Average IQ of Countries

The average IQ in the United States is usually set at 100. Groups within the US score different average IQ's, such as 115 for college grads or 85 for African-Americans. Similarly, average IQ varies from country to country, shown in the 2002 book IQ and the Wealth of Nations (sets Britain at 100):


From Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations by Richard Lynn



Rank

Country

IQ estimate

1

 Hong Kong

107

2

 South Korea

106

3 ^

 Japan

105

4

 Taiwan

104

5

 Singapore

103

6 *

 Austria

102

6 ^

 Germany

102

6 **

 Italy

102

6 *

 Netherlands

102

10

 Sweden

101

10

 Switzerland

101

12

 Belgium

100

12 **

 China

100

12

 New Zealand

100

12 **

 United Kingdom

100

16

 Hungary

99

16

 Poland

99

16 **

 Spain

99

19

 Australia

98

19

 Denmark

98

19 *

 France

98

19

 Mongolia

98

19

 Norway

98

19 *

 United States

98

25

 Canada

97

25

 Czech Republic

97

25

 Finland

97

28

 Argentina

96

28 ^

 Russia

96

28

 Slovakia

96

28

 Uruguay

96

32 ^

 Portugal

95

32

 Slovenia

95

34

 Israel

94

34

 Romania

94

36

 Bulgaria

93

36

 Ireland

93

36 *

 Greece

93

39

 Malaysia

92

40

 Thailand

91

41

 Croatia

90

41 ^

 Peru

90

41 * *

 Turkey

90



44

 Colombia

89

44

 Indonesia

89

44

 Suriname

89

47

 Brazil

87

47 * *

 Iraq

87

47 ^

 Mexico

87

47

 Samoa

87

47

 Tonga

87

52 *

 Lebanon

86

52

 Philippines

86

54

 Cuba

85

54

 Morocco

85

56

 Fiji

84

56 *

 Iran

84

56

 Marshall Islands

84

56

 Puerto Rico

84

60 **

 Egypt

83

60

 Saudi Arabia

83

60

 United Arab Emirates

83

61 *

 India

81

62

 Ecuador

80

63

 Guatemala

79

64

 Barbados

78

64

 Nepal

78

64

 Qatar

78

67

 Zambia

77

68

 Congo

73

68

 Uganda

73

70

 Jamaica

72

70

 Kenya

72

70

 South Africa

72

70

 Sudan

72

70

 Tanzania

72

75

 Ghana

71

76

 Nigeria

67

77

 Guinea

66

77 ^

 Zimbabwe

66

79

 Democratic Republic of the Congo

65

80

 Sierra Leone

64

81

 Ethiopia

63

82

 Equatorial Guinea

59



Markings next to a rank means this area was a world leadiing civilization

*=once **=twice ^=near leading See: http://sq.4mg.com/AppA.htm

The top 5 nations above were also the top scorers (different order) in 8th grade math and science in 2003. The US ranked 15th in math and 9th in science. Details at http://timss.bc.edu/timss2003.html

See also how major nations' 15 year old school children scored in Math, Science, and Reading in PISA 2006 testing

 

Click for list of IQ, income per person, and corruption index for 127 nations,

Click for: - possible causes of IQ differences among nations

- a summary of what IQ is and how it is calculated

The book's authors Lynn (psychology, U. of Ulster) and Vanhanen (political science, U. of Helsinki) analyzed 168 national IQ studies. They argue that a significant part of the gap between rich and poor countries is due to differences in national intelligence. There is a similar pattern within the United States, where higher IQ states have higher incomes. On Lynn's website you can see:

the IQ data sources used for 60 countries (at http://www.rlynn.co.uk/pages/article_intelligence/7-a1.asp)

and IQs for 185 countries - some "Based on the IQs of Neighbouring or Other Comparable Countries" (at http://www rlynn.co.uk/pages/article_intelligence/t4.asp).

Comments by a reviewer: "This brilliantly conceived, superbly-written, path-breaking book, does for the global study of economic prosperity what Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve did for the USA. IQ and the Wealth of Nations examines IQ scores and economic indicators in 185 nations. It shows that national differences in wealth are explained first, by the intelligence levels of the populations; second, by whether the countries have market or communist economies; and finally, by unique circumstances such as, in the case of Qatar, by sitting atop a sea of oil."(The information above is partly based on http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?btob=Y&endeca=1&isbn=027597510X&itm=73)

Comments in a chat room Tue Feb 15 2005, referring to this webpage (from http://www.funtrivia.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=404203&an=0&page=0)

What I found interesting to ponder was the fact that the world's poorest countries were also the ones with the lowest IQ average, generally speaking. Does the fact that they have been poor for generations mean that their IQ average is low because they are poor or are they poor because they have a low IQ average? I found the figures to be presented in a non-racist manner myself, though if I have missed something please advise. The site itself is fascinating.

Given that most of the lower ones are African nations I wonder if poor nutrition through drought after drought would affect IQ overall. I guess that would come under your "been poor for generations mean that their IQ average is low" theory.

Factors other than IQ in economic success

Research shows that IQ accounts for only 1/3 or less of a person's income - within a country. Other big factors in income are a person's social skills and ambition, together sometimes called Emotional Intelligence.

While social skills have a major impact on a person's income within a country, they have little effect on national income. The reason? Research indicates that average social skills (SQ) scores show almost no differences among racial groups. Ambition may have a similar worldwide pattern. As a result. IQ becomes the main cause for national wealth differences. Click for more information on how IQ, social skills and ambition relate to national wealth.

============================

more on IQ and the Wealth of Nations (from: http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft.htm)

Graphs of IQ and Economic Success

The relationship between IQ and individual achievement is well known. No where is it better documented than in Herrnstein and Murray's The Bell Curve (Free Press, 1994). Lynn and Vanhanen have scaled this connection up to a national level. They expose a relationship between national wealth and IQ. You can see the relationship best in a graph (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Per capita GDP vs. national average IQ. The regression line is shown in red.. Notice how GDP is positively correlated to average IQ. The correlation coefficient is 0.733, IQ explaining 54 percent of the GDP variance. Values this large are rare in social science. In the social sciences, correlations of 0.2 are said to be "low," 0.4 are "moderate," and 0.6 are "high." So 0.73 is most impressive.

A correlation coefficient (correlation for short) is a quantity that reflects the strength of association between two variables. Its values range from -1 to 1. If variables are independent of one another, their correlation is zero. If they are perfectly correlated their correlation is 1 or -1. Positive coefficients mean that one variable gets larger when the other gets larger, and negative correlation the opposite. The fraction of the variance explained by the independent variable is simply the square of the correlation coefficient. The regression line is the line that best fits the data.

For a list of all countries ranked by income per person in 2002, see http://www.worldfactsandfigures.com/gdp_country_desc.php

Explanation for some outlying points on the above graph:

South Africa is the world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium and diamonds. None of this has much to do with human resources. Barbados and Qatar have also been favored with wealth-producing assets. Barbadian economy is based mostly on tourism. Exceptional year-round climate combined with proximity to the US strengthens its economic base irrespective of IQ. Similarly, oil revenue accounts for Qatar's extraordinary GDP. Finally, with a market economy being necessary for prosperity, we find Communist China, with a mean IQ of 100, producing more like a country with a mean of 83. When the four outliers are removed, the correlation grows from 0.73 to 0.79. In this case, 62 percent of the remaining GDP variance is now explained by IQ.

Racial/ Ethnic Differences graphed:

In Figure 2 below, the data is divided into contributions from four groups: blacks, (European) whites, East Asians and "others," The "others" include Asian Indians, Latin Americans, Pacific Islanders, Middle Easterners, other Asians, etc. Many of these countries have racially or ethnically heterogeneous populations. The outliers (South Africa, Barbados, Qatar and China) are not included in the graph:

Figure 2. Per capita GDP by racial group. "White" here means European white; "East Asian" means the racially homogenous polities: Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan. IQs cluster by race.

East Asian points are off the graph's trend line

Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, all with homogeneous populations, have the highest IQs reported here. We might therefore expect them to be among the wealthiest of nations. Their numbers, especially those of Taiwan and South Korea, however, tell another story. With average IQs of 104 and 106, respectively, per capita GDPs of about $13,000 seem much too low for Taiwan and South Korea.

Country average IQ and per person GDP ($13.000 for Taiwan)

Taiwan 104 13,000

South Korea 106 13,478

Hong Kong 107 20,763

Japan 105 23,257

The observations raise questions about East Asian achievement. IQ alone does not determine wealth. Perhaps East Asians are wanting in other attributes. Or, maybe there are aspects of Eastern culture that undercut creativity. These questions need to be investigated.

Go to: Causes of IQ differences among races and nations

Go to: low IQ is one cause of African poverty

Go to: Success of Nations - causes besides IQ

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