A map showing the most intelligent countries in the world based on IQ scores

A map showing the most intelligent countries in the world based on IQ scores

A new map produced by researchers at the Ulster Institute shows the world’s most intelligent countries based on IQ scores. IQ citation scores are not the only measure used, however, with academic test scores, the IQ and the number of Nobel Prizes won were also taken into account.

Their data, collected by Richard Lin and David Becker in 2019, suggests that the country with the highest average IQ is Japan. Taiwan and Singapore rank close to Japan in the top three. The top ten ranking consists of six Asian countries: Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and South Korea.




Belarus, Finland, Liechtenstein and Germany came in next place from sixth to tenth in the rankings. The United States ranked 30th, while Ireland ranked 40th. The map’s authors also used other metrics as a way to measure a country’s intelligence.

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The myth explains that countries with a darker shade are those with higher average IQ scores (Image: Worldpopulationreview)

Another mechanism for measuring intelligence is assessing students’ level. Test scores in readingMath and science, according to OECD data. By this measure, China has the most intelligent students in the world.

According to OECD statistics, the top ten countries in student test scores in reading, mathematics and science are:

  1. China – 555, 591, 590
  2. Singapore – 549, 569, 551
  3. Macau (China) – 525, 558, 544
  4. Hong Kong (China) – 524, 551, 517
  5. Estonia – 523, 523, 530
  6. Canada – 520, 512, 518
  7. Finland – 520, 507, 522
  8. Ireland – 518, 500, 496
  9. Korea – 514, 526, 519
  10. Poland – 512, 516, 511

While the United States does not appear in the top 10 on the OECD list, it tops the table in the Intelligence Capital Index (ICI) rankings. The ICI is a way to measure countries’ ability to benefit from their knowledge economy by assessing their environments for education, creativity and attracting talent.

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Regions of the world with lower IQ scores are generally poorer and less developed, especially in terms of educational services, compared to countries with higher IQ scores, which are usually wealthier countries.


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