The smartest person in the world is William James Sidis. His IQ ranges from 250 to 300, more than double that of Albert Einstein. He is known to be the person with the highest IQ in the world. But is that true?
Before getting deep into the subject and listing the smartest people in the world and their corresponding IQs, we must understand what is an IQ test actually is and how does it work.
What is an IQ Test?
An IQ test assesses various cognitive skills and yields a score that is meant to be used as an index of a person’s potential and intellectual powers. Among the most popular psychological exams is the IQ test. Below are the graph and table that tells you the percentage and the percentile (value at a particular rank) of people with different ranges of IQ scores.
Many IQ tests are now standardized, and results are calculated by comparing each person’s performance to the average for people of that age range. A person’s level of intelligence is measured by IQ tests and marked numerically. The range of an average person’s IQ is 85 to 115. If a person has an IQ of 130 or more, that individual is considered brilliant.
|Full Scale IQ||Classification||Percentile|
|130 and above||Very Gifted||98-99.5|
|69 and below||Intellectually Poor||0.01-2|
People With The Highest IQ In The World
We already know that some scientists, including Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, had exceptional IQs above 160. Except for scientists with the highest IQ, there are still many people with higher IQs than the two experts stated above, and even more than William James Sidis. Below is the list of people with the highest IQ ever recorded.
Adhara Pérez (IQ Score: 162)
The Mazatlan Post reports that the 10-year-old has an IQ of 162. She was bullied at a young age not only due to her intelligence, but also because she had Asperger’s condition.
By age 3, she had already learned to read; by age 5, she had completed primary school; and by age 9, she had completed high school. Pérez is nearing completion of two online master’s degrees: one in Industrial Engineering and another in Systems Engineering. Additionally, she is studying Gravitational Waves and Astronomy. That may seem like a lot, but she is not through studying.
She aspires to study astrophysics at the University of Arizona and become a NASA cosmonaut in the future. According to the Mazatlan Post, the university has granted her a position and a scholarship, but she has not been allowed to attend because of visa issues.
Paul Allen (Average IQ Score: 165)
Allen was born in Seattle, USA, on January 21, 1953. In 1965, he attended Lakeside School, where he discovered his passion for computers. At school, he became friends with Bill Gates. He dropped out of Harvard University in 1974 and persuaded Bill Gates to do the same. The following year, they established Microsoft, which is now a multibillion-dollar technology empire.
Paul is a well-known philanthropist, similar to his friend and Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates. Allen established the Allen Institute for Brain Science in September 2003 with a $100 million gift devoted to researching how the human brain functions. He was awarded two honorary bachelor’s degrees and two honorary doctorates by prestigious universities. The estimated range of his IQ is between 160 and 170.
Judit Polgat (IQ Score: 170)
Judit Polgár (born 23 July 1976) is a Hungarian grandmaster in chess and is often considered to be the best female chess player of all time. She has an IQ of 170. At the age of six, Judit began competing in tournaments, and by the time she was nine, her rating with the Hungarian Chess Federation was 2080. In 1991, at the age of 15 years and 4 months, Polgár became the youngest person to earn the Grandmaster title, surpassing the previous record holder, former World Champion Bobby Fischer.
A native chess player’s IQ is frequently the highest in the world, and many people are drawn to this traditional and dignified game. She was also one of the first female veterans to compete in a world chess competition and the first woman to defeat Garry Kasparov