Which country has the smartest president? And which of them has the least brainy leader? We analyzed the world leaders’ IQ scores and ranked them from lowest to highest. The results make much sense.
While a regular citizen has an average IQ of 100, you’d think a much higher IQ is needed to rule an entire country, but that is not always the case when it comes to these presidents, prime ministers, kings, princes, and supreme leaders.
See how the world leaders rank for intelligence. Does their IQ match their success?
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Duty: President of Egypt
Abdul Fattah el-Sisi started out as the Minister of Defense and Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces before running for president.
He had a huge part in the military coup in 2013 that overthrew the sitting president and was ultimately elected, himself, as the sixth and current President of Egypt.
Unfortunately, el-Sisi’s regime is an authoritarian one, where he has ultimate power and often uses violence against any who opposes his will.
Country: South Africa
Duty: President of South Africa
Cyril Ramaphosa has been the current President of South Africa since 2018, as well as the President of the African National Congress since 2017.
Ramaphosa has some wonderful qualities, as he was heavily involved in anti-apartheid activism and has helped South Africa’s transition into a democracy immensely with strategic and negotiating skillset.
However, he has also been involved in some pretty sketchy (most likely illegal) business dealings which he has benefitted from.
Mohammad bin Salman (MBS)
Country: Saudi Arabia
Duty: Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince and current Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia has made himself known to the public in recent years as the new, modern face of the country.
He has helped move the Islamic nation into the future by removing some of the restrictions on women (i.e. driving, working, always having a male guardian, etc.) and has even removed some of the power of religious law-enforcement.
However, his reign has also seen a huge rise in the imprisonment of people who speak out against the regime, as well as disputes with Lebanon and Yemen.
Duty: President of Syria
Bashar al-Assad is the 19th president of Syria and has been in power for over 20 years. He is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Syrian Armed Forces, as well as the Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party in Syria.
Syria is not a democracy, so al-Assad won the Presidency without contest.
Many of the world’s leading Super Power shave criticized al-Assad over the years and have asked for him to step down, as his regime has seen a multitude of human rights crises and war crimes.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Duty: Emir of Qatar
Since Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani came to power in 2018 following the death of his father, Qatar has seen major improvements in infrastructure, technology, and the overall well-being of its people.
Al Thani has taken Qatar’s leadership in a different direction from his predecessors and has focused on things like healthy lifestyles, athletics, food prices, and pensions for workers.
Duty: President of Argentina
In 2019, Alberto Fernandez became the 53rd President of Argentina.
His most notable (yet controversial) achievement was his introduction and ultimate passing of a bill to legalize abortion at the end of 2020.
Before becoming a center-left politician, he got his degree from the University of Buenos Aires and became a lawyer as well as a professor of Criminal Law.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Duty: Supreme Leader of Iran
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was the President of Iran for 8 years until the 1989 referendum when the country’s constitution was amended to restrict the public from choosing their leader.
He then became the Supreme Leader of Iran and has been in power for almost 40 years at this point.
Khamenei has been known to inflict corporal punishments on anyone who opposes his regime or insults his person. Many of his prisoners (including protesters, journalists, and bloggers) have died in prison.
Duty: King of Thailand
Maha Vajiralongkorn is the current King of Thailand and took the throne in 2016 at the age of 64 (making him the oldest Thai monarch to become King).
He is also the richest monarch in the world, and none of his citizens are allowed to insult or criticize his person or his rule.
Although he has made major contributions to the country in the form of agriculture and educational improvements, he has made many controversial moves, causing protests all over the country.
Duty: President of the Philippines
Rodrigo Duterte became President of the Philippines in 2016 at the age of 71 (making him the oldest to do so in the country’s history).
Before becoming President, Duterte got his Law degree and worked as a lawyer, and then served as mayor of Davao City for 22 years.
His biggest controversy has been his extreme stance on drug users, petty criminals, and homeless people. These “offenses” are punishable by execution.
López Obrador (AMLO)
Duty: President of Mexico
Lopez Obrador had been in politics for over 30 years before finally winning the Mexican Presidential election in 2018. AMLO (as he is colloquially known) is a populist President, who ultimately gained a lot of support from the Indigenous population of Mexico.
Unfortunately, his administration has not come through on its promises during his electoral campaign and has fallen short when it comes to its response to the cartels, crime, and extreme poverty that plagues the nation.
