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Distribution of male and female events at the Summer Olympics 1896-2016

In the history of the Summer Olympics, the share of events for female athletes has grown gradually; from no events at all in 1896, to a 47.4 percent share in 2016. Growth was gradual and slow, crossing the 25 percent mark in 1984, while it has never reached the 50 percent mark. While the majority of sports have mirrored events for male and female competitors, and there had been an increased number of mixed events in recent years (with more set to be added in 2020), the reason for the higher number of male-only events is largely due to the additional weight classes included in weightlifting and combat sports.

Distribution of events for male and female athletes at the Summer Olympics from 1896 to 2016

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Source

Release date

2016

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

1896 to 2016

Supplementary notes

*The number of male events was calculated by subtracting the number of female events from the total number of events. Mixed events are generally included with the data for female events, however there may be some overlap (particularly in earlier years).

The total number of events for each year are as follows:
1896 - 43
1900 - 95
1904 - 95
1908 - 110
1912 - 102
1920 - 156
1924 - 126
1928 - 109
1932 - 117
1936 - 129
1948 - 136
1952 - 149
1956 - 151
1960 - 150
1964 - 163
1968 - 172
1972 - 195
1976 - 198
1980 - 203
1984 - 221
1988 - 237
1992 - 257
1996 - 271
2000 - 300
2004 - 301
2008 - 302
2012 - 302
2016 - 306

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Statistics on "History of the Summer Olympics"

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