Study: Scandinavian Countries’ IQ Has Fallen in Recent Decades

HALMSTAD, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 08: Refugee children are seen in a school on February 8, 2016 in Halmstad, Sweden. Last year Sweden received 162,877 asylum applications, more than any European country proportionate to its population. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Sweden housed more than 180,000 people in 2015, more …
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A study has claimed that the median IQ of some Nordic nations has fallen by several points since the 1990s and that the trend could continue in the future.

New Zealand scientist James Flynn has discovered the alarming trend which shows that Norway and Finland have seen their median IQ drop by a point every four years since 1995, Swedish science journal Forskning & Framsteg reports.

While Sweden does not keep statistics of IQ data, Flynn says he believes the country to follow a similar trend to its neighbours.

“It is clear that all Scandinavian countries have a declining trend since 1995,” Flynn said.

According to the scientist, the reason for the steady decline in IQ scores, which had been steadily increasing throughout the 20th century, is the schooling system in the Nordic countries.

“We have seen that school work is less demanding in many countries,” Flynn said and noted that there has been a decrease in the level of reading required in many school programmes along with a decrease in take-home assignments.

The Swedish school system has been put under immense pressure due to the influx of migrants which peaked in 2015. Migrants have been seen to perform at far worse rates than Swedish children with only half of the migrant children who come to Sweden after age seven being able to graduate from mandatory schooling.

Adult migrants have faired even worse as many have refused to attend schooling entirely, demanding that the government give them jobs instead. A report from earlier this year showed that only three to four per cent of migrants with poor academic backgrounds showed any interest in further schooling.

Flynn also warned that the trend may not be limited to Scandinavia, saying: “It may be that Scandinavia is ahead of a major trend,” adding that countries like the Netherlands and the UK showed signs of decline.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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