IQ is often used as a measure of a population’s intelligence. In this list, we will probe into the countries that boast the highest average IQ scores.

While there are debates surrounding the accuracy and significance of IQ tests, the following nations have consistently scored well on these assessments, making them stand out in terms of cognitive abilities on a global scale.



High educational standards

While Singapore is known for its high IQ, this is largely attributed to its exceptional education system. The country’s focus on rigorous academic standards, quality teaching, and advanced educational resources has contributed significantly to the intellectual development of its population.

Technological advancement hub

On the technological front, Singapore has emerged as a hub for innovation and technological advancements. The government’s investment in research and development, coupled with a supportive ecosystem for startups and tech companies, has propelled Singapore to the forefront of technological innovation in Asia.

It is home to leading tech companies, research institutions, and a vibrant startup scene, making it a magnet for tech talent from around the world. Additionally, Singapore’s initiatives in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and biotech further underscore its position as a technological powerhouse.


Hong Kong

Rigorous academic curriculum

While Hong Kong is not officially a country, it is worth mentioning in discussions about high IQ populations due to its exceptional educational system. Assuming a challenging academic curriculum from an early age, Hong Kong students are exposed to a wide range of subjects and are expected to excel in their studies.

Competitive student environment

On top of the rigorous curriculum, Hong Kong also maintains a highly competitive student environment. Students are constantly pushed to perform at their best in order to secure spots at prestigious universities. This pressure often leads to high levels of stress and burnout among students.

You can find numerous tutoring centers and academic support services throughout Hong Kong, catering to students who are striving to outperform their peers. The culture of competition in the education system is deeply ingrained in Hong Kong society.

South Korea

Intense Study Culture

Even with staggering IQ scores, South Korea’s academic prowess can be attributed to its intense study culture. From a young age, South Korean students are encouraged to excel academically, with a strong emphasis on education as a means to success.


Innovative Economy

The innovative economy of South Korea plays a significant role in their high IQ rankings. With companies like Samsung and Hyundai leading the way in technology and automotive industries, South Korea has positioned itself as a hub for innovation and technological advancement.

With a strong focus on research and development, South Korea continues to expand its economy through cutting-edge technologies and advancements in various sectors, contributing to the overall intellectual development of its citizens.


Technology-driven society

If you’ve ever wondered how Japan consistently ranks high in IQ, one of the key factors is its technology-driven society. Japan is known for its advancements in technology, from robotics to high-speed trains, setting the bar high globally and fostering a culture of innovation and problem-solving among its population.

Strong educational system

If you look at Japan’s educational system, you’ll find a well-structured and rigorous framework that emphasizes discipline, hard work, and excellence. In Japan, education is highly valued, and students are encouraged to strive for academic success from a young age, leading to a high level of literacy and numeracy skills across the population.

Educational reforms over the years have focused on improving teaching quality, promoting critical thinking, and equipping students with the necessary skills to excel in a competitive global economy. The emphasis on mastery of subjects and continuous learning has contributed significantly to Japan’s high IQ levels.



Large talent pool.

While China is known for its large talent pool, where 1.4 billion people contribute to the country’s intellectual abilities, the sheer number of individuals in the workforce allows for high levels of innovation and expertise in various fields.

Emphasis on education.

To understand China’s high IQ levels, one must acknowledge the country’s strong emphasis on education. Education is highly valued in Chinese culture, and students often spend long hours studying to excel in exams and secure prestigious academic opportunities.

It is not uncommon for Chinese students to attend additional classes after regular school hours or participate in intensive study programs during weekends and holidays. This dedication to learning from a young age contributes significantly to China’s intellectual prowess on a global scale.


Progressive learning methods

Despite having a high IQ, one of the factors that contributes to Taiwan’s academic success is its progressive learning methods. These methods focus on experiential learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills rather than rote memorization, allowing students to develop a deeper understanding of the material.


Strong mathematics focus

While Taiwan excels in all academic subjects, its strong mathematics focus stands out. From an early age, Taiwanese students are immersed in rigorous math education, which includes advanced topics like algebra and calculus. This early exposure helps develop a strong foundation in mathematical concepts that serves them well in higher education and beyond.

To further support students’ mathematical abilities, Taiwan also invests heavily in teacher training and curriculum development. This ensures that educators are equipped to provide high-quality instruction that challenges and nurtures students’ mathematical skills.


Historical intellectual tradition

One of the reasons Italy ranks high in intelligence is its rich historical intellectual tradition. The country has produced some of the world’s greatest thinkers throughout history, from Leonardo da Vinci to Galileo Galilei, who have made significant contributions to various fields.

Cultural emphasis on education

Education is highly valued in the Italian culture, with a strong emphasis on academic achievement and intellectual pursuits. Parents and educators place a high priority on ensuring that children receive a quality education, which has helped cultivate a society that values knowledge and critical thinking.


For instance, Italy has a strong university system with prestigious institutions such as the University of Bologna, which is one of the oldest universities in the world. The accessibility of higher education and the emphasis on academic excellence have contributed to Italy’s high IQ rankings.


Nordic educational values

Many believe that Iceland’s high IQ levels can be attributed to the country’s strong emphasis on education. Education is a top priority in Icelandic society, with government policies that promote high standards of learning and support for educators.

Small, educated population

Even with a small population, Iceland boasts a highly educated workforce. The country has a literacy rate of nearly 100% and a high percentage of its citizens hold college degrees. This focus on education has helped Iceland consistently rank high in global IQ studies.

There’s also a culture of lifelong learning in Iceland, with many adults continuing their education through various programs and courses. This commitment to ongoing education contributes to the country’s overall high IQ levels.


From above, it is evident that IQ levels can vary significantly across different countries. The eight countries with the highest average IQ scores are a testament to the importance of factors such as education, healthcare, and socio-economic development in influencing cognitive abilities.

While IQ scores do not measure one’s overall intelligence, they do provide valuable insights into the cognitive capabilities of different populations. Continued research and efforts towards improving educational opportunities and access to healthcare can help raise IQ levels and contribute to overall societal development.