I.Q. or Intelligence Quotient is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence.
Like most natural human attributes, such as height, weight, or beauty, intelligence as measured by IQ tests falls into a normal distribution or bell-shaped curve, wherein the average (mean, median, and mode) score bisects the population into two equal halves, with most people clustering at or around the average, and few people in the curve’s two extreme ends.
The normal distribution curve can be divided by standard deviation (SD) units up or down the curve.
In the IQ normal distribution curve:
- Tthe average raw score is 100.
- Each SD unit is comprised of 15 IQ points.
- Approximately 95% of the population have an IQ between 70 and 130, which is within two standard deviations ± of the mean.
- An IQ score of 145 is considered to be genius-level because, as you can see from the graph above, such an individual has an IQ that’s very rare. Only 0.1% of the human population have an IQ higher than 145; or, put another way, if your IQ is 145, you are more intelligent than 99.9% of humans.
- In contrast, individuals with IQ of 70 or below are severely cognitively challenged. In non-politically correct terms, they are morons (IQ of 51 to 70), imbeciles (IQ of 21-50), and idiots (IQ of 0 to 20). Please make a note of this.
To convert a raw IQ score into a percentile ranking, click here.
IQ scores have been shown to be associated or correlated with such factors as morbidity (health and disease), parental social status, and biological parental IQ. The inheritability of intelligence is politically controversial because the average IQ of certain racial groups — blacks (in the U.S. and even more in Africa), “native” Americans, and Hispanics — persistently are found to be lower than the human population average of 100. The consensus among scientists is that heredity and environment account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of human intelligence.
While IQ is not a perfect measure of human intelligence (as if any measure is), IQ scores have proven to be good correlates and predictors of educational achievement, special needs, job performance, and income.
Below is a list of the average IQ scores of the world’s countries. The scores came from:
- Work carried out earlier this decade by 2 scientists — British psychologist Richard Lynn and Finnish political scientist Tatu Vanhanen — who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries;
- Subsequent research work by Dutch psychologist Jelte Wicherts.
In the list below, countries are ranked in the order from those with the highest average national IQ scores, to those with the lowest. Here’s the color code:
- Blue: countries in North America
- Green: Central and South America, Caribbean islands
- Pink: Europe (East, West, Central) and Russia
- Pink & Brown: Eurasia
- Purple: Middle-East (incl. some countries in North Africa)
- Brown: Asia (East, Central, South)
- Turquoise: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands
- Red: Africa
The average IQ of No. 43: Equatorial Guinea is 59, which means the average Equatorial Guinean is a moron (IQ of 51 to 70).
Let that thought and its implications sink in . . . .
I cannot emphasize enough that the above IQ scores are national AVERAGES, which means the scores are not representative of EVERYONE in those countries. There are intelligent and stupid people in every country and every race — which is why we should never generalize from these average IQ scores to INDIVIDUAL members of a country or race. Instead, we should treat everyone we meet as INDIVIDUALS, not as members of some race or country.
Lastly, many years ago I learned a very important lesson from the department secretary of the university in which I was teaching. She was not the brightest bulb: I estimate her IQ to be slightly below the population average of 100, probably in the 90s. But she was kind and sweet, a loyal friend and a genuinely good soul.
The lesson I learned from Kathy is that intelligence is greatly overrated. If I had to choose, I will always pick virtue over a high intelligence. In fact, there is no one as dangerous and lethal as a highly intelligent but evil person. After all, Adolf Hitler no doubt was highly intelligent.
Whatever your IQ is, it was a gratuitous gift from our Creator. What is important is not how gifted we are but what we do with the intellect and intelligence He so generously gave us. Just remember the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30): To some He gave great intelligence and many talents; to others, He gave only a few. But each of us, whether genius or imbecile, one day will be called to account for what we did with the talents we were given.