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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
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IQ Around the Globe

Why should I even consider writing a column about the Intelligence Quotient?

Well, it just hit me that there are differences around the globe, and I wanted to take a practical look.

First, what is IQ?

Basically, IQ is the measurement of your cognitive ability. Simply put, IQ tests measure an individual’s general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. The measure of IQ is not perfect, but it does stand as a simple way to examine reasoning ability, problem solving ability, and the ability to store and retrieve information.

As for scores, an IQ with 100 stands as the median score. That means the person with an IQ of 100 has an average intelligence. Someone with a score of 130 indicates exceptional intelligence, while a person below 70 may possibly have mental retardation.

Generally speaking, it is not really possible to raise the IQ level. Learning more information does not raise a person’s IQ, because IQ measures your ability to understand ideas. However, an IQ tends to forecast how a student will perform in school and is a sign as to how an individual will perform in a work environment.

As I did the research for this piece, I found another factor, which directly ties into IQ. That is Quality of Human Condition or QHC.

QHC covers the purchasing power of individuals, adult literacy, and life expectancy. It is interesting how close IQ and QHC follow each other across the globe.

Now, take a look with me at averages around the globe, remember, these statistics are best estimates, but show a real picture where I equate IQ to lifestyle.

Interestingly, the top five nations are Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore – all with an average IQ of 107 to 103. The U.S. ranks number 19 with an average IQ of 98.

At the bottom of the national averages are Guatemala, Barbados, Nepal, Qatar, and Zambia with IQs ranging from 79 to 77. Neighbors of the U.S., Mexico and Canada have average IQs of 87 for Mexico and 97 for Canada. Now, you might say, “So what?”

I felt the statistics are interesting as we focus on our global economy and the challenges we see in dealing with countries across the world.

If you found this piece of interest, you might want to explore your own IQ or even family members. There is an interesting website where you can actually take an IQ text. Just go to I hope you are not too surprised.

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