In Brief

The top ten countries with the most Mensa geniuses

Scandinavia cleans up in ranking of nations with highest recorded IQ per capita

Data released by Mensa, the world's largest and oldest IQ society, has revealed which nations boast the highest proportion of members. 

Mensa International was founded in 1946 at Lincoln College, Oxford, to unite people of above-average intelligence from around the world in intellectual fellowship. Membership is only open to people with an IQ in the top two percent of the population. Its stated goals are "to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members".

The organisation ranks countries by the number of Mensa members it has per capita, to give an idea of where genius appears to be concentrated. 

The findings come with a few important caveats. First, the data can only tell us the number of enrolled Mensa members in each country, not the number of citizens who would be eligible for membership. In countries where IQ testing fees and annual membership dues might be more prohibitive to the average citizen, or where awareness of the organisation is low, it is to be expected that fewer eligible individuals will be Mensa members.

Second, although the organisation's 120,000 members include individuals from more than 100 countries, only 51 of those nations have their own "national group", which keeps its own membership tally, within Mensa. So, of these national groups, which are the brainiest?

Finland takes the top spot, with 2,700 Mensa members out of a population of 5.4 million – meaning one in every 2,000 Finns is enrolled in the prestigious organisation – and Sweden follows in second place.

Brits will be pleased to note that the UK comes in an eminently respectable third place, with one Mensa member for every 2,868 people. Here are the top ten national groups:

1. Finland

2. Sweden

3. United Kingdom

4. Netherlands    

5. Denmark

6. Ireland

7. Norway

8. Luxembourg

9. Czech Republic

10. Croatia

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