Human intelligence in decline worldwide. Culprit no surprise.


Bill McConochie, Psychology PhD and author of Party Time! How you can create common good democracy right now.

In an effort to get a measurable sense of how human I.Q. is progressing around the world, I gathered I.Q. test data from over a quarter of a million children from around the world between 2006 and 2015. The tests were modeled after the third edition of the Wechsler Intelligence Test, the gold standard measure in the United States. The test sections measured arithmetic, vocabulary, comprehension, similarities and information.

Unfortunately, the results from data for 2009 to 2015 compared to data for 2006 to 2008 showed lower average scores for all age groups. The rate of intelligence drop is .81 I.Q. points per year. For the largest nations (the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, India and Australia) the drop rate is .74 points per year.

At this rate, the worldwide average I.Q. in 37 years will drop from 100 to 70. 70 is at the top of the mild intellectual disability range. At that point fully half of the world’s adults would be unemployable. None would be smart enough to graduate from a meaningful current college degree program. Society, industry, business and government as we currently know them would be unsustainable.

fog-1028343_1920The apparent most likely cause of this intelligence deterioration is toxins in air, based on a review of studies reported by other researchers. Consider for reference data reports from the World Health Organization, which found only 8% of 2,000 cities around the world have healthy air. The governments of the United States and California also publish online data on air pollution. Studies in heavily air-polluted Mexico City document lower I.Q.s and higher brain toxins in children and adults than in persons in suburbs where there is much less pollution. Diesel fuel exhaust and smoke from wood-burning stoves are among the more serious pollutants.

The majority of citizens all around the world are concerned about the environment. Unfortunately, the majority opinions of citizens do not have direct voice in national governments. Special interest groups that profit from polluting fuels can control government decisions. Can we change fast enough to save the human species? For more details on my research, read my study entitled “The Canary Effect”.

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