Is A Country's GDP Per Capita Related To The Quality Of Its Soccer Team?

Nope.

Credit Suisse recently examined the demographics and economic conditions of every country with a team in the World Cup.

What they found was a huge amount of diversity. Here are a few bullets from their report:

  • GDP per capita at PPP: USA (53,101 current international dollars), Cote d’Ivoire (1,818 current international dollars)
  • Population growth: Nigeria (2.8% p.a.), Croatia (-0.4% p.a.)
  • Life Expectancy at Birth: Japan (83.5 years), Cote d’Ivoire (50.5 years)
  • Fertility rates: Nigeria (6 children per woman), Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal, Republic of Korea (1.3 children per woman)
  • Net migration rates: Switzerland (7.97 per 1000 people), Mexico (-1.98 per 1000 people).

Soccer is one of those sports that requires very little equipment. So, the wealth of a nation has little impact on the quality of its players.

Here’s a look at GDP per capita of every country good enough to send a team to the World Cup. That’s lots of variation.

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