Humans are said to be the smartest beings on Earth. Even though our existence is relatively short compared to other creatures on the planet, we have managed to affect the world in a big way, both good and bad, through our discoveries and inventions. Most of these great leaps forward are from the collective effort of many people from around the world instead of a single genius.
Different nations have made a significant contribution that has made a positive impact on the world. This then raises the question; does this mean that some countries are smarter than others? While that may be a contentious issue that won’t be settled satisfactorily, in terms of citizens’ IQ, the number of Nobel Prizes won, and educational attainment, there are indeed some countries that stand above the rest. Mobile voucher platform Vouchercloud ranked the world's countries by intelligence based on these criteria to give us the list of the cleverest nations in the world.
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Belgium is one of five European nations that made it to the top of Vouchercloud's list. Throughout history, the sovereign state has won 10 Nobel Prizes—most of which for their contributions to science and the promotion of peace—installing the country at 18th place together with India and South Africa. It has a national average IQ of 99.3 (15th place) while 28.76 percent of its students have achieved advanced scores in school (16th place). Overall, Belgium ranks seventh on the worldwide list.
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The transcontinental country is one of two non-Asian countries to make it to the top of the school achievement category. According to Vouchercloud, Russia has 38.46 percent of its students achieving advanced scores. Although the country didn't make it to the top 25 based on IQ (with its national average of 96), its 23 Nobel Prizes helped it to rank sixth place overall.
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The Netherlands is the second smartest European country in the world. It has won 20 Nobel Prizes and has a national average IQ of 100.4. Moreover, 25.15 percent of its students have achieved advanced scores at school. These have made the northwestern European country the fifth smartest country in the world.
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When it comes to the number of Nobel Prizes won, the US is way ahead of the pack with a whopping 368. However, it ranks low in the national IQ average (28th place with an average of 98) and school ranking (13th with 29.84 percent). Thus, the US is only at the fourth spot overall.
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There is a common stereotype worldwide that Asians are smart, and China securing the third spot on Vouchercloud's list just further proves that point. It has the second-highest national IQ average in the world—105.8—just behind Singapore's 107.1 and is seventh on the school achievement ranking with 38.27 percent of students achieving advanced scores. Add the nine Nobel Prizes it has won so far and the Asian giant proves that it's truly one of the most powerful and intelligent countries in the world.
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The mountainous Central European country is the smartest Western country in the world. Throughout history, Switzerland has amassed 26 Nobel Prizes, most of which for their contribution to science. Its national IQ average of 100.2 and school achievement percentage of 31.93 have made the country the number one European nation and the second overall on this list.
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Vouchercloud names Japan as the smartest country in the world. It secured the sixth place for both the Nobel Prize wins (26) and IQ rankings (104.2) while taking the fifth spot on the school test ranking (58.01). Japan is the leading example of the rising innovation from the East, and the voucher platform says it "makes sense" that the Land of the Rising Sun is at the top as it is a country “with a strong tradition of innovation and a huge emphasis on education."