The Lands of Heavy Metal: Most Metal Bands Per Capita (2022 World Map)

Last Updated on Categorized as Facts
hero most heavy metal countries ranked

When the first seeds of Heavy Metal was sown in the US in the late 60s by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, few could foresee the explosive growth the genre would see over the next half century. The raw, rapid, powerful and provocative sounds of Metal have become a truly global phenomenon, and if the US is the cradle of Heavy Metal, the Nordic region has established itself as the most Metal-heavy region of the world in the last few decades.

When looking at the number of Heavy Metal bands formed in each country, large countries like the US and Germany reign supreme still. But, if we look at Heavy Metal bands per 100 000 people, the Nordic countries of Finland (#1), Iceland (#2), Sweden (#3), Norway (#5), Faroe Islands (#6), and Denmark (#9) dominate the top 10.

Let’s dive in and look closer at where in the world Heavy Metal has had the most impact!

ℹ️ To calculate the most Heavy Metal bands per capita I’ve compiled a list of all the Heavy Metal bands listed on the Encyclopaedia Metallum by country (as of Nov 2022), along with the population of each country as reported by the World Bank (as of Nov 2022). Countries with less than 10 total bands were excluded from the list to avoid extreme outliers.

Map of the Most Metal Countries in the World (Most Heavy Metal Bands Per Capita)

Source: Encyclopaedia Metallum (2022)

Which Countries Have the Most Metal Bands Per Capita?

With around 84.5 Heavy Metal bands per 100 000 citizens, Finland has the most Metal bands per capita in the world by a wide margin, followed by Iceland and Sweden at around 52 Metal bands per 100 000 citizens.

The rest of the Nordic region also lands in the top 10, with around 39 bands in Norway (5th place), 29 bands in Faroe Islands (6th place), and 21 bands in Denmark (9th place) per 100 000 people.

Tuska 20130628 Amorphis 22
Lead singer Tomi Joutsen of Finnish Metal band Amorphis performing at Tuksa 2013. Photo: Cecil (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0).

Micro states such as Lichtenstein, Guernsey, and Malta all score very high mostly due to their small populations, while Greece & Portugal are the only southern European countries in the otherwise very Germanic-heavy top 20 (meaning mostly countries from Central and Northern Europe).

Estonia is the only Baltic state on the list, while Chile takes the top spot from the Americas.

amon amarth
Lead singer Johan Hegg from Swedish metal band Amon Amarth.
Photo: "Amon Amarth" by mzagerp is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Most Metal Bands Per Capita: Top 20 Countries

CountryMetal Bands per 100kMetal BandsPopulation
1. Finland 🇫🇮84.5046835541696
2. Iceland 🇮🇸52.11194372295
3. Sweden 🇸🇪51.94541010415811
4. Liechtenstein 🇱🇮41.831638254
5. Norway 🇳🇴38.7420955408320
6. Faroe Islands 🇫🇴28.541449053
7. Guernsey 🇬🇬25.251767334
8. Greece 🇬🇷22.70242110664568
9. Denmark 🇩🇰20.5212025856733
10. Estonia 🇪🇪18.882511329254
11. Malta 🇲🇹18.5796516869
12. Austria 🇦🇹16.3314638956279
13. Chile 🇨🇱16.10309319212362
14. Netherlands 🇳🇱15.94279517533405
15. Czechia 🇨🇿15.91170310703446
16. Slovenia 🇸🇮15.383242107007
17. Germany 🇩🇪15.251268083129285
18. Luxembourg 🇱🇺14.8795639070
19. Portugal 🇵🇹14.76152010299423
20. Switzerland 🇨🇭14.4612588697723
Sources: Encyclopaedia Metallum (2022), World Bank (2022)

Which Countries Have the Most Metal Bands?

The US takes the crown with the most Heavy Metal bands in the world, with 35 805 registered bands on Encyclopaedia Metallum, followed by Germany with 12 680, and Italy with 7 558 total Heavy Metal bands.

Metallica Live at The O2 London England 22 October 2017
Legendary US Heavy Metal band Metallica Live at The O2, London, England, 22 October 2017. Photo: Kreepin Deth (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).

Brazil has the most Metal bands in Latin America with 7 490 (placing them 4th in the world), with Mexico, Argentina, and Chile also featuring in the top 20.

Japan is the highest-ranked Asian country in 18th place (2 776 bands), followed by Indonesia in 19th place (2292).

