More Single-Gender Teams But Fewer Nations Overall At 2017 World Champs


While there were more nations entering only men or only women in pool swimming at the 2017 World Championships, there were actually 15 fewer women’s teams and 10 fewer men’s teams compared to the 2015 World Champs.

Those numbers are based on nations listed in the meet entry book, which doesn’t necessarily take into account if any nations fully scratched out of the meet. We’re also focusing in only on pool swimming, not including open water, water polo, diving or synchronized swimming. You can see the full numbers below, first split by total nation with male entrants, female entrants and entrants of any gender, then split by nations only entering women, nations only entering men and nations entering swimmers in both genders:

Nations With Male/Female Entries, 2017 vs 2015

Men’s Teams vs Women’s Teams vs Total Teams

Men’s Teams Women’s Teams Total Federations
2017 172 155 180
2015 182 170 185
% Growth -5.49% -8.82% -2.70%

Men Only vs Women Only vs Dual Gender

Men’s Only Nations Women’s Only Nations Dual Gender Nations
2017 25 8 147
2015 15 3 167
% Growth 66.67% 166.67% -11.98%

In general, more nations brought one gender or the other, but the number of nations entering men and women dropped by 20, and the total nations represented dropped by 5. (Also worth noting: we counted the FINA banner as its own federation, as several swimmers swam under that umbrella in both 2015 and 2017.

New Nations, Absent Nations

In 2017, there were 5 entirely new nations that were not present at the 2015 World Championships. (The only wrinkle there is Sri Lanka, which had swimmers competing in 2015, only under the FINA umbrella.) But there were 10 nations competing in 2015 who were not present in 2017.

Here’s the full list of additional nations represented from 2015 to 2017, as well as nations represented in 2015 but not in 2017:

Men’s Additions (4) Women’s Additions (10) New Nations (5) Men’s Subtractions (14) Women’s Subtractions (25) Overall Subtractions (10)
Afghanistan Algeria Afghanistan Andorra Azerbaijan Bermuda
Oman American Samoa American Samoa Bermuda Bahamas Cameroon
Sri Lanka Djibouti Oman Cayman Islands Bermuda Congo
Venezuela Haiti Sri Lanka* Congo Brunei Ethiopia
Iraq Timor-Leste Cameroon Congo Gabon
Saint Lucia Ethiopia Cameroon Lesotho
South Africa Gabon Cook Islands Malaysia
Sri Lanka Iceland Croatia Myanmar
Swaziland Lesotho Cuba San Marino
Timor-Leste Malaysia Ecuador Sudan
Myanmar Ethiopia
Peru Virgin Islands (US)
North Korea Jamaica
Sudan Libya
Papua New Guinea
San Marino
United Arab Emirates
St Vincent & Grenadines

You can find the full FINA entry books for the 2015 World Championships here and the 2017 World Championships here.

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6 years ago

Only 2 genders – remarkable !

6 years ago


Hello SwimSwamSwum
6 years ago

Jared, isn’t the Men’s Only Nations % Change 166.67%, not 66.67%? Or maybe the Womens Only Nations are wrong?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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