Two studies bring together the following correlations:
Public health (disease reduction during childhood and teenage development and nutrition) determines about 70% of average IQ and average IQ (and the IQ of the top 5%) determines a lot of per capita GDP.
A study published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers analyzed test scores from 90 countries and found that the intelligence of the people, particularly the smartest 5 percent, made a big contribution to the strength of their economies.
The researchers collected information on 90 countries, including far-off lands from the U.S. to New Zealand and Colombia to Kazakhstan. They also collected data on the country’s excellence in science and technology—the number of patents granted per person and how many Nobel Prizes the country’s people had won in science, for example.
They found that intelligence made a difference in gross domestic product. For each one-point increase in a country’s average IQ, the per capita GDP was $229 higher. It made an even bigger difference if the smartest 5 percent of the population got smarter; for every additional IQ point in that group, a country’s per capita GDP was $468 higher.
United Health Foundation study from 2006, the correlation between estimated IQ and the UHF’s health scores is .70, meaning that about half of a state’s health is ‘explained’ by the NAEP scores of its eighth graders.
Dietary supplements and vaccination to prevent illnesses that reduce IQ would be big factors in improving the economics of developing countries.
Public health (disease reduction during childhood and teenage development and nutrition) ==> (70%) of average IQ ==> IQ determines per capita GDP
GDP per capita is correlated with almost all indices of human well-being (up to at least $10-$15K annually), the fact that economic freedom is correlated with GDP per capita is non-trivial.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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