Menschliches Gehirn, (CC0)

IQ compared by countries

The question of the intelligence of a certain nationality or population may be controversial. In fact, intelligence is influenced by national, political, and geographic factors. Often surprisingly, but scientifically proven, a warmer climate has a markedly bad influence on the intelligence quotient.

With an average IQ of 98 points, the USA ranks 27th in this ranking. With 108 points, the inhabitants of Singapore reach the highest intelligence quotas worldwide. The last place with only 56 points is occupied by Equatorial Guinea.

In addition to the simple ranking of countries, the following table shows the influence of prosperity and climate.

Intelligence related to income and climate

The displayed IQ was averaged out of the results of 9 international studies and compared to the average income and government expenditures on education for the years 1990 to 2010.

Please beware: The average income has changed in recent years, especially in small countries. A list with more recent figures can be found here. This page covers the period from 1990 to 2010, which relates to the evaluation time of the studies.

RankCountryIQØ IncomeEducation expenditures
per capita
Ø Daily max
1Singapore10826,105 $935 $31.5 °C
2Hong Kong10826,057 $964 $26.1 °C
3Taiwan106  27.1 °C
4South Korea10614,077 $538 $18.2 °C
5Japan10537,244 $1,263 $19.7 °C
6China1041,427 $28 $19.4 °C
7Switzerland10250,649 $2,519 $12.7 °C
8Netherlands10234,055 $1,709 $14.3 °C
9North Korea102  14.9 °C
10Macau10121,205 $664 $25.8 °C
11Iceland10135,419 $2,511 $7.9 °C
12Finland10131,695 $2,015 $8.0 °C
13Canada10127,898 $1,677 $7.4 °C
14Belgium10031,328 $1,711 $14.4 °C
15Germany10031,397 $1,407 $13.5 °C
16United Kingdom10031,520 $1,489 $12.8 °C
17Austria10032,565 $1,809 $13.0 °C
18New Zealand10018,922 $1,310 $17.5 °C
19Norway9949,360 $3,630 $8.9 °C
20Sweden9936,848 $2,380 $9.4 °C
21Luxembourg9955,544 $2,360 $13.8 °C
22Denmark9939,857 $3,182 $11.9 °C
23Czech Republic999,260 $397 $12.1 °C
24Estonia999,552 $457 $10.0 °C
25Australia9926,122 $1,423 $24.4 °C
26France9830,037 $1,645 $16.5 °C
27United States9837,232 $1,949 $18.7 °C
28Hungary987,404 $392 $16.0 °C
29Mongolia98871 $49 $8.0 °C
30Malta9712,624 $644 $23.1 °C
31Italy9726,236 $1,183 $18.2 °C
32Latvia976,954 $333 $10.7 °C
33Slovakia979,319 $344 $14.9 °C
34Spain9720,215 $909 $21.0 °C
35Slovenia9716,389 $880 $15.3 °C
36Poland976,111 $308 $13.1 °C
37Russia964,103 $159 $8.7 °C
38Moldova95765 $53 $16.0 °C
39Croatia958,676 $346 $18.2 °C
40Ukraine951,452 $82 $14.0 °C
41Portugal9514,529 $753 $21.2 °C
42Ireland9429,250 $1,688 $13.2 °C
43Vietnam94515 $28 $29.2 °C
44Israel9419,693 $1,301 $26.3 °C
45Belarus932,514 $141 $11.5 °C
46Malaysia934,671 $282 $31.9 °C
47Lithuania936,731 $326 $11.4 °C
48Armenia921,305 $33 $16.9 °C
49Georgia921,241 $35 $19.4 °C
50Kazakhstan922,768 $100 $13.0 °C
51Greece9217,254 $575 $22.4 °C
52Bulgaria912,795 $111 $17.7 °C
53Macedonia912,505 $116 $18.5 °C
54Argentina906,499 $297 $23.8 °C
55Romania903,364 $119 $15.0 °C
56Turkey895,055 $147 $19.8 °C
57Thailand892,663 $110 $32.8 °C
58Serbia893,393 $157 $18.1 °C
59Chile895,805 $223 $17.4 °C
60Cambodia88431 $7 $33.4 °C
61Laos88431 $11 $32.0 °C
62Mauritius874,633 $172 $26.3 °C
63Costa Rica864,098 $224 $28.9 °C
64Philippines861,337 $37 $31.3 °C
65Mexico866,282 $288 $29.2 °C
66Tonga862,270 $106 $27.1 °C
67Iraq863,306 $ 32.3 °C
68Venezuela854,812 $262 $31.6 °C
69Bolivia851,047 $70 $25.1 °C
70Cuba843,275 $315 $29.8 °C
71Iran842,843 $124 $23.6 °C
72Montenegro844,514 $ 19.2 °C
73Albania841,765 $57 $22.5 °C
74Indonesia841,113 $31 $31.7 °C
75Papua New Guinea83915 $ 30.2 °C
76Egypt831,264 $59 $30.1 °C
77Ecuador832,401 $70 $24.5 °C
78Burma83390 $5 $32.1 °C
79Brazil834,547 $234 $30.6 °C
80United Arab Emirates8336,044 $392 $34.4 °C
81Pakistan82624 $17 $31.5 °C
82Algeria822,313 $110 $24.9 °C
83Dominican Republic822,767 $47 $32.4 °C
84Peru822,389 $79 $25.8 °C
85Syria821,144 $59 $26.2 °C
86Colombia822,759 $128 $28.3 °C
87Morocco821,744 $91 $24.0 °C
88Bosnia and Herzegovina822,599 $ 18.5 °C
89India81577 $22 $29.8 °C
90Saudi Arabia8110,742 $719 $32.6 °C
91Tunisia812,549 $173 $25.2 °C
92Afghanistan80340 $13 $24.3 °C
93Sri Lanka791,061 $31 $28.9 °C
94Madagascar79279 $9 $28.4 °C
95Qatar7854,704 $1,657 $33.7 °C
96Bangladesh77459 $9 $30.7 °C
97Nepal77280 $10 $25.5 °C
98Kenya71486 $34 $28.8 °C
99Tanzania71331 $14 $29.9 °C
100South Africa704,040 $231 $24.8 °C
101Sudan70546 $14 $36.5 °C
102Nigeria70519 $ 33.0 °C
103Jamaica703,068 $160 $31.8 °C
104Ghana69536 $35 $31.5 °C
105Namibia692,786 $201 $29.1 °C
106Mali64386 $14 $36.0 °C
107Democratic Republic of the Congo63191 $4 $30.0 °C
108Eritrea63250 $9 $29.2 °C
109Guinea-Bissau62311 $12 $32.9 °C
110Ethiopia61185 $8 $27.1 °C
111Senegal60684 $31 $35.7 °C
112Gambia60581 $12 $32.7 °C
113East Timor601,540 $57 $31.0 °C
114Gabon604,831 $192 $29.8 °C
115Sao Tome and Principe58886 $55 $28.6 °C
116Equatorial Guinea563,490 $164 $30.2 °C