Michael D. Higgins
Duty: President of Ireland
Michael D. Higgins became the 9th President of Ireland in 2011. He is a beloved figure in his country and has used his presidency to tackle important social justice issues such as racism, sectarianism, and inequality.
Aside from being a president, he is also a renowned poet, a sociologist, and has also worked as a radio broadcaster.
Duty: President of Brazil
Jair Bolsonaro was a military officer before becoming the 38th President of Brazil in 2018. During his military career, he was accused and then acquitted for conspiring to plant bombs in various military units.
After leaving the military, he turned to politics and had a 27-year run as a congressman. Bolsonaro is known for his extreme opposition to liberal issues such as homosexuality and same-sex marriages, substance legalization, abortion, affirmative action, and other social issues.
He has also advocated for the increase of the use of deadly force against any and all crime.
Country: United Kingdom
Duty: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in July of 2019 after serving as a Member of Parliament for Henley, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and then the Mayor of London, respectively.
Johnson has mixed reviews when it comes to his constituents.
His supporters find his personality entertaining and funny, whereas his opposers have noted his elitism and how his party seems to have racist undertones.
Duty: President of Greece
Prokopios Pavlopoulos (commonly referred to as Prokopis), was the President of Greece up through March of 2020.
Before becoming president, he was a university professor, a lawyer, and he served as the Minister of the Interior from 2004 to 2009.
He has had no major controversies during his presidency, and his successor, Katerina Sakellaropoulou made history as the first woman President of Greece.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Duty: President of the Republic of Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan served as the Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998 and the Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003, before becoming the current President in 2018.
Although Erdoğan describes himself as a “conservative democrat”, his background is Islamist and he has been outspoken about his extreme religious views. During his mayorship, he was removed from his position and imprisoned for inciting religious hatred.
He then went on to lessen his religious-political views (to the public) which gained him a lot of support. Unfortunately, once he won the Presidency, the country started to become more religious.
Country: New Zealand
Duty: Prime Minister of New Zealand
Jacinda Arden was elected as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2017.
She is a self-described progressive and has used her time as Prime Minister to tackle issues such as poverty, social justice, gun restrictions, and the housing crisis.
She has also gained worldwide praise for her rapid response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and has since become one of the only countries in the world to fully eliminate the virus.
Duty: Prime Minister of Australia
Scott Morrison became the 30th Prime Minister of Australia in August of 2018.
Before taking office, Morrison was the State Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party and then was elected to the House of Representatives in 2007. He was also the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, as well as the Treasurer.
Like New Zealand, Australia’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic was successful, and the two countries have an unrestricted travel agreement.
Duty: Prime Minister of Belgium
Sophie Wilmès became Belgium’s first female Prime Minister in 2019, but after her failure to deal successfully with the COVID-19 pandemic, she was renamed as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister under Alexander De Croo.
During the heat of the pandemic, Wilmès contracted the virus and continued to run the foreign affairs of the country from her hospital bed.
Duty: Prime Minister of Norway
Erna Solberg (nicknamed Iron Erna) became the Prime Minister of Norway in 2013.
Her most notable actions since becoming Prime Minister has been the extra immigration restrictions put in place to deal with the influx of refugees from waring countries.
Her administration has also seen an emphasis on women’s rights issues and education, as well as healthcare access and children’s rights.
Duty: President of France, Ex-Officio Co-Prince of Andorra
Emmanuel Macron became the President of France in May of 2017.
Macron received just over 66.1 of the vote which got him elected as France’s youngest president in the history of the country at only 39 years old.
He has been praised for his efforts to help solve the immigration crisis as well as the environmental issues facing Europe.
Duty: President of Russia
Vladimir Putin is famously known around the world as Russia’s President.
Before becoming president in 2012, he served two terms as Prime Minister starting in 1999 for one year and again in 2008 for 5 years.
Although Russia was never truly a democracy, under Putin’s regime, it has gotten much worse.
There are no ‘fair and free’ elections, any political opponents are jailed and/or mysteriously killed, and there has been a worrying spiced in homophobia and violence towards homosexuals.
Moon Jae In
Country: South Korea
Duty: President of South Korea
Moon Jae-in became the President of South Korea in 2017. Raised in an impoverished family of North Korean refugees, Jae-in was heavily involved in human rights and was even arrested for organizing a protest.
He is a self-described Liberal and has used his Presidency to focus on trying to mend relations with North Korea.
He has also raised the minimum wage by over 16% and lowered the workweek hours.
