Norwegians getting dumber

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Intelligence is getting lower in all the Scandinavian countries, and the trend is clear in Norway, according to a new study by the IQ measurement’s leading researcher, James Flynn.


After several decades of ever-increasing intelligence in the Nordic countries, the trend has reversed, according to an article in the journal Intelligence.

In Norwegian measurements, there are fewer who reach the top level in both the understanding of words and mathematical understanding, according to the study.

“This clearly indicates the thinning of those with high cognitive skills,” said James Flynn, the author of the study.

The turning point came around 1995. From around 1950, Norwegians’ IQ increased, but after that, the IQ has fallen by 0.21 points a year, meaning a total of 6.5 points fell from one generation to the next. The trend is similar in Denmark and even stronger in Finland.

It was the New Zealand state scientist Flynn who discovered that intelligence had steadily increased in Scandinavia. He believed that the change was due to more abstract and rational thinking in both school and work life. But now he believes that the quality increase in school has stopped.

“We have seen that school work is less demanding in many countries, and students spend less time reading and with homework,” he told the Swedish magazine Research & Progress.

He does not know whether the trend can be stopped, and recommends that the Scandinavians spend their time exploiting the increase.

“But it would be better if several read thicker books, probably about history,” says Flynn.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today