First awarded in 1901, the Nobel Prize medals depict Alfred Nobel (1833-1896).

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Awarded for “the greatest benefit to humankind”

Between 1901 and 2020, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 603 times to 962 people and organisations. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, and based on the fortune of Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and entrepreneur. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma, and a cash award.

A person or organisation awarded the Nobel Prize is called Nobel Laureate. The word “laureate” refers to being signified by the laurel wreath. In ancient Greece, laurel wreaths were awarded to victors as a sign of honour.

See a full list of all Nobel Laureates.

Explore prizes and laureates

Prize categories

1901-2020: 114 prizes awarded to 216 laureates.

Gravity Waves Still Image

Two black holes collide producing gravitational waves

Image: LIGO/T. Pyle

1901-2020: 112 prizes awarded to 186 laureates.

Chemistry Illustration

Illustration of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017

Image: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

1901-2020: 101 prizes awarded to 135 laureates.


ICAN works for the abolishment of nuclear weapons

Illustration: iStock

1901-2020: 52 prizes awarded to 86 laureates.


Richard Thaler was awarded the 2017 Prize in Economic Sciences

Photo: iStock

When Kip Thorne collected his Nobel Prize medal, he was overcome with emotion while looking at an image of fellow Nobel Laureate, Albert Einstein.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

What do the laureates receive?

Each diploma is a unique work of art, created by leading Swedish and Norwegian artists and calligraphers. Look at some of the diplomas here.

Doris Lessing - Nobel Diploma

Doris Lessing’s Nobel Diploma

© The Nobel Foundation 2007. Artist: Karin Mamma Andersson. Calligrapher: Annika Rücker. Photo reproduction: Fredrika Berghult

The front of the gold Nobel Prize medals depict Alfred Nobel. The image on the reverse varies according to the institution awarding the prize. Read more about the medals.

Youyou Tu showing her Nobel Medal

Youyou Tu showing her Nobel Prize medal, 11 December 2015.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud.

The current amount is at SEK 10 million per full Nobel Prize. A Nobel Prize can be awarded to up to three Laureates who share the prize sum. Find out more about the prize amounts throughout history.

Flower decorations at the 2016 Nobel Prize award ceremony

Flower decorations by Florist Helén Magnusson at the Nobel Prize award ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall, 10 December 2016.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Pi Frisk.