Total Number of Metal Bands: Top 20 Countries

CountryMetal Bands per 100kMetal BandsPopulation
1. USA 🇺🇸10.7935805331893745
2. Germany 🇩🇪15.251268083129285
3. Italy 🇮🇹12.80755859066225
4. Brazil 🇧🇷3.507490213993441
5. UK 🇬🇧9.88665067326569
6. France 🇫🇷9.14617267499343
7. Sweden 🇸🇪51.94541010415811
8. Canada 🇨🇦14.10539438246108
9. Russia 🇷🇺3.685282143446060
10. Spain 🇪🇸9.95470847326687
11. Finland 🇫🇮84.5046835541696
12. Poland 🇵🇱10.66402637781024
13. Mexico 🇲🇽2.983881130262220
14. Australia 🇦🇺12.95333325739256
15. Argentina 🇦🇷6.85313645808747
16. Chile 🇨🇱16.10309319212362
17. Netherlands 🇳🇱15.94279517533405
18. Japan 🇯🇵2.212776125681593
19. Greece 🇬🇷22.70242110664568
20. Indonesia 🇮🇩0.832292276361788
Sources: Encyclopaedia Metallum (2022), World Bank (2022)
iron maiden
Iron Maiden performing in Costa Rica. Photo: adels (licensed under CC BY 2.0).

Most Metal Bands in the World by Country: The Full Data Set

Most Metal Bands in the World by Country, per Capita: The Full List

CountryMetal Bands per 100kMetal BandsPopulation
Finland84.5046835541696
Iceland52.11194372295
Sweden51.94541010415811
Liechtenstein41.831638254
Norway38.7420955408320
Faroe Islands28.541449053
Guernsey25.251767334
Greece22.70242110664568
Denmark20.5212025856733
Estonia18.882511329254
Malta18.5796516869
Austria16.3314638956279
Chile16.10309319212362
Netherlands15.94279517533405
Czechia15.91170310703446
Slovenia15.383242107007
Germany15.251268083129285
Luxembourg14.8795639070
Portugal14.76152010299423
Switzerland14.4612588697723
Canada14.10539438246108
Croatia14.005463899000
Hungary13.4813099709886
Belgium13.15152411587882
Australia12.95333325739256
Italy12.80755859066225
Slovakia12.696915447247
USA10.7935805331893745
Poland10.66402637781024
Ireland10.305185028230
New Zealand10.135195122600
Spain9.95470847326687
UK9.88665067326569
France9.14617267499343
Latvia7.651441883162
Lithuania7.552112795321
Serbia7.425086844078
Cyprus7.16871215588
Bulgaria7.024846899125
Argentina6.85313645808747
Costa Rica6.753475139053
Uruguay6.742353485152
Brunei6.1227441532
N. Macedonia5.961232065092
Singapore5.723125453566
Puerto Rico5.641843263584
Belarus5.244899340314
Bosnia & Herz.4.781563263459
Colombia4.16213551265841
Russia3.685282143446060
Brazil3.507490213993441
Israel3.473259364000
Paraguay3.262357219641
Bolivia3.0135611832936
Ukraine3.00131343814581
Mexico2.983881130262220
El Salvador2.731786518500
Romania2.5849419115146
Montenegro2.5816620173
Japan2.212776125681593
Panama2.17954381583
Malaysia2.1570632776195
Peru2.0467933359416
Moldova1.90492573928
Venezuela1.8553028704947
Maldives1.8410543620
Réunion1.2811858450
Georgia1.16433708610
Cuba1.0311711317498
Bahrain1.03181748295
Armenia1.01302968128
Guatemala0.9516317109746
Lebanon0.90616769151
Indonesia0.832292276361788
Nicaragua0.81546702379
Honduras0.777710062994
Turkey0.7563485042736
Ecuador0.64666104258327
Hong Kong, SAR0.59447413100
Albania0.50142811666
Dominican Rep.0.475210953714
South Africa0.4728460041996
Taiwan0.429923572052
Thailand0.3524869950844
Kazakhstan0.346519002586
Jordan0.343510269022
UAE0.34349991083
Philippines0.33368111046910
Tunisia0.283411935764
S. Korea0.2814651715162
Sri Lanka0.235122156000
Syria0.213818275704
Kyrgyz Rep.0.16116694200
Iran0.1613785028760
Azerbaijan0.151510145212
Nepal0.133929674920
Morocco0.093437344787
Madagascar0.072128427333
Algeria0.073143576691
Vietnam0.055398168829
Bangladesh0.0588166303494
Egypt0.0552106437241
Saudi Arabia0.051735340680
Uzbekistan0.041334915100
Iraq0.031341179351
China0.034101412360000
Pakistan0.0357225199929
India0.023091393409033
Sources: Encyclopaedia Metallum (2022), World Bank (2022)
Slipknot The Grey Chapter Tour 2016 Dusseldorf
US band Slipknot during the Grey Chapter Tour 2016. Photo: leokreissig.de for Wikimedia Commons (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).

