Nobel Prize in Literature - nationality of winners 1901-2017

Number of Nobel Prize winners in Literature from 1901 to 2017, by winner's nationality*

Nobel Prize in Literature - nationality of winners 1901-2017 This graph shows a ranking of countries, based on the number of Nobel Prize winners in Literature. Since 1901, 15 Laureates were French. The 2014 Laureate - Patrick Modiano - is French and has also been awarded with, among others, Austrian State Prize for European Literature and Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Literature – additional information

The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the five Nobel Prizes announced each year in early October. The other prizes ate the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The Prize in Literature is awarded to an author who has created ‘in the field of literature the most outstanding work in ideal direction.’
In a report on the number of new books and editions published in the United States in the ‘literature’ category from 2002 to 2013, the figures seemed to peak in 2009 whereby 11,456 new books were published. In 2012, the figure for new literature had dropped to 7,004 for the whole of the United States.
The time necessary to read selected bestsellers was determined through a survey in 2014. In order to read the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, from cover to cover, it was estimated that a reader would need 98.33 hours. For readers with less time on their hands however, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho would only take up 2.18 hours. But, as the American philosopher Mortimer J. Adler once said, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
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Number of Nobel Prize winners in Literature from 1901 to 2017, by winner's nationality*

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CountryNumber of Nobel Prize winners
France15
United States12
Great Britain12
Germany8
Sweden8
Italy6
Spain5
USSR**4
Poland3
Denmark3
Norway3
Ireland3
Chile2
Greece2
South Africa2
Japan2
Switzerland2
China1
Peru***1
Canada1
Belarus1
CountryNumber of Nobel Prize winners
France15
United States12
Great Britain12
Germany8
Sweden8
Italy6
Spain5
USSR**4
Poland3
Denmark3
Norway3
Ireland3
Chile2
Greece2
South Africa2
Japan2
Switzerland2
China1
Peru***1
Canada1
Belarus1
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This graph shows a ranking of countries, based on the number of Nobel Prize winners in Literature. Since 1901, 15 Laureates were French. The 2014 Laureate - Patrick Modiano - is French and has also been awarded with, among others, Austrian State Prize for European Literature and Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Literature – additional information

The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the five Nobel Prizes announced each year in early October. The other prizes ate the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The Prize in Literature is awarded to an author who has created ‘in the field of literature the most outstanding work in ideal direction.’
In a report on the number of new books and editions published in the United States in the ‘literature’ category from 2002 to 2013, the figures seemed to peak in 2009 whereby 11,456 new books were published. In 2012, the figure for new literature had dropped to 7,004 for the whole of the United States.
The time necessary to read selected bestsellers was determined through a survey in 2014. In order to read the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, from cover to cover, it was estimated that a reader would need 98.33 hours. For readers with less time on their hands however, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho would only take up 2.18 hours. But, as the American philosopher Mortimer J. Adler once said, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
Show more
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