Volume 96, January–February 2023, 101708
The aim of the study is to estimate the most recent trends of intelligence world-wide. We find that the most recent studies report mainly positive Flynn effects in economically less developed countries, but trivial and frequently negative Flynn effects in the economically most advanced countries. This is confirmed by an analysis of 48 countries in the 2000–2018 PISA tests, showing that high pre-existing IQ and school achievement are the best predictors of declining test scores. IQ gaps between countries are still large (e.g., 19 IQ points in PISA between East Asia and South Asia) but are diminishing world-wide. We predict that these trends, observed in adolescents today, will reduce cognitive gaps between the working-age populations of countries and world regions during coming decades. As is predicted by the well-established relationship between intelligence and economic growth, there is already evidence that the ongoing cognitive convergence is paralleled by global economic convergence. These developments raise questions as to how long this cognitive and economic convergence will continue, whether it will eliminate cognitive and economic gaps between countries entirely, and whether a condition with high levels of cognitive ability and economic prosperity is sustainable long-term.