Iceland: Ranked 26th in Smartest Countries in 2023

Iceland, with its strong emphasis on education and a robust learning environment, ranks 26th in the list of the world's smartest countries in 2023, boasting an average IQ of 98.3.

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Reykjavik, Iceland

Why Iceland?

Genetic Factors: Research suggests genetic predispositions play the main role in the intelligence levels observed.1

Education: Success in Iceland's educational system is strongly influenced by the high intelligence of its populace, as supported by recent genetic research.2

Economy: Iceland's economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience and growth, with a 6.4% increase in GDP in 2022, the highest in over 15 years, driven by strong private demand and increased trade. Challenges such as a hot housing market, a tight labor market, and rising inflation emerged, leading the Central Bank of Iceland to raise interest rates to 7.5%. Despite these challenges, the overall economic position remains favorable, with low household debt levels and a tourism industry nearing peak levels. Iceland also aims to be carbon-neutral and fossil fuel-independent by 2040, leveraging its high share of renewables. 3


  1. Plomin, R., von Stumm, S. The new genetics of intelligence. Nat Rev Genet 19, 148–159 (2018).
  2. Okbay, A., Wu, Y., Wang, N. et al. Polygenic prediction of educational attainment within and between families from genome-wide association analyses in 3 million individuals. Nat Genet 54, 437–449 (2022).
  3. The Icelandic Economy Q3 2023 - Iceland Chamber of Commerce.