A combination of average IQ scores and other factors earned Japan its spot on the top.

Being Japanese sure has its benefits. For example, the Japanese have the strongest passport in the world, which gives them the chance to go just about anywhere they like without much trouble. More interestingly, however, the also have the privilege of being the smartest people in the world, according to a recent statistic analysis done by U.K.-based site Vouchercloud.

Vouchercloud ranked dozens of countries from all over the world based on a number of factors, including number of Nobel Prizes won, average IQ scores, and the average educational scores of its students. The combination of these factors, which apparently represent the intelligence of past, present, and future generations, respectively, led Japan to take the top spot.

It’s fairly understandable why Japan would be considered the smartest country, given that they ranked fifth for educational success and sixth in the world for the average IQ. We’re also not surprised, given that Japanese grad students recently solved a 2,000-year-old mathematical problem. But what cinched victory for Japan was the 26 Nobel Prizes under its belt, the sixth highest in the world.

The rest of the top ten are a mixture of Asian, European, and North American countries:

  1. Japan
  2. Switzerland
  3. China
  4. U.S.
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Russia
  7. Belgium
  8. U.K.
  9. Canada
  10. South Korea

China, by comparison, has the second best average IQ score, at 105.8, but their twenty-first place ranking in Nobel Prizes (having won just nine) bumped it down below Switzerland, whose higher number of Nobel Prizes earned them a higher spot.

The U.S. tops the rankings of Nobel Prize winners with its whopping 368 wins (almost three times that of the U.K., who retains the number two spot), but with a subpar ranking of test scores (seventh) and a poor performance in average IQ (twenty-eighth), they fell down to the fourth overall position.

Interestingly, South Korea only barely broke the top ten, despite being fourth in IQ and second in test scores. Sadly, they have only earned one Nobel Prize, a factor which dropped their score significantly.

Clearly, a country’s number of Nobel Prizes carried a heavy weight in Vouchercloud’s calculations, otherwise Asia would have dominated the top five. Overall, the Asian countries swept the table with their overall high IQs and test scores. Singapore, in fact, dominates both, with a national IQ of 107.1, and with more than 71 percent of their students attaining advanced scores. Sadly, as a young and small country, they haven’t attained any Nobel Prizes, which caused them to be named the twenty-fifth smartest country, in spite of it all.

Vouchercloud’s list only covers the top 25 countries, all of which, besides Australia, were in East Asia, Europe, and North America. It’s worth noting that Africa, South America, and West, South, and Southeast Asia (besides Singapore) aren’t represented on the list at all, and that’s likely because many of the developing or conflict-riddled countries in those regions have no way to measure the IQs and test scores of their citizens. Furthermore, the lack of infrastructure in many places makes it harder for them to provide the services needed to support their intelligent citizens enough to produce a Nobel Prize. As the world changes, however, we might see more success come out of those regions in the future.

That being said, it looks like East Asia will be dominating the top scores for a while, especially considering the high average IQ and test scores for students all across the region. Still, it’s not all good for Japan; despite being so smart, they get the least amount of sleep in the world. 

Source: Vouchercloud via Livedoor News via My Game News Flash
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