Netherlands: Ranked 10th Smartest Country in 2023

The Netherlands is recognized as the 10th smartest country in the world, both in 2023 and 2024, with an average IQ of 100.7 and 100.74, respectively.

Discover more about the world's smartest countries on our 2023's smartest countries and 2024's smartest countries page.

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Why the Netherlands?

Genetic Factors: While specific studies on genetic factors influencing intelligence in the Netherlands are not as prominent, the nation's robust education system and high-quality vocational training suggest a strong foundation for intellectual development.1

Education: The Netherlands' education system, with its focus on continuous improvement, plays a key role in fostering intelligence. Initiatives like the leerKRACHT foundation have been instrumental in enhancing teaching quality and student outcomes, emphasizing peer learning and teacher empowerment2.

Economy: The emphasis on vocational education and training in the Netherlands, coupled with a strong apprenticeship tradition, prepares students for the workforce, contributing significantly to the country's economic strength. This approach is reflected in the high percentage of students gaining work experience during their studies3.


  1. LeerKRACHT Foundation: Enhancing the Netherlands' education system through continuous improvement and teacher empowerment. Source: McKinsey & Company. Read more.
  2. Netherlands' Education System: Significant role of vocational education in the country's educational framework. Source: OECD iLibrary. Read more.
  3. Student Mobility: The growth of international student population in the Netherlands and its impact. Source: World Education News & Reviews. Read more.