it. :) Some ideas. What about a comparrison for correlation between population and ranking and also adding in population density to see if that is a determinant factor instead of just raw population size. Thanks!
By James on 26/03/2017
Good idea!
By DV on 20/03/2017
I like this idea, but I see a couple of issues. For one, only 11 players can be on the field, it's 11 v 11. But more importantly, some countries populations are betrayals of their real pool. For example, Portugal occasionally gets players from Brazil or African countries, like Pepe, Deco, Nani, Eder. Similarly, USA has benefited from players like Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, and John Brooks.
By Lorenzo on 30/06/2016
Andorra and San Marino have now been added
On 10/06/2016
Where are San Marino and Andorra
By twelvty on 09/06/2016
Montserrat would be
On 26/02/2016
Guam has now been added. Thanks for the feedback.
By Ranking Per on 08/10/2015
You left out Guam. Fifa ranking 150, 183 points, pop 165,124, per head: 0.0011082580363848.
On 07/10/2015
Cape Verde Islands has now been added
On 02/10/2015
where's cape verde? 0.5 million population, fifa ranking 50!
On 02/10/2015
Iceland is at best third. Current ranking per capita for Iceland is 2.7x10-3. However, both Lichtenstein and Faroe Islands rank higher at 4.631X10-3 and 9.278*10-3,respectively.
By pehrja on 09/09/2015
On 26/10/2014
Very nice site!
By Pharme165 on 19/09/2014
I really enjoy the article post. Cool.
By Smithg535 on 18/09/2014
The sports popularity in each country should also be taken into consideration. Example: USA "soccer" is quite far down the list after American Football, Baseball, Basketball, NASCAR, Hockey If Futball was
On 31/01/2012
All of these are nt complete without NIGERIA topping the list by DON RALPH
By CHIKA RAPHAEL on 01/10/2011
what about India on the list of top 20?
By john on 01/04/2011
If we were to factor in the fact that our neighbors continually poach our players, this would place NI back at number one position (where by divine right and skill, we belong).
By Quintoniewicz on 02/02/2011
Ranking per capita is stupid when many countries draw players from their diaspora as well as naturalised citizens.
On 24/09/2010
Any chance of an update?? I'm sure NI have slipped! :(
By Neil on 24/09/2009
Come on Norn Irelan I knew you were better than Brazil and England
By Andy on 20/07/2009
Is this a northern ireland forum, or are we just the best team and supporters in the world.
By green and white army on 12/04/2009
zimbabwe is da bst
By serole on 17/01/2009
Is South Africa gonna make it in the World cup?
On 19/12/2008
Ghana, you don't deserve that position. you people can still be your first position in Africa when it to soccer.you used to be first in Africa, why then drop from your position
By proof on 05/12/2008
Easy, come on northern ireland
By Norn Iron NIALL on 06/08/2008
honduras should not be on the 50 place, he should be in the 15 place
On 04/07/2008
where is indonesia now ? ( dimana indonesis sekarang )
By adam on 02/07/2008
england sucks.they dont even deservr to be in the position they are now
On 17/06/2008
why the hell isn't USA higher! they just tied f**king argentina!
By USAloser22 on 10/06/2008
ehh portugal should be up higher they came in 4th for the world cup and they are the best team in the euro right now argintina is good but they dont deserve number 1 brazil isnt looking to hot either so they dont deserve to be that high either chzech republic is a good team and i think germany deserves a little more cresit also all in all its a good list viva portogal go cristiano ronaldo and the rest of the portugal team destroy everyone in your path to the euro championship
By Luke Bakos on 09/06/2008
Northern Ireland are looking healthy :D
By James on 14/02/2008
clearly Scotland are above England that is all that matters
By the true special 1 on 12/12/2007
england are rubbish i waste my time watching ther matches
By Farhan Siddique on 07/12/2007
On 08/11/2007
The dates for these comments have all been changed / reset to today as the system for adding comments has been updated to use AJAX. If you don’t know what that is it basally means the page does not need to reload after a comment is posted – it changes live and it also lets you (the poster) delete the comment if you make a mistake.
By admin on 31/10/2007
We are THE BEST!!! cmon GAWA we can still make it to Euro 2008!!!!!!!! Good to see us at the top of a table again!
By Holly on 31/10/2007
By Graham on 31/10/2007
I would agree that the 60th place cut off is a problem. The only conceived reason for this is that I got bored typing the places in. On 24 October 2007, when the rankings are next updated I make an effort to use all 200.
By admin on 31/10/2007
If anyone can find a list of the number of professional or amateur footballers in each of these countries I will be more than happy to use it. Otherwise the only easily available means of factoring out “the pool of potential players” is to use population. Of course this is not linear and there are flaws. This list is a point of interest rather than a statement of team X must be twice as good as team Y. Everyone is encouraged to debate this.
