Menschliches Gehirn, pixabay.com (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 28th 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
temperature
1
Singapore
10826,105 $948 $31.6 °C
2
Hong Kong
10826,057 $968 $26.1 °C
3
South Korea
10614,083 $540 $18.2 °C
4
Taiwan
106  27.1 °C
5
Japan
10537,227 $1,263 $19.7 °C
6
China
1041,427 $28 $19.4 °C
7
Netherlands
10234,173 $1,714 $14.2 °C
8
Switzerland
10250,663 $2,533 $12.7 °C
9
North Korea
102  14.9 °C
10
Finland
10131,695 $2,019 $8.0 °C
11
Macau
10121,183 $671 $25.8 °C
12
Canada
10127,895 $1,686 $7.3 °C
13
Iceland
10135,413 $2,526 $8.0 °C
14
Germany
10031,397 $1,407 $13.5 °C
15
United Kingdom
10031,471 $1,485 $12.8 °C
16
New Zealand
10018,922 $1,318 $17.5 °C
17
Belgium
10031,325 $1,716 $14.4 °C
18
Austria
10032,454 $1,813 $12.9 °C
19
Sweden
9936,848 $2,407 $9.5 °C
20
Denmark
9939,856 $3,188 $12.1 °C
21
Estonia
999,552 $456 $10.0 °C
22
Australia
9926,120 $1,439 $24.3 °C
23
Czech Republic
999,259 $397 $12.1 °C
24
Luxembourg
9955,375 $2,379 $13.7 °C
25
Norway
9949,358 $3,662 $8.9 °C
26
Mongolia
98871 $50 $8.0 °C
27
France
9830,037 $1,661 $16.6 °C
28
United States
9837,232 $1,959 $18.6 °C
29
Hungary
987,405 $391 $16.0 °C
30
Slovenia
9716,389 $881 $15.2 °C
31
Latvia
976,955 $331 $10.3 °C
32
Slovakia
979,319 $344 $14.9 °C
33
Poland
976,107 $312 $13.2 °C
34
Malta
9712,631 $646 $23.1 °C
35
Italy
9726,237 $1,185 $18.2 °C
36
Spain
9720,215 $914 $21.0 °C
37
Russia
964,103 $159 $8.9 °C
38
Ukraine
951,452 $82 $14.0 °C
39
Portugal
9514,529 $754 $21.2 °C
40
Croatia
958,676 $346 $18.2 °C
41
Moldova
95765 $53 $15.9 °C
42
Ireland
9429,240 $1,702 $13.2 °C
43
Israel
9418,958 $1,302 $26.4 °C
44
Vietnam
94517 $29 $29.2 °C
45
Belarus
931,663 $140 $11.5 °C
46
Malaysia
934,669 $285 $31.9 °C
47
Lithuania
936,731 $324 $11.3 °C
48
Greece
9217,253 $576 $22.4 °C
49
Kazakhstan
922,768 $100 $14.1 °C
50
Georgia
921,241 $35 $20.1 °C
51
Armenia
921,305 $33 $16.9 °C
52
Macedonia
912,505 $116 $18.5 °C
53
Bulgaria
912,791 $111 $17.6 °C
54
Argentina
906,499 $299 $23.8 °C
55
Romania
903,364 $118 $15.0 °C
56
Turkey
895,055 $148 $19.7 °C
57
Thailand
892,663 $112 $32.7 °C
58
Chile
895,800 $224 $17.3 °C
59
Serbia
893,393 $157 $18.4 °C
60
Cambodia
88431 $7 $33.3 °C
61
Azerbaijan
871,507 $61 $23.1 °C
62
Mauritius
874,633 $172 $26.3 °C
63
Mexico
866,281 $290 $29.3 °C
64
Philippines
861,390 $37 $31.4 °C
65
Costa Rica
864,097 $226 $28.9 °C
66
Iraq
863,306 $ 32.1 °C
67
Bolivia
851,047 $70 $25.0 °C
68
Venezuela
854,812 $264 $31.5 °C
69
Albania
841,772 $57 $22.3 °C
70
Iran
842,805 $122 $23.6 °C
71
Montenegro
844,533 $ 19.2 °C
72
Cuba
843,275 $315 $29.8 °C
73
Indonesia
841,107 $30 $31.7 °C
74
Fiji
832,802 $155 $30.1 °C
75
Burma
83390 $5 $32.1 °C
76
Papua New Guinea
83829 $ 30.1 °C
77
United Arab Emirates
8336,044 $416 $34.4 °C
78
Brazil
834,546 $235 $30.5 °C
79
Ecuador
832,401 $71 $24.5 °C
80
Egypt
831,265 $60 $30.1 °C
81
Peru
822,375 $79 $25.8 °C
82
Algeria
822,313 $110 $24.7 °C
83
Pakistan
82624 $17 $31.5 °C
84
Syria
821,144 $60 $26.1 °C
85
Bosnia and Herzegovina
822,599 $ 18.4 °C
86
Colombia
822,759 $129 $28.2 °C
87
Morocco
821,744 $92 $23.9 °C
88
Saudi Arabia
8110,729 $729 $32.5 °C
89
India
81578 $22 $29.8 °C
90
Tunisia
812,550 $174 $25.2 °C
91
Afghanistan
80340 $13 $25.2 °C
92
Madagascar
79279 $9 $28.2 °C
93
Sri Lanka
791,061 $31 $28.9 °C
94
Qatar
7854,704 $1,772 $33.7 °C
95
Nepal
77280 $10 $25.6 °C
96
Bangladesh
77459 $9 $30.7 °C
97
Tanzania
71331 $14 $29.9 °C
98
Ivory Coast
71799 $40 $32.0 °C
99
Kenya
71486 $34 $28.7 °C
100
Sudan
70546 $15 $36.5 °C
101
South Africa
704,041 $232 $24.7 °C
102
Nigeria
70519 $ 33.2 °C
103
Jamaica
703,069 $160 $31.8 °C
104
Ghana
69536 $36 $31.2 °C
105
Namibia
692,786 $203 $29.0 °C
106
Chad
65365 $10 $36.3 °C
107
Mali
64386 $14 $35.9 °C
108
Democratic Republic of the Congo
63189 $4 $29.9 °C
109
Eritrea
63250 $9 $29.2 °C
110
Guinea-Bissau
62311 $13 $32.9 °C
111
Ethiopia
61185 $8 $27.0 °C
112
Gambia
60580 $12 $32.5 °C
113
Timor-Leste
601,567 $61 $30.9 °C
114
Gabon
604,820 $195 $29.8 °C
115
Senegal
60683 $31 $35.6 °C
116
Sao Tome and Principe
58886 $55 $28.6 °C
117
Equatorial Guinea
563,492 $168 $29.7 °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.

Criticism:
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.