Duty: President of Italy
Sergio Mattarella became the President of the Italian Republic in January of 2015.
Mattarella comes from a highly ranked family as his brother, Antonia Mattarella, was the Managing Director of Goldman Sach’s Investment Banking Division.
Unfortunately, his other brother, Piersanti Mattarella, was assassinated in 1980 while he was the President of Sicily’s Regional Government.
Country: North Korea
Duty: Supreme Leader of North Korea
Kim Jong-un is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic Republic of North Korea and will hold that position until his death.
His father, Kim Jong-il, reigned as North Korea’s second Supreme Leader from 1994 to 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Il-sung, who founded North Korea as we know it today.
Kim Jong-un rules with an iron fist and has unchecked power over the regime. He was been accused of the most heinous human rights issues and has had anyone who opposes him executed, including members of his own family.
Duty: Prime Minister of Canada
Justin Trudeau is the 23rd prime minister of Canada since his election in 2015.
Before getting into politics, Trudeau became a teacher (in the subjects of math, French, humanities, and even drama).
Some of his most notable achievements since his election have been establishing a federal carbon tax and negotiating multiple trade deals (the most famous being the USMCA).
Duty: Prime Minister of Denmark
Mette Frederiksen became Denmark’s Prime Minister in June of 2019, making her the youngest Danish Prime Minister in the country’s history.
She has also been the Leader of the Social Democrats since 2015. Unlike so many other politicians, Frederiksen had never been employed in any other field aside from politics.
She is most notable for her response to Donald Trump’s mission to purchase Greenland, a Danish-owned country.
She stated that Greenland was “not for sale”, and later said that “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland”.
Duty: President of the People’s Republic of China
Despite the country calling itself the “People’s Republic of China”, the country itself has been governed by the authoritarian dictator, Xi Jinping, since 2013.
Since Xi Jinping came into power, China has seen an increase in mass public surveillance and internet censorship.
There has also been a huge rise in human rights issues, most notably the crisis still happening with the Uighur population. He has also conveniently removed the term limit for a presidency.
Duty: Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi was elected to become the 14th Prime Minister of India in 2014.
At the age of 8, he joined the Hindu nationalist organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This paved the way for some of his extreme Hindu-nationalist views that have leaked into his political actions.
Although Modi’s administration has attempted to boost the Indian economy, they have siphoned money from healthcare and welfare programs, causing a lot of opposition.
Donald J. Trump
Country: United States of America
Duty: 45th President of the United States of America
Donald J. Trump served as the 45th President of the United States of America from 2016-2020.
Having no background in politics, but instead as a TV personality, he was not equipped to deal with the country’s political issues.
During his presidency, over 400,000 lives were lost due to his lack of response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Country: United States of America
Duty: 46th President of the United States of America
Joe Biden is currently serving as the 46th President of the United States of America and was elected in November of 2020.
He served as Vice President to President Barack Obama during both of his terms from 2008-2016. Before his Vice Presidency, Biden served in the United States Senate as the Senator of Delaware.
He also served as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Duty: Former Prime Minister of Japan
Shinzo Abe has been serving as Japan’s Prime Minister since 2006, making him Japan’s longest-serving Prime minister in its history.
He is also the President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
He is most noted for his stance on economic policy (which was given the nickname Abenomics). The policy focuses on stimulating the economy with structural reform and more.
Duty: President of Singapore
Halima Yacob became the incumbent President of Singapore in 2017, where she ran unopposed, as no other candidate was eligible to participate.
She is the very first female president in the history of Singapore, and she is the second Muslim president, as well.
Before her presidency, she was a member of Parliament for 14 years.
Duty: Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005.
She is also the first Chancellor since the country was unified to have been raised in East Germany.
She is extremely powerful and is regarded by many as the “leader of the free world”. She even has a doctorate degree in quantum chemistry.
Unfortunately for her many supporters, Merkel will not be running for a 5th term.
Duty: Prime Minister of Israel
Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister of Israel since his election in 2009, though his first term lasted from 1996-1999.
He is Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister and is the first PM to have been born in Israel after its Declaration of Independence in 1948.
He was raised in both Jerusalem and Philadelphia, was shot in the shoulder during his military service. He is currently being investigated for corruption (specifically, bribery, and fraud).
** The IQ data in this article was taken from biographical materials, community discussions, experts’ opinions, and other relevant materials.
The numbers and facts listed might not be up to date, valid, or in any specific order.