Most Metal Bands in the World by Country, Total Number of Bands: The Full List

CountryMetal Bands per 100kMetal BandsPopulation
USA10.7935805331893745
Germany15.251268083129285
Italy12.80755859066225
Brazil3.507490213993441
UK9.88665067326569
France9.14617267499343
Sweden51.94541010415811
Canada14.10539438246108
Russia3.685282143446060
Spain9.95470847326687
Finland84.5046835541696
Poland10.66402637781024
Mexico2.983881130262220
Australia12.95333325739256
Argentina6.85313645808747
Chile16.10309319212362
Netherlands15.94279517533405
Japan2.212776125681593
Greece22.70242110664568
Indonesia0.832292276361788
Colombia4.16213551265841
Norway38.7420955408320
Czechia15.91170310703446
Belgium13.15152411587882
Portugal14.76152010299423
Austria16.3314638956279
Ukraine3.00131343814581
Hungary13.4813099709886
Switzerland14.4612588697723
Denmark20.5212025856733
Malaysia2.1570632776195
Slovakia12.696915447247
Peru2.0467933359416
Ecuador0.64666104258327
Turkey0.7563485042736
Croatia14.005463899000
Venezuela1.8553028704947
New Zealand10.135195122600
Ireland10.305185028230
Serbia7.425086844078
Romania2.5849419115146
Belarus5.244899340314
Bulgaria7.024846899125
China0.034101412360000
Philippines0.33368111046910
Bolivia3.0135611832936
Costa Rica6.753475139053
Israel3.473259364000
Slovenia15.383242107007
Singapore5.723125453566
India0.023091393409033
South Africa0.4728460041996
Estonia18.882511329254
Thailand0.3524869950844
Uruguay6.742353485152
Paraguay3.262357219641
Lithuania7.552112795321
Iceland52.11194372295
Puerto Rico5.641843263584
El Salvador2.731786518500
Guatemala0.9516317109746
Bosnia and Herzegovina4.781563263459
S. Korea0.2814651715162
Latvia7.651441883162
Iran0.1613785028760
N. Macedonia5.961232065092
Cuba1.0311711317498
Taiwan0.429923572052
Malta18.5796516869
Luxembourg14.8795639070
Panama2.17954381583
Bangladesh0.0588166303494
Cyprus7.16871215588
Honduras0.777710062994
Kazakhstan0.346519002586
Lebanon0.90616769151
Pakistan0.0357225199929
Nicaragua0.81546702379
Vietnam0.055398168829
Dominican Rep.0.475210953714
Egypt0.0552106437241
Sri Lanka0.235122156000
Moldova1.90492573928
Hong Kong, SAR0.59447413100
Georgia1.16433708610
Nepal0.133929674920
Syria0.213818275704
Jordan0.343510269022
UAE0.34349991083
Tunisia0.283411935764
Morocco0.093437344787
Algeria0.073143576691
Armenia1.01302968128
Brunei6.1227441532
Madagascar0.072128427333
Bahrain1.03181748295
Guernsey25.251767334
Saudi Arabia0.051735340680
Liechtenstein41.831638254
Montenegro2.5816620173
Azerbaijan0.151510145212
Faroe Islands28.541449053
Albania0.50142811666
Uzbekistan0.041334915100
Iraq0.031341179351
Réunion1.2811858450
Kyrgyz Rep.0.16116694200
Maldives1.8410543620
Sources: Encyclopaedia Metallum (2022), World Bank (2022)

Sources:

https://www.metal-archives.com/browse/country

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL

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By Karl Andersson

As a native Swede with a Finnish mother, Karl identifies as both Nordic and Scandinavian. He left Sweden at 19 to explore the world, and stayed abroad for almost 8 years—during which he backpacked, worked every job there was, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, and met the future mother of his children. He ultimately returned to his native Malmö with his love, where they now have 3 Swedish-American boys eager to explore the world.

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