"IQ and the wealth of nations"

Back in 2002 Professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster (in Northern Ireland) and Professor Tatu Vanhanen of the University of Tampere (in Finland) wrote a book with the above title to show how closely correlated most nations' per capita GDP  correlated with their average national IQ.

The overall correlation is quite strong, with a few notable exceptions. For  example, China had a low average GDP, but that was because they are a communist nation which had only recently loosened restrictions on a market economy. (That number has probably risen significantly since 2003.) Qatar had outperformed its national average IQ simply because of its tremendous oil resources. However, by and large, the correlation held.

Lynn and Vanhanen admitted that their IQ data was not as comprehensive and rigorously derived as they would have liked, and that some of the numbers are partly estimates.

But to me, the most fascinating part of the list below is simply the average IQ's:


Data of Lynn and Vanhanen

CountryAvg
IQ
real GDP
per cap
(1998)
Regression
line
Hong Kong10720,76319,817
South Korea10613,47819,298
Japan10523,25718,779
Taiwan10413,00018,260
Singapore10324,21017,740
Italy10220,58517,221
Austria10223,16617,221
Germany10222,16917,221
Netherlands10222,17617,221
Sweden10120,65916,702
Switzerland10125,51216,702
Belgium10023,22316,183
China1003,10516,183
New Zealand10017,28816,183
U Kingdom10020,33616,183
Hungary9910,23215,664
Poland997,61915,664
France9821,17515,145
Australia9822,45215,145
Denmark9824,21815,145
Norway9826,34215,145
United States9829,60515,145
Canada9723,58214,626
Czech Republic9712,36214,626
Finland9720,84714,626
Spain9716,21214,626
Uruguay968,62314,107
Argentina9612,01314,107
Russia966,46014,107
Slovakia969,69914,107
Portugal9514,70113,589
Slovenia9514,29313,588
Israel9417,30113,069
Romania945,64813,069
Bulgaria934,80912,550
Ireland9321,48212,550
Greece9213,94312,031
Malaysia928,13712,031
Thailand915,45611,512
Peru904,28210,993
Croatia906,74910,993
Turkey906,42210,993
Colombia896,00610,474
Indonesia892,65110,474
Suriname895,16110,474
Brazil876,6259,436
Iraq873,1979,436
Mexico877,7049,436
Western Samoa873,8329,436
Tonga873,0009,436
Lebanon864,3268,917
Philippines863,5558,917
Cuba853,9678,398
Morocco853,3058,398
Iran845,1217,879
Fiji844,2317,879
Marshall Islands843,0007,879
Puerto Rico848,0007,879
Egypt833,0417,360
India812,0776,322
Ecuador803,0035,803
Guatemala793,5055,284
Barbados7812,0014,765
Nepal781,1574,765
Qatar7820,9874,765
Zambia777194,246
Congo739952,170
Uganda731,0742,170
Sudan721,3941,651
Jamaica723,3891,651
Kenya729801,651
South Africa728,4881,651
Tanzania724801,651
Ghana711,7351,132
Nigeria67795-944
Zimbabwe662,669-1,463
Guinea661,782-1,463
Congo65822-1,982
Sierra Leone64458-2,501
Ethiopia63574-3,020
Equatorial Guinea591,817-5,096

It's surprising how low India averages in IQ: 81. They are the country which built the Taj Mahal (from 1632 to 1653, as impressive as anything built in Europe during that era). They come up with great mathematicians from time to time. And students of Indian descent in this country have dominated the Westinghouse Science Fair competition in recent years. Is it that the smart ones come over here? That the testing is somehow skewed in India? Or that the general poverty over there means that the environmental component has a strong effect on their results? In any case, it's surprising.

Nepal is also surprising, checking in at only 78. Kathmandu has fairly sophisticated architecture. And several places in Nepal have claimed to the inspiration for Shangri-la. Perhaps the reason everyone was so happy in Shangri-la was because they were too stupid not to be.

South Koreans actually outscore the Japanese. So why are the Japanese so prejudiced against them? You'd think they'd be happy to intermix, instead of hiring detectives before a marriage to make sure that a prospective spouse has no trace of Korean ancestry. Particularly since, at least from what I've seen firsthand, Koreans are a physically hardier people.

No figures are available for North Korea, but it seems a fairly safe assumption that their average IQ doesn't diverge all that much from their brethren to the south. Given that they're basically starving, that doesn't say a lot for communism.

How can Israel only have an average IQ of 94? Jews in this country are known to have an average IQ significantly higher than other whites (somewhere between 105 and 110). Is there a lower Ashkenazi to Sephardic ratio there? Or is it the resident Palestinians who bring the average down?

The thing that really left me wondering was, how does a country even function with an average IQ of 59 (Equatorial Guinea) or 63 (Ethiopia)? In the US, the number below which you are considered retarded is 70. But to have an entire country with an average well below that line? How do the trains run? How do cars get repaired? How do crops get grown?