Data: An age and gender-wise breakdown of Nobel laureates from 1901 to 2019

American scientist John B. Goodenough, 97, who shared the Chemistry Nobel this year, is the oldest laureate ever. Interestingly, this year also saw Esther Duflo, 47, share the Economics Nobel, the youngest-ever in that category. An analysis of the age and gender of 923 Nobel laureates*

Charting the laureates

The graph depicts the age and prize year of all Nobel laureates in each category. Crosses indicate the latest (2019) laureates. Circles indicate past laureates (1901 to 2018). Women laureates are coloured red, while men are coloured grey.

If you cannot view the visualisation, click here.

To view the full interactive, click here.

Esther Duflo, who won the Economics Nobel on Monday, is the youngest and one of two women who have received the prize in this category. Duflo’s achievement is especially noteworthy given that the average age of Economics laureates is 66, the highest among all categories.

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, who won the Peace prize in 2014, is the youngest-ever across categories. She was just 17 when she won. Iraqi-Yazidi activist Nadia Murad and Yemeni journalist Tawakkol Karman are among the young women who have won the Peace prize in recent years.

The average age of Physics winners is the lowest (56). Arthur Ashkin (2018) is the second-oldest laureate (96).

The following visualisation gives a break-up of women laureates in each category. It can be observed that the prizes for physics and economics have the least percentage of women winners.


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