What is the intelligence quotient?

The definition states that the intelligence quotient is a measure of intellectual ability. Often the IQ is confused with a concrete performance or even education. However, it is the "ability" of performing. In other words, the ability for comprehension, combinations and learning.

A person isn't less intelligent, because of oa lower level of education. Instead, the one who can achieve the same education with less effort is classified as more intelligent. For example: In some intelligence tests are questions for the names of current politicians. This determines whether and how well the patient can remember a name and its position only by the influence of the media presence.

The intelligence quotient was adapted to a mean value of 100 points. For a standard deviation of 15%, an IQ between 85 and 115 should be taken as normal. Depending on the psychological and physical condition of the patient, the results can also vary by up to 10 points.

Intelligence is not a learning ability, but can be consciously increased. Through regular brain training like in school, individual skills are specifically addressed and achieved through a performance increase. Thus the general thinking-ability can be influenced by each individual within a certain framework. With increasing age, this possibility decreases considerably. Also part of the intelligence is inherited by father and mother.

The IQ was developed by West Europeans for West Europeans according to West European standards. It is still debatable whether this procedure can be applied to people(s) with entirely different social structures, cultures, values and ways of thinking.

Is intelligence dependent on the climate?

Since 1991 there has been the presumption that persistent heat affects the IQ over generations. It was initially assumed that living in lower temperatures requires a higher physical fitness and causes higher social demands. Richard Lynn, a professor at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, also assumes that the colder temperatures increase the brain volume. Whether brain size is at all related to intelligence, is controversial.

In general, a hot climate is considered a disadvantage for the development of intelligence. The reason is nowadays primarily seen in the high physical energy demand and the resulting stress.

No racial dependences

None of the studies used here, conclude that the intelligence quotient is influenced by a particular race. In some cases, differences within population groups were found (e.g. in Basil: Blacks 71, Mulatto 81, Whites 95, Japaneses 99), but all differences could be attributed to their origin, level of education or other factors.

In 2006 Donald Templera and Hiroko Arikawab found a connection between increasing skin pigmentation and a decreasing IQ. Even this was not racially dued, because the pigmentation grade is climatically conditioned. The observations were also made within the same groups of other races, e.g. caucasians.

Data base

The intelligence quotients by countries are taken from the studies conducted by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen (2002), Heiner Rindermann (2007), Khaleefa and Lynn (2008), Ahmad, Khanum and Riaz (2008), Lynn, Abdalla and Al-Shahomee (2008), Lynn and Meisenberg (2010) as well as the PISA tests in 2003, 2006 and 2009. More recent results were weighted heigher. The studies are not entirely uncontroversial as they're often considering only specific population groups or only a few individuals per countries. If, on the other hand, an average is obtained from all the tests and studies, an at least usable overview will be obtained.

The figures for average income, population and education expenditures are based on World Bank data, which were averaged over the period from 1990 to 2010. This corresponds to the period during which the studies were carried out. Temperatures were averaged from the data of the German Weather Service of the same period.