Top ranking countries

This is a list of the top performing countries in the Eurovision Song Contest based on most placings in the top five, and by most wins amounted.

The table shows that while Ireland has the most victories, the United Kingdom is the top placed nation with 29 placings in the top five.

The decade tables show the shifting tastes over the history of the contest with an early lead by French-language countries, giving way to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden clocking up many victories between them. The current decade shows the shift to Eastern European countries, which currently hold dominance.

Ranking tables

Where countries have the same number of top five positions/wins, they are ranked according to most wins, most 2nd places etc.

NOTE: The only known position in the first contest (1956) was 1st place.

Top 5 placings e Total wins 

The worst performing country on average is Portugal, which in 44 appearances in the contest have never finished in the top five (their highest placing was 6th in 1996). Countries never to finish in the top five are:

Country Best position
 Albania 7th
 Andorra SF: 12th
 Belarus 6th
 Czech Republic SF: 18th
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 12th
 Georgia 9th
 Lithuania 6th
 Moldova 6th
 Montenegro SF: 11th
 Morocco 18th
 Portugal 6th
 San Marino SF: 16th
 Slovakia 18th
 Slovenia 7th

By decade: The table lists the participating countries in each decade since the first ESC was held in 1956. Seven countries participated in the first contest, in 1956. Since then, the number of entries has increased steadily. In 1970, a Nordic-led boycott of the contest reduced the number of countries entering to twelve. By the late 1980s, over twenty countries had become standard. In 1993, the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe gave many new countries the opportunity to compete. Three countries—Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, all of them former Yugoslav republics, won through from a pre-qualifier to compete. After the 1993 event, a relegation system was introduced, allowing even more Eastern European countries to compete: seven more made their debut in 1994. In 2003, three countries applied to make their debut: Albania, Belarus and Ukraine. In addition, Serbia and Montenegro, who had not competed since 1992, applied to return. The EBU, having originally accepted the four countries’ applications, later rejected all but Ukraine; allowing four extra countries to compete would have meant relegating too many countries. The semi-final was introduced in 2004 in an attempt to prevent situations like this. The Union set a limit of forty countries, but by 2005 thirty-nine were competing. In 2007, the EBU lifted the limit, allowing forty-two countries to compete. Two semi-finals were held for the first time in 2008.

Table key:

  • Giallo: Winner – The country won the ESC that year.
  • Griggio: Second place – The country was ranked second that year.
  • Marrone: Third place – The country was ranked third that year.
  • Bianco: Remaining places – The country placed from fourth to second last this year.
  • Rosso: Last – The country was ranked last that year.
  • Rosso scuro: Non-qualified – The country did not qualify to the final (2004-).
  • Marrone scuro: Non-qualified for the contest – The country did not survive the pre-qualifying round (1993, 1996)
  • Verde scuro: Undecided – The country has confirmed participation for the next ESC, however, the competition has not yet taken place.
  • Verde chiaro: Debutant – The country made its debut during the decade.
  • Griggio scuro: Did not participate – The country did not participate in the ESC that year.
A cross (X) means that the country participated in the contest that year.1950s 








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