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This Ranking Of The Smartest Nations In The World Has Some People In Disbelief

Ever wondered which of the world’s nations is the smartest? We have, so we’ve put in some research and come up with a league table of the 40 smartest countries on Earth. Take a look at our list; some of the entries may even come as a bit of a surprise.

For our ranking, we looked at the number of Nobel laureates by country and the World Population Review's rankings of every country's average IQ and education rank. This gave us the top 55 smartest countries on the planet. Each country was then awarded points for where they ranked for each metric (55pts for finishing 1st, 54pts for finishing 2nd, and so on). The points for each country were added together to find its final "Ranking Score" — and its position in our poll. Enjoy!

40. Egypt

Average IQ: 76

Education rank: 39

Number of Nobel Laureates: 4

Ranking Score: 55

According to the Worldometer website there are 195 countries in the world, so ranking at number 40 in our table of the smartest nations is actually not that bad. Egypt has a culture dating back to ancient times — think of the Great Pyramids — so it’s had smart people through the millennia. Today it’s not a wealthy nation, so its placing in the table is no disgrace. 

39. Latvia

Average IQ: 95

Education rank: 50

Nobel Laureates: 1

Ranking Score: 56

Latvia is one of the Baltic nations that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. You’ll notice that in terms of education, Latvia ranks a fair bit lower than its final overall position. But the Latvians overcome the shortcomings in their education system with a high average IQ score.

38. Romania

Average IQ: 87

Education rank: 47

Nobel Laureates: 5

Ranking Score: 61

This south-eastern European country has borders with no fewer than five countries as well as a coastline overlooking the Black Sea. Romania is another nation that overthrew a communist dictator back at the end of the 1980s. Some hard economic times followed, but despite their troubles the Romanians have produced five Nobel Laureates from a population of only 19 million. 

37. South Africa

Average IQ: 69

Education rank: 33

Nobel Laureates: 11

Ranking Score: 63

For decades, the South Africans had to put up with the tyranny of apartheid, which obviously badly affected the academic achievement of its ethnically black population. But that racist system of governance was finally swept away when Nelson Mandela was elected its president in 1994. The result? South Africa now comes in at a respectable 33rd in world education ratings.