By admin on 31/10/2007
This is silly and cooked. Silly because, unlike, say, the GDP, the ranking points are not in any way imaginable linearly dependent on population. And it is cooked because the cut-off is first 60 teams, making sure that no nation with smaller population than N. Ireland can be counted -- otherwise the Points Per Head of countries like Luxemburg, Seychelles or San Marino would make N. Ireland look like a band of cripples
By Bohemia on 31/10/2007
I'd like to see the same stat when measured against total club players instead of population. In the US soccer isn't that popular and will never appeal to even 10% of the population. Same applies to Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. Well done to Northern Ireland though.
By Wessels on 31/10/2007
Northern Ireland Twice World cup Quarter finalists with a population of 1.7 million who can match that ?
By Dado on 31/10/2007
what about el salvador?
By kevina on 31/10/2007
Classic !!
By Adrian Henning on 31/10/2007
John from Brooklyn - this is only done for the first 60 clubs in offical rankings. Wales isn't in the top 60 so not on this list.
By Mark on 31/10/2007
sum of these teams are not actual players in the FIFA. LIARS
By steve mommy on 31/10/2007
This is so silly it's just :-) :-) :-)
By glouille on 31/10/2007
Interesting list. I feel sorry for some of the people (Jhonathan cristiano ronaldo fan, Billy Bob, Xavier) who don't seem capable of reading the explanation at the top, how do people that stupid manage to get through life?
By Dan Miller on 31/10/2007
Ryt we beat England, Spain Sweeden and we used be 152nd now 28th! Com on Norn Iron Our wee Country!
By Norn Iron on 31/10/2007
Most people that have posted do not appear to understand how these rankings were created. However, their gripes may be legitimate as there are some mathematical flaws. After seeing the high ranking of Northern Ireland and Scotland, I was surprised to see that Wales was not on the list so I did the calculations myself. Population of 3.1 million and 428 points (both according to the FIFA website) results in points per head of .000138 which should have placed them 12th in between Finland and Costa Rica.
By John from Brooklyn on 31/10/2007
This is academically the best means of producing rank. It is real term measuremnt, and shows indeed that the bigger the better. It is science that the bigger beats the smaller over the long term, and this excellent methodology irons out those inherent inequalities. I have to laugh at the irony of the comment of Deano tho, "if only NI were a bigger country." Lost on you? Think about it!!! And well done to the South as well, from the best team in the world...real terms! Biggy Jacks
By Big Jacko on 31/10/2007
come on the green and white army....we always punch above our weight!
By kathy... belfast! on 31/10/2007
HEALY! Dude (cristiano ronaldo fan), i would calm yourself. True, nobodies gonna say that Northern ireland are better than Brazil, because that hasn't been proven yet and fifas rankings prove that because NI are below brazil. But if only we (NI) were a bigger country...... "dreams" :P. "And healy scores his seventh today past Dida, what a fantastic result for the Green and White Army! Brazil 2- Northern Ireland 9
By Deano on 31/10/2007
The following top list was so embarissing to watch that i would literally burn my eyes out than to see it againg, how can Northern Ireland be on top and brasil in the last top 10 teams, and mexico, and colombia. I understand USA's position, im not really angry but seeing uruguay above and beyond, italy, germany, england, brasil, portugal, sweden, and argentina, is so dumb, you guys should really begin to watch soccer. with no love Cristiano ronaldo fan
By Jhonathan cristiano ronaldo on 31/10/2007
well done fifa
By dohnji divine on 31/10/2007
People need to understand that the creator of this League is only slaggin, its just a bit of fun so ooooooh there trigger get off that high horse and drink some milk
By Keith on 31/10/2007
i am sure by this method china will be a super power in football
By gwanmesia mike on 31/10/2007
Just imagine. NI with a population of c1.5m beat England population c60m 1-0. If we were the same size as England, we would have won 40-0!
By Stick on 31/10/2007
In Norn Iron we hae know this to be true for years. Just look at the team we have at present. Pele who.....Georgie Best!
By Wee Paul on 31/10/2007
haha gaon norn iron and i dont think people understand this is do wo with population too... if norn iron was the size of brazil, noone would play football, as we would be even more untouchable tha we already are.
By Michael McDowell on 31/10/2007
Gawn the norniron like
By Des on 31/10/2007
A bizare method of ranking
By Gwanmesia Michael Sabum on 31/10/2007
We've probably got the best striker playing in Europe right now, David Healy. The Green and white army march on to euro 2008!!!!
By Paul on 31/10/2007
Do you think if Northern Ireland have a population of Brazil, will perform like Brazil ? No! That's why this system doesn't make sense.
By Xavier on 31/10/2007
A simply ridiculous system of ranking!
By Xavier on 31/10/2007
And the fans in Rio sing 'We're not Northern Ireland, we're Brazil'.
By dr.aye well if ye want on 31/10/2007
go on norn iron!!!
By paul on 31/10/2007
Go Norn Iron! We r so no.1!
By NI babe on 31/10/2007
How is Germany ranked number 4 and then england is number 8...Germany suck compared to england. These rankings are so not true.
By Billy Bob on 31/10/2007
Best in the world, always knew it in my heart, now we have the stats to back it up!
By Flipping magic on 31/10/2007
we have got the best striker in europe at the moment the living legend, the great one, david healy. green and white army march on to euro 2008!!!!
By ricky on 31/10/2007