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Average IQ by Country in 2023



Intelligence is a complex and fascinating concept that has captivated scientists for centuries. In this article, we explore the average IQ by country, shedding light on the global distribution of cognitive ability. Join us as we dive into the data and discover the cities with the highest and lowest IQ scores, and what factors may contribute to these differences.

What is IQ and How is it Measured?

IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, which is a measure of a person’s cognitive abilities. IQ is typically measured using standardized tests, which assess a range of cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and spatial reasoning.

Understanding IQ Scores

IQ scores are typically calculated by comparing an individual’s test results to the average scores of people in their age group. The average IQ score is set at 100, with scores above or below indicating higher or lower than average intelligence, respectively. In this section, we’ll delve into the interpretation of IQ scores and how they can be used to assess a person’s cognitive abilities.

The Different Types of IQ Tests

There are several different types of IQ tests, each designed to assess different aspects of cognitive abilities. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common types of IQ tests, including the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test. We’ll also explore the strengths and limitations of each type of test.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest IQ

#10 Germany

With an average IQ of 100.74, Germany ranks 10th in the world. Germany has always been known for its emphasis on education and its robust economy, which could be contributing factors to their high IQ scores.

#9 Liechtenstein

At an average IQ of 101.07, Liechtenstein ranks as the 9th smartest country in the world. Despite being a small country, Liechtenstein has a highly educated population and is known for its strong economy.

#8 Finland

With an average IQ of 101.2, Finland ranks as the 8th smartest country in the world. Finland has a strong education system and is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.

#7 Belarus

At an average IQ of 101.6, Belarus ranks as the 7th smartest country in the world. Belarus has a strong emphasis on education and a high literacy rate, which could be contributing factors to their high IQ scores.

#6 South Korea

With an average IQ of 102.35, South Korea ranks as the 6th smartest country in the world. South Korea has a highly competitive education system and a strong emphasis on STEM fields.

#5 China

At an average IQ of 104.1, China ranks as the 5th smartest country in the world. China has made significant strides in education in recent years and is now known for its strong emphasis on STEM fields.

#4 Hong Kong

With an average IQ of 105.37, Hong Kong ranks as the 4th smartest country in the world. Hong Kong has a highly competitive education system and a strong economy.

#3 Singapore

At an average IQ of 105.89, Singapore ranks as the 3rd smartest country in the world. Singapore has a highly developed education system and is known for its strong emphasis on STEM fields.

#2 Taiwan

With an average IQ of 106.47, Taiwan ranks as the 2nd smartest country in the world. Taiwan has a highly educated population and is known for its strong economy and technological advancements.

#1 Japan

At an average IQ of 106.48, Japan ranks as the smartest country in the world. Japan has a highly competitive education system and a strong emphasis on STEM fields, which could be contributing factors to their high IQ scores.

For a complete list of the countries with the highest IQ levels and the reasoning behind them, check out our article on the Smartest Countries in the World.

Now that we’ve gone through the smartest countries in the world, how about the countries that have the lowest IQ levels on average? Let’s check them out…

10 Countries with the Lowest IQ

#10 Ivory Coast

With an IQ score of 58.16, the Ivory Coast is one of the countries with the lowest average IQ in the world.

#9 Ghana

With an average IQ of 58.16, Ghana is another country that struggles with low IQ levels.

#8 Guinea

With an IQ score of 53.48, Guinea is ranked as the eighth country with the lowest IQ in the world.

#7 Nicaragua

Nicaragua has an average IQ score of 52.69, making it the seventh lowest ranked country for IQ.

#6 Gambia

With an IQ score of 52.68, the Gambia is another African nation that struggles with low IQ levels.

#5 Cape Verde

With an average IQ score of 52.5, Cape Verde ranks as the fifth lowest IQ country in the world.

#4 Guatemala

Guatemala has an average IQ score of 47.72, making it one of the countries with the lowest IQ in the world.

#3 Liberia

With an IQ score of 45.07, Liberia ranks as the third country with the lowest average IQ.

#2 Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has an average IQ score of 45.07, making it the second lowest IQ country in the world.

#1 Nepal

With an average IQ score of 42.99, Nepal ranks as the country with the lowest IQ level in the world.

For a complete list of the countries with the lowest IQ levels and the reasoning behind them, check out our article on the Dumbest Countries in the World.

Despite these rankings, it is important to note that IQ scores are not the sole measure of a country’s intelligence or success. There are many factors that contribute to a nation’s prosperity and well-being. However, understanding IQ scores can help individuals make informed decisions about the cities and countries they choose to live in.

Factors Affecting Average IQ Scores

The average IQ score of a population is influenced by several factors. Genetics plays a crucial role, but environmental factors such as nutrition, education, and upbringing also play a significant role. Understanding these factors is crucial in assessing IQ scores.


Genetic factors, such as heritability, play a significant role in determining a person’s IQ. Studies have shown that intelligence is highly heritable, with genes accounting for about 50% of a person’s IQ score.


Good nutrition is essential for the healthy development of the brain. Children who are malnourished or undernourished may experience stunted cognitive development, leading to lower IQ scores.


Access to quality education is vital for cognitive development and can have a significant impact on IQ scores. Children who receive a good education are more likely to develop cognitive skills and achieve higher IQ scores.


Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins and pollutants can have a negative impact on cognitive development and lead to lower IQ scores. A safe and nurturing environment can promote cognitive development and lead to higher IQ scores.

