Which Country Has the Most Miss Universe Winners?

Who will be the next Miss Universe? Eager viewers will tune in on Sunday, May 16 to see which of 74 women from around the world will win the coveted crown. 

The 69th annual pageant takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and will be televised live on FYI. Mario Lopez and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo will host. The current Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa, will crown the winner.

What to expect from Miss Universe 2021

contestants on stage at the 2021 Miss Universe pageant
Miss Universe participants appear on stage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 14, 2021, in Hollywood, Florida. | Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

While dozens of women are in the running for the title of Miss Universe, from Paula Mehmetukaj of Albania to Khanh Van Nguyen Tran of Vietnam, only a select few will be selected as semi-finalists. The 21 who advance through the preliminary round participate in the televised pageant. 

Miss USA Aysa Branch will represent the United States at this year’s Miss Universe pageant. The 23-year-old from Mississippi was crowned in November 2020 at the Miss USA pageant, which was held at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. 

The country with the most Miss Universe winners

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In 2011, Leila Lopes made history as the first woman from Angola to win the Miss Universe title. Perhaps this year another country’s representative will take home the crown for the first time. But historically, certain countries have dominated the competition.

Venezuela and the U.S. have produced the most Miss Universe winners. Seven American women have taken home the crown since 1953. Culpo was the most recent winner from the United States, in 2012. Venezuela tied the U.S. record in 2013, when Gabrielle Isler became the country’s seventh Miss Universe titleholder since 1979.

Five women from Puerto Rico have won Miss Universe titles. The Philippines has had four winners while Sweden and South Africa have produced three. A number of countries have won the title twice, including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Japan.

The “big four” beauty pageants

Miss Universe is just one of several major international beauty pageants, including Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth. Collectively, the pageants are sometimes referred to as the “big four.

Venezuela is the undisputed queen of the pageant world. In addition to seven Miss Universe titles, women from the South American country have won eight Miss International competitions, six Miss World titles, and two Miss Earths. Some have called beauty queen’s the country’s “biggest export” (via NBC News) after oil, and women sometimes go to extreme lengths to transform themselves into the pageant ideal.

The Philippines is another international pageant powerhouse. On top of four Miss Universe crowns, the country has won Miss Earth four times, Miss International six times, and Miss World once.

The 2021 Miss Universe competition airs Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET on FYI. The pageant will also be broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo.

This article was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated.

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