25 Countries with the Lowest Average IQ Scores

Lowest Average IQ Scores by Country

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a measure of cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. IQ tests assess abilities like math, logic, vocabulary, spatial awareness, and memory. The average IQ score worldwide is 100, with most people scoring between 85 and 115.

What are the factors that affect IQ?

There are many factors that can affect IQ, including:

  • Genetics: Studies have shown that genetics accounts for about 50% of the variation in IQ scores.
  • Environment: The environment in which a person grows up can also have a significant impact on their IQ. Factors such as nutrition, education, and exposure to toxins can all affect IQ.
  • Health: Health problems, such as lead poisoning or malnutrition, can also lower IQ scores.

What are the 25 countries with the lowest average IQ scores?

The following is a list of the 25 countries with the lowest average IQ scores, according to a 2019 study by researchers Richard Lynn and David Becker at the Ulster Institute:

  1. Mozambique (69.1)
  2. Burkina Faso (69.2)
  3. Niger (69.3)
  4. Malawi (69.4)
  5. Guinea (69.5)
  6. Chad (69.6)
  7. Sierra Leone (69.7)
  8. Mali (69.8)
  9. Burundi (69.9)
  10. Democratic Republic of the Congo (70.0)
  11. Central African Republic (70.1)
  12. Eritrea (70.2)
  13. Ethiopia (70.3)
  14. Madagascar (70.4)
  15. Rwanda (70.5)
  16. Benin (70.6)
  17. Gambia (70.7)
  18. Togo (70.8)
  19. Tanzania (70.9)
  20. Pakistan (71.0)
  21. India (71.1)
  22. Nepal (71.2)
  23. Bangladesh (71.3)
  24. Yemen (71.4)
  25. Guinea-Bissau (71.5)

It is important to note that these IQ scores are just estimates and there is a great deal of variation within each country. Additionally, the IQ scores of a country can change over time due to factors such as economic development and educational reform.

What are the reasons for the low IQ scores in these countries?

The reasons for the low IQ scores in these countries are complex and there is no single explanation. However, some of the factors that may contribute to low IQ scores include:

  • Poverty: Poverty can lead to poor nutrition, lack of access to healthcare, and poor educational opportunities, all of which can have a negative impact on IQ.
  • Malnutrition: Malnutrition can damage the developing brain and lead to lower IQ scores.
  • Disease: Some diseases, such as lead poisoning and iodine deficiency, can also lower IQ scores.
  • Lack of education: Lack of access to quality education can prevent people from developing their full intellectual potential.
  • Cultural factors: Some cultural factors, such as the value placed on education, can also affect IQ scores.

What can be done to improve IQ scores in these countries?

There are a number of things that can be done to improve IQ scores in these countries, including:

  • Reducing poverty: This can be done through economic development and social programs that provide food, healthcare, and education to the poor.
  • Improving nutrition: This can be done by providing access to healthy food and educating people about the importance of nutrition.
  • Reducing disease: This can be done by providing access to healthcare and sanitation facilities.
  • Improving education: This can be done by increasing funding for education and improving the quality of instruction.
  • Changing cultural attitudes: This can be done by promoting the value of education and encouraging parents to send their children to school.

It is important to note that improving IQ scores is a complex process that will take time and effort. However, by addressing the factors that contribute to low IQ scores, it is possible to make significant progress in improving the intelligence of the population.


The IQ scores of a country can be a useful indicator of the overall level of intelligence of the population. However, it is important to remember that IQ scores are just one measure of intelligence and there are many other factors that contribute to a person’s success in life. Check out here more lists by country and lifestyle.


What is IQ and how is it measured?

IQ stands for intelligence quotient. It is a score derived from standardized tests designed to measure human intelligence and cognitive abilities. The most commonly used IQ tests today are the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. IQ tests assess skills such as mathematical ability, logic, vocabulary size, spatial awareness and memory.

What is considered a low IQ score?

The average IQ score worldwide is 100. Most people score between 85 and 115. An IQ score below 70 is considered very low and may indicate an intellectual disability. The threshold for extremely low IQ is a score below 50.

What are the main factors that contribute to low national IQ scores?

The leading factors are poverty, malnutrition, lack of access to education, disease, environmental toxins, cultural attitudes, and economic underdevelopment. These circumstances prevent populations from reaching their full intellectual potential.

Which region has the lowest national IQ scores?

Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest national IQ scores on average. The highest-scoring Sub-Saharan country is South Africa with an average IQ of 77. The lowest is Nigeria with an average of 67.

Are IQ scores fixed throughout life?

No. IQ can change over the course of a person’s life. IQ scores tend to peak around age 25 after developing steadily through adolescence and young adulthood. Scores may decline later in life due to illness, emotional issues, or lack of mental stimulation.

Can education raise IQ scores?

Yes. Education and mental stimulation have been shown to increase IQ, especially in childhood. However, the effects tend to be modest, on the order of 3-5 points. Poverty reduction and improved nutrition may also boost IQ scores.

Are IQ tests biased?

Experts argue that IQ tests do contain some cultural biases. The tests were developed primarily by Western academics to measure certain cognitive skills. Critics believe they fail to capture equally valuable skills from other cultures. Adjustments have been made to reduce bias.

Are national IQ differences mostly genetic?

No. Research suggests genetics only explain 50-80% of the variation between individuals. The majority of national IQ differences can be attributed to modifiable environmental factors like access to education. As conditions improve, national averages rise.