Debunking IQ Myths

Intelligence quotient (IQ) has been a topic of debate and discussion for decades, leading to various misconceptions and myths. One of the most controversial topics is the correlation between IQ and race or gender. However, research shows that there is no evidence to support the notion that certain races or genders are inherently more intelligent than others. Additionally, IQ scores are not necessarily indicative of success in life, as factors such as emotional intelligence, social skills, and motivation also play a significant role. It’s important to approach IQ with an open mind and recognize that it is just one aspect of a person’s overall abilities.

How to Boost Your IQ Scores

Your IQ is not set in stone. There are various ways to improve your intelligence, which in turn can lead to a higher IQ score. Here are a few things you can do:

Mental Exercises and Training

Engaging in regular mental exercises can help keep your brain active and enhance your cognitive abilities. Activities such as reading, solving puzzles, playing chess or other strategy games, and taking online courses can all help to improve your IQ. Additionally, there are specialized IQ training programs that claim to improve IQ scores with daily training.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Your brain requires proper nourishment and hydration to function at its best. Eating a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants can support cognitive function and promote brain health. It is also important to stay hydrated, as even mild dehydration can impair brain function.

Getting Enough Sleep and Rest

Getting enough sleep is crucial for cognitive performance and overall brain health. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, memory impairment, and decreased mental acuity. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to ensure optimal brain function. Additionally, taking breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge can also help to enhance cognitive abilities.

The Role of IQ in Choosing Your Ideal City

IQ is one of the many factors that can affect your choice of a city to live in. Here are some ways that IQ can impact your decision:

💼IQ and Employment Opportunities

Cities with higher average IQ scores tend to have a more educated workforce, which can lead to more job opportunities in fields such as technology, finance, and research. Additionally, employers may prioritize hiring individuals with higher IQ scores, as they may be seen as having greater potential for success.

🎓IQ and Education

Living in a city with a higher average IQ can provide greater access to quality education, from primary schools to universities. These cities may have more highly-ranked schools and universities, which can help you gain knowledge and skills to succeed in your career.

💰IQ and Quality of Life

Living in a city with a higher average IQ may also lead to a higher overall quality of life. These cities may have better infrastructure, higher standards of living, and a more informed and engaged citizenry. This can lead to a safer and more prosperous community with a greater sense of cohesion and intellectual curiosity.

By considering IQ alongside other factors such as cost of living, climate, and cultural offerings, you can make a more informed decision about the best city to live in based on your individual priorities and goals.


In conclusion, understanding the average IQ scores of countries is crucial for people who are looking to live and work abroad. While IQ is not the only factor to consider when choosing a city to live in, it can provide valuable insights into potential job opportunities, education systems, and quality of life. By using The Nomad Index, individuals can access comprehensive city data and make informed decisions about their next destination based on a range of factors, including average IQ scores.

The Importance of Understanding Average IQ Scores

Understanding average IQ scores is vital as it can help people assess the potential opportunities and challenges they might face in a foreign city. IQ can impact an individual’s job prospects, educational opportunities, and even their overall quality of life. By knowing the average IQ score of a city or country, individuals can make informed decisions about whether it is the right place for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the intelligence quotient?

The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a score derived from standardized tests that assess human intelligence. It represents an estimation of intelligence and is used for educational placement, evaluating job applicants, and studying intelligence in populations. IQ scores have been increasing over the years, a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect.

What is the Flynn Effect?

The Flynn effect refers to a significant and sustained increase in intelligence test scores across the world during the 20th century. IQ tests, which are standardized with an average score of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 or 16, consistently show higher scores for newer generations compared to the original sample. The score improvements have been continuous and linear over time. This effect has been observed in various countries, including Western European countries, Japan, and South Korea. While there are different theories explaining the Flynn effect, some studies suggest a potential decline in IQ scores in certain countries despite overall good academic performance. However, the general trend indicates that the Flynn effect persists, either at the same rate or at a slower pace in developed nations.

Why the test is controversial?

IQ tests are controversial because the literate and informed public is convinced that most experts in the field find it impossible to adequately define intelligence and argue that these tests do not measure anything relevant to life performance. This prevailing viewpoint is supported by book reviews in popular journals and media coverage on IQ topics, reflecting the widespread opinion among intelligence and testing experts.

Accordingly, one may argue that an IQ test may not be a reliable indicator to label a country the smartest country in the world or the dumbest country in the world.

Which Country Has the Highest Average IQ?

According to a 2019 study by researchers Richard Lynn and David Becker at the Ulster Institute, the Japanese have the highest average IQ scores, closely followed by the citizens of Taiwan and Singapore.

Is intelligence dependent on the climate?

In general, a hot climate is considered a disadvantage for intelligence development. This is mainly due to the high physical energy demand and resulting stress.

What’s The Average IQ In The U.S.?

According to the 2019 report “The Intelligence of the Nations,” the average IQ in the United States is 97.43. The state IQ scores were derived from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) reading and math scores, with Massachusetts having the highest average IQ at 103.1 and New Mexico the lowest at 95.0.

What is the global average IQ?

A 2010 study examining IQ and educational attainment scores for 108 nations found that the average global IQ was 89. However, not all countries participate in IQ testing, and the varying rates of socioeconomic development make establishing an accurate international IQ average challenging. Examples of average IQ by country from The Intelligence of Nations report include China at 104.10, Germany at 100.74, and India at 76.24. It’s essential to recognize that intelligence tests can be culturally biased, and different countries may have distinct perspectives on intelligence and its measurement.


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