From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:
A Little Learning
September 28, 2022
At least since the 2002 book IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, social scientists have been publishing rankings of countries by average cognitive test scores and pointing out how closely these figures correlate with gross domestic product per capita.
The mere existence of this data causes outrage among the growing numbers of science denialists, who are increasingly calling for banning all scientific research touching upon differences in cognitive capabilities among populations.
On the other hand, investors want to know these numbers because they are closely linked to national prosperity. So, I’ll present below my three-part graph of the World Bank’s “Harmonized Learning Outcomes” for 174 countries.Two main types of cognitive exams contribute to the various lists: IQ and school achievement.
Here’s the bottom of the barrel of this huge graph of the World Bank’s database of school achievement test scores:
Note that the number of datapoints behind the World Bank’s estimates down at the bottom of the graph tend to be few. Niger’s score, 2.7 standard deviations behind the world’s most learned country (try to guess—the answer isn’t surprising) is based on two regional reading tests over the 2000 to 2017 period. On the other hand, if you had to guess who’d come in last, choosing the country with the world’s highest birthrate sounds about right.
Read the whole thing there.