Your intelligence quotient – or IQ, as it is frequently called – is a measure of human intelligence. People who want to have their IQ measured take standardized tests and receive a score that ranks their intelligence level. A high IQ indicates that a person is intelligent. A low IQ suggests that a person is of lower intelligence.
An IQ score refers to a value that measures intelligence levels. Shorthand for intelligence quotient, IQ scores typically reflect the quality of education in certain parts of the world, as well as the accessibility and resources available to people in those geographic regions. Many people may also use it to determine the smartest countries in the world.
When looking at each country's average IQ scores, you will notice that areas of the world with lower IQ scores are less developed and poorer than countries with higher IQ scores. The IQ map above shades each country depending on how high the average IQ score is. A darker shade of violet indicates a lower IQ score. Conversely, countries with a higher average IQ score appear red-orange in color.
There is a range of average IQ scores across the globe. All countries have been divided into ranked categories based on their average IQ scores. These averages were obtained by starting with the country's average score in standard IQ tests (which was the basis of most rankings released from 2006-2010), then fine-tuning those scores with additional measurements, such as national math, reading, and science assessments, while also factoring in the overall quality of the data.
According to the most recent data, the country with the lowest average IQ score is Malawi at 60.1. The highest average IQ scores belong to Singapore at 107.1, with China/Hong Kong (105.8/105.7), Taiwan (104.6), and South Korea (104.6) close behind.
However, it's important to remember that IQ isn't the only measure of intelligence. Nations can also be ranked based on school test rankings or the number of Nobel Prizes won throughout the years. For example, Singapore has the highest IQ but is not considered the smartest nation in the world. That honor goes to Japan, which is ranked more highly in school test rankings and the number of past Nobel Prizes awarded.