Before tackling the world’s average IQ, there are a few other questions needing answers. How is IQ determined? How important is IQ in life? Does IQ change in a person as they age? What is normal, low , and exceptional? All these questions deserve an answer if we are to speak of the average IQ of the world.
What is Intelligence Quotient, or IQ?
An IQ test measures a person’s problem solving ability and conceptual understanding. This score is measured against the general population to come up with a norm. It is a measure of what we have learned or our ability to learn? Our current measurement is based on a comparison of individuals.
How is IQ Determined?
There a several factors that influence, or are believed to possibly influence IQ, and those are not always directed at the individual. It is possible that your socioeconomic background effects IQ. You may ask how a person’s social or economic status might influence IQ. As mentioned earlier, we are measured against others from generally similar backgrounds.
The quality and amount of education may also play a role in determining IQ. When you measure countries, you will see some have overall higher scores than others. If you look further at those same countries, you will see the quality of and emphasis of education is also different. In the United Sates and other North American countries, education is valued or available at a much higher rate than in many of underdeveloped nations in Africa. As a result, the average IQ in the U.S. is 98 where the average IQ in most of Africa is below 75. Looking at the map of the world, you can see a demonstration of how developed and underdeveloped countries compare. How does the U.S. stack up?
The United States and the World
Because we live here and we are a nation of proud people, most of us probably think we have the highest or nearly highest average IQ. Sadly, we do not have the highest and we are not quite near the top. There are twenty-two other countries with a higher average IQ. The U.S. is ranked ninth, tied with eight other nations. So, what is the average world IQ?
The World Average IQ
Measuring the world’s average IQ is a complicated task. It is also one whose fruits may be pointless. When determining the world average, there are numerous variables. There appears to be one primary contributing factor. Mentioned earlier, the socioeconomic makeup of a nation plays the greatest role. More specifically, the gross national product and economic development over an extended period, appear to play a large role. The world average IQ may be misleading. Not everyone tested has the same education available. This will cause the average to appear lower.
According to Fourmilab, underdeveloped nations tend to have lower education, as we already know. Those nations also tend to have higher birth rates due in part, to lower or less available education. When you add together all the population of the world, currently about seven and a quarter billion, along with the average IQ of everyone, you come up with an average IQ of 88.