Which Country Has the Most Miss Universe Winners?

Who will be the next Miss Universe? Millions will tune in on Sunday, Dec. 8 to see which of 90 women from around the world will win the coveted crown

The 68th annual pageant takes place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and will be televised live on Fox. Steve Harvey returns as host for the fifth year in a row. The current Miss Universe, Cartriona Gray from the Philippines, will crown the winner.

What to expect from Miss Universe 2019

 Miss Universe Catriona Gray holding crown

Miss Universe Catriona Gray and Pascal Mouawad unveil the new Miss Universe crown on December 5, 2019 | Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Endeavor

While dozens of women are in the running for the title of Miss Universe, from Cindy Marina of Albania to Thuy Hoang of Vietnam, only a select few will be selected as semi-finalists. The preliminary competition kicked off on November 28. Those who advance through that round participate in the televised pageant. 

Miss USA Cheslie Kryst will represent the United States at the pageant. The 28-year-old attorney was crowned in May 2019 in Reno, Nevada. She said she’s excited that this year’s Miss Universe competition will take place in Atlanta. 

“I love the city and I am excited to show contestants from around the globe the southern hospitality we are famous for,” Kryst said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Atlanta is a city bursting with so much culture and opportunity. I can’t wait to see which one of us gets to call Atlanta the city where she became Miss Universe.”

The country with the most Miss Universe winners

Leila Lopes at 2011 Miss Universe

Leila Lopes, from Angola, receives the crown of Miss Universe 2011 from the former Queen Ximena Navarrete | Bia Schmidt/LatinContent /Getty Images

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. Olivia 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 has produced three. A number of countries have won the title twice, including South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Japan.

The “big four” beauty pageants

Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares at Miss World 2011

Miss Venezula, Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares after being crowned Miss World 2011 | CARL COURT/AFP via Getty Images

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” 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 2019 Miss Universe competition airs Sunday, December 8 at 7/6c on Fox. 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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