The 20 countries that have smarter kids than America show that while the United States continues to develop and be referred to as the world’s most powerful country, it still has a long way to go when it comes to education.
Some prefer to determine the status of a country by its military power, while others use their economy as a benchmark. However, a country can also be defined by the level of education present. While literacy rates are often good indicators, they are far from enough when it comes to determining general education levels.
The Programme for International Student Assessment was established in order to test the capacity and capability of various countries. Created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, PISA has administered a standardized test all around the world to determine which countries have the smartest kids.
The test focuses on three skills: reading, mathematics and science, which are arguably the three most important subjects. The test is administered once every three years and is taken by 15-year-old students. This practice was started in 2000. Over 540,000 students worldwide took part in this test in 2015, from dozens of different countries. The results were astonishing, to say the least. The U.S. has failed to finish in the top 20 in either of the three subjects, raising serious questions regarding the education system in the country. The consensus is that a proper reforming of the education system in the country is required to improve the results instead of consistently falling short.
However, it is also important to note that this does not mean that America does not have bright students and is heading for obscurity. What this test emphasizes is that the average student in the country is not as bright as the average student belonging to a country in this list of 20 countries that have smarter kids in America. The study does not at all represent that the smartest kid in the US is not smarter than the brightest kid in any country on this list.
Hence, it is safe to say that America’s position as a global superpower with the best economy in the world is not in any imminent danger. No country has the resources to compete with the U.S. on such a level and everyone knows that. This is why even if the brightest talent exists elsewhere, it is more likely that they will head to the U.S., or the land of opportunity, in order to further their development and their career.
The biggest companies in the world have often been the brainchild of one genius. Facebook wouldn’t exist without Mark Zuckerberg, while Steve Jobs is the reason Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, worth $586 billion. In fact, its nearest competitor is Samsung, which is only worth $161.6 billion, less than a third of Apple’s value. This is despite consistent support and subsidies provided by the Korea’s government. All it takes is one mind to change the world, and America has a history of producing such minds.
We used the rankings of each country in each subject, then calculated their average to come up with our list. Remember, this list is about the smartest 15-year-olds in each country. If you want to learn more about the collective intelligence of a nation, you might prefer to read about the 34 Smartest Countries in the World.
Now, let’s start with our list and see from which countries come the brightest minds of them all.