Have you ever wondered which country has the highest average IQ? Many people have been asking this question and many studies have been conducted to try and answer it. One of the most recent and comprehensive IQ studies was conducted in 2016 by the Statistic Brain Research Institute. You won’t believe what they found. Curious to know if your country is among the smartest in the world? Check out the 25 countries with the highest average IQ.
Note: Rankings of the average IQ by countries are always controversial and should be interpreted with caution. Some rankings are shared by multiple countries with the same IQ score. They are separated according to the alphabetical order within that ranking. The following list is NOT a ranking of average IQ by race.
Canada (average IQ: 97)
Canada ranks high in many international measurements such as civil liberties, quality of life, education etc. so seeing this country on this list is not surprising. With the average national IQ of 97, Canada shares the 25th place with the Czech Republic and Finland, who both achieved the same score.
United States (average IQ: 98)
The average American IQ might surprise you. The United States’ education system lags behind other developed countries such as Japan, Australia, and Canada. However, the Statistic Brain Research Institute study ranks the U.S. among the smartest nations in the world with an average IQ of 98.
Norway (average IQ: 98)
The first Scandinavian country to appear on the list, Norway is known for high quality of life, one of the world’s highest incomes, and stunning landscapes. It’s also a very smart country with an average IQ of 98.
Mongolia (average IQ: 98)
A landlocked country in East Asia, Mongolia is not as developed as most other countries on the list, but it did surprisingly well in the IQ survey. Although herding and agriculture are still important parts of this country’s economy, Mongolia boasts the same average IQ as Norway, the US, France, Denmark, and Australia.
France (average IQ: 98)
The world’s most visited country, France performs well in many international rankings such as education, health care, life expectancy, human development etc., and it produced a very good result in the IQ study, too.
Denmark (average IQ: 98)
The Danes enjoy a high standard of living, lowest corruption in the world, great prosperity, and they are also very intelligent. Excellent, free education might be one of the reasons why the average IQ in Denmark is 98.
Australia (average IQ: 98)
Scoring another 98 is Australia, a country with the second-highest human development index in the world. The Australians are also proud of their education system and the literacy rate, estimated to be 99% in 2003.
Spain (average IQ: 99)
The largest country in Southern Europe, Spain has not been very impressive in some socio-economic areas (such as the unemployment rate) in recent years. Despite this, the average IQ in Spain is 99.
Poland (average IQ: 99)
It might be surprising for some to see Poland so high in the ranking, but if we consider how many prominent scientists, writers, philosophers, artists, and other distinguished personalities this country has given to the world, the result achieved by the Poles in the survey seems just right.
Hungary (average IQ: 99)
One of the smallest countries on the list, Hungary is home to less than 10 million people; what it lacks in size, it greatly makes up for in significant contribution to the world’s arts, music, literature, sports, science, and technology. Hungary is a very smart nation, and the Statistic Brain Research Institute IQ research confirmed that.
United Kingdom (average IQ: 100)
The first country to score 100 is the United Kingdom. This Western European country remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific, and political influence internationally. The UK also boasts many prestigious universities and one of the highest percentages of people with a university or college degree.
New Zealand (average IQ: 100)
From breathtaking landscapes and unique animals to the All Blacks and their Haka dance, there are many things New Zealand is famous for. However, it’s not that well known that this exotic country also ranks among the most intelligent nations in the world. But now you know.
China (average IQ: 100)
Sometimes also referred to as the cradle of civilization, China is the birthplace of many inventions, which suggests this gigantic country must be home to smart people. According to the research carried out by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, China’s average IQ is 100.
Belgium (average IQ: 100)
A founding member of NATO, the European Union, World Trade Organization, and other important organizations, Belgium is another Western European country to make it to the list. A birthplace of many renowned scientists, Belgium scored 100 in the survey.
Switzerland (average IQ: 101)
Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in many metrics of national performance. The country is also famous for its unique education system that tailors programs according to student needs and abilities.
Sweden (average IQ: 101)
Sweden excels in most socio-economic categories such as quality of life, health, education, civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality etc. No wonder this Scandinavian country ranks 10th among the most intelligent nations of the world.
Netherlands (average IQ: 102)
Reflecting its high quality of life and prosperity, the Netherlands has repeatedly ranked among the happiest countries in the world. However, the Dutch are not just happy and wealthy but also very intelligent – they scored 102 in the IQ study.
Italy (average IQ: 102)
Considering the enormous contribution Italy has made in many different areas ranging from science and technology to arts, it comes as no surprise that this country made it to the top ten in the survey. The average IQ in Italy is 102.
Germany (average IQ: 102)
Home to more than 82 million people, Germany is a highly developed country with an outstanding standard of living sustained by a skilled, productive, and very intelligent society. Germany has a very efficient education system and many prestigious, tuition-free universities.
Austria (average IQ: 102)
Austria is much smaller in both population and area compared to their northern neighbors Germany, but in terms of living standards, prosperity, education, and other socio-economic categories, it is none the worse than the Germans. In the Statistic Brain Research Institute survey, Austria produced the same result – 102.
Singapore (average IQ: 103)
The top five is dominated by Asian countries exclusively, with the fifth spot being claimed by Singapore. A sovereign city-state known as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, the average IQ in this Southeast Asian country is 103.
Taiwan (average IQ: 104)
Another Southeast Asian technological superpower, Taiwan benefits from a highly skilled and intelligent workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the greatest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.
Japan (average IQ: 105)
Boasting the highest life expectancy in the world, Japan is a leading country in scientific research and technologies, which definitely says something about this nation’s intelligence. Scoring 105, Japan is the third smartest country in the world.
South Korea (average IQ: 106)
One of the Four Asian Economic Dragons (together with Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong), South Korea is a technologically advanced developed country driven by a highly motivated, educated, and skilled workforce. Scoring 106 in the IQ research, South Korea is also one of the top-performing countries in reading literacy, math, and the sciences.
Hong Kong (average IQ: 107)
With an impressive score of 107, the title of the world’s most intelligent country goes to Hong Kong. This tiny nation in Southeast Asia is politically part of China, but as an autonomous territory, Hong Kong maintains its own political and economical system based on an incredibly hardworking, skilled, educated and smart workforce.
Photos: 25-24. pixabay (public domain), 23. Julian-G. Albert, Flag Norway, CC BY 2.0, 22. nick farnhill from London, UK, Mongolia flag, CC BY-SA 2.0, 21-19. pixabay (public domain), 18. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 17. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 16. Kat Dodd from Shropshire, UK, Hungarian flag, CC BY 2.0, 15. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 14. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 13. pixabay (public domain), 12. fdecomite, Old Frayed Belgian Flag (6032138651), CC BY 2.0, 11-10. pixabay (public domain), 9. maxpixel (public domain), 8. pixabay (public domain), 7. fdecomite, German flag (7664379976), CC BY 2.0, 6. James Cridland via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 5. J. Patrick Fischer, 2012 Flag of Singapore Photo, CC BY-SA 3.0,, 4. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 3. Toshihiro Oimatsu from Tokyo, Japan, Flag of Japan, CC BY 2.0, 2. J. Patrick Fischer, Flag of South Korea (cropped), CC BY-SA 3.0, 1. pixabay (public domain)