Which is a smart country in Africa

The IQ in a country comparison

The question of the intelligence of certain nationalities or population groups may be viewed controversially. In fact, there are national, political and geographical factors that influence intelligence. Often still surprising, but it has now been scientifically proven that a warmer climate has a noticeably bad influence on the intelligence quotient.

With an average IQ of 100 points, Germany ranks 15th in this ranking. With 108 points, the residents of Singapore have the highest IQ in the world. The last place with just 56 points is occupied by Equatorial Guinea.

In addition to the pure ranking of the countries, this table is intended to show the influence of prosperity and climate.

Intelligence in relation to income and climate

The IQ shown was formed from the results of 9 international studies and compared with the average income and government spending on education from 1990 to 2010.

Please be careful: The average income has changed massively in recent years, especially in small countries. A list with more recent figures can be found here. However, this table covers the period from 1990 to 2010, during which the studies on intelligence were also published.

What is the IQ?

The definition says that the intelligence quotient is a measure of intellectual performance. The IQ is often confused with an existing performance or even education. However, it is about the "ability" to provide this service. So about the ability to understand and combine and the ability to learn.

A person is therefore no less intelligent just because he has previously achieved a lower level of education. However, those who can achieve the same education with much less effort are classified as more intelligent. In some intelligence tests, for example, the question of current politicians appears. This is used to determine whether and how well the test person can remember a name and its position simply through media presence.

Intelligence is not a freely learnable skill, but it can be increased consciously. Through regular brain training, e.g. in school, individual skills are specifically addressed and achieved through an increase in performance. The general ability to think can therefore be influenced by everyone within a certain framework. The most important phase in the formation of intelligence is in childhood and decreases significantly with age. Part of the intelligence is also inherited through the father and mother.

The intelligence quotient was measured in such a way that the mean value is 100. With a standard deviation of 15%, an IQ between 85 and 115 is considered normal. Depending on the psychological and physical condition of the test person, the measurement results can also fluctuate up and down by up to 10 points.

The IQ was developed by Western Europeans for Western Europeans according to Western European standards. It is still debatable whether this procedure can even be applied to peoples with completely different social structures, cultures, values ​​and ways of thinking.

The IQ in relation to income and expenditure on education

As can be seen in the table above, there seems to be only a limited connection between income and IQ. Although countries with high incomes appear in the first place, there are also those with far lower incomes such as China, Mongolia and Eastern European countries.

What is striking, however, is that countries with high spending on education almost always have intelligent populations. Conversely, however, this does not apply, as there are also countries with medium to low expenditure among the top 30 places. The ranking is led exclusively by populous East Asian countries, which are the most likely to illustrate this fact: There it is not customary for the state to pay for training. As a rule, it is carried by the family. The financial outlay that goes into education is no less - but it is no longer controlled by the state.

Does intelligence depend on the climate?

It has been assumed since 1991 that warmth that lasts for generations has an effect on the IQ. It was initially assumed that a life in lower temperatures required a higher level of physical fitness and made higher social demands on life. Richard Lynn, a professor at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, also assumes that the colder temperatures cause the brain volume to increase. However, it is controversial whether the size of the brain is even connected to intelligence.

In general, a hot climate is considered to be detrimental to the development of intelligence. Nowadays, the reason for this is mainly seen in the high physical energy requirement and the resulting stress. Small children in particular use up to 90% of their body energy for the brain. If the energy is required otherwise in this phase of life, which is most important for development, the brain cannot develop accordingly.

No race dependency

None of the studies used here indicate that the intelligence quotient is race dependent. Differences within population groups were found sporadically (e.g. in Brazil: blacks 71, mulattos 81, whites 95, Japanese 99), but all differences could be attributed to origin, level of education or other factors.

In 2006 Donald Templera and Hiroko Arikawab found a connection between increasing skin pigmentation and decreasing IQ. However, this was not due to a race, because the pigmentation of the skin is climatic. The observations were also made within e.g. the Caucasian race. The conspicuously low IQs in Africa as well as the conspicuously high IQs in East Asia are justified in these studies with culture and climate.


The intelligence quotients, broken down by country, come from the often discussed studies 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 from 2003, 2006 and 2009. More recent results were weighted more heavily. The studies are not entirely undisputed, as in individual countries they only consider specific population groups or only a few and therefore not representative reference groups. However, if you average all the tests and studies, you will get a usable overview.

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