Nominees and Laureates 1901-2007

Nominees and Laureates 1901-2007, by geographical region and gender

Up to 1960, the Nobel Peace Prize was almost exclusively the preserve of highly educated white men from Europe and the USA. Until then, only three women had won the Peace Prize: Austrian Bertha von Suttner in 1905 and the two Americans Jane Addams in 1931 and Emily Greene Balch in 1946. Only once did the Prize go to a candidate from a country outside Europe and the USA, when it was awarded to the Argentine Foreign Minister Carlos Saavedra Lamas (1936).

The award in 1960 to the South African human rights activist Albert John Lutuli was the beginning of a gradual globalisation of the Peace Prize, which picked up speed in the 1980s and 1990s. Of the total of 30 individual Laureates from 1980 to 2007, 20 were from countries outside Europe and North America. At the same time, the division of Laureates by gender became more even. Half of the 12 women altogether who received the Nobel Peace Prize by the end of 2007 received their awards in 1982 or later. In the decade from 1997 to 2006, three of the seven individual Laureates were women.

The nominations statistics reveal a similar but not equally marked trend. During the first hundred years of the Nobel Peace Prize, the average percentage of annual nominations of women rose from 4% in the 1901-1925 period to 5% in 1926-1950, 6% in 1951-1975 and 9 % per cent in 1976-1990. Relatively, then, the number of female Laureates has risen more rapidly than the number of female nominees.

With regard to the geographical distribution of nominations from 1901 to 2000, two trends in particular stand out. One is that the European and North American share has fallen dramatically, from 89% in the 1901 to 1925 period to 77% from 1926 to 1950, 67% from 1951 to 1975 and 48% from 1976 to 2000 (the totals include nominated international organizations). The second trend is that the Latin American, African and in particular the Asian shares have risen correspondingly sharply. Their total share has gone up from 3% in the 1901 to 1925 period to 11% from 1926 to 1950 and 35% from 1976 to 2000.

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Global Peace Prize

© Photo: Ken Opprann / The Norwegian Nobel Institute

Wangari Maahthai (Kenya), Jose Ramos-Horta (East-Timor) og Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala) are Peace Prize laureates illustrating the increasing globalisation of the Peace Prize.

Read more on nobelpeaceprize.org:

  • The conflict map with geographical distribution of candidates and laureates.