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Smartest Countries

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Intelligence Around the World

Intelligence quotient, or IQ as we often refer to it, provides a measure of human cognitive abilities in relation to one's age group. While IQ is by no means a comprehensive assessment of one's mental prowess or potential, it does offer an intriguing glimpse into intellectual capabilities at a national level. To gauge countries' intelligence, experts often utilize average national IQ scores. It's important to note, these scores aren't static but are subject to a variety of influences ranging from education systems, socio-economic factors, and even nutritional considerations.

From the rich trove of public data detailing average national IQs, we embark on an enlightening journey across the globe, exploring regions that lead the charts and those that fare relatively low. 

Key findings from our data include:

  • East Asian countries dominate the high IQ bracket, with Japan leading the pack exhibiting a remarkable average IQ of 106.48. They're closely followed by Taiwan and Singapore, with average IQs of 106.47 and 105.89 respectively.
  • European nations, particularly those from the north like Finland and Germany, also show high IQs, echoing a correlation between IQ and high quality of education and healthcare infrastructure prevalent in these regions.
  • The United States finds its place well within the first third of the list, flaunting an average IQ score of 97.43. Given its diverse demographics and a large population, this is a promising figure.
  • While consistent data for all African nations is sparse, both North African and Sub-Saharan countries show lower average IQ scores. For example, Ghana shows an average IQ of 58.16. These relatively low scores could be attributed to numerous factors such as a lack of access to quality education and poor nutrition during critical developmental years.
  • A fascinating observation from the data is the slight edge countries with smaller populations, like Liechtenstein, seem to have over giants like China and India. This could prompt a worthy discussion about the role of population size in national IQ averages.

To stress, while high IQ scores might be suggestive of a high-performing education system or a prosperous economy, they shouldn't be construed as definitive evidence of intellectual superiority. With this understanding, let's journey through the list of the world's smartest countries as we delve deeper into what these figures could potentially reveal.

10 Smartest Countries

The ten countries with the highest average IQ scores according to public data are Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Belarus, Finland, Netherlands, and Germany.

Japan leads the pack with an average IQ of 106.48. Closely following Japan is Taiwan, with an average IQ score of 106.47. Singapore checks in with an average IQ score of 105.89, and in fourth place is Hong Kong with 105.37. China's average IQ is recorded at 104.1, placing it fifth in the ranking. South Korea's average IQ score is 102.35, ranking it sixth highest globally. Following South Korea is Belarus, boasting an average IQ of 101.6. Finland is eighth in the lineup with an average IQ of 101.2, and the Netherlands and Germany both have an average IQ of 100.74, rounding out the list of the top ten countries.

Smartest Countries in the World:

  1. Japan – 106.48 
  2. Taiwan – 106.47
  3. Singapore – 105.89
  4. Hong Kong – 105.37
  5. China – 104.1
  6. South Korea – 102.35
  7. Belarus – 101.6
  8. Finland – 101.2
  9. Netherlands – 100.74
  10. Germany – 100.74

By Country

Full Data Set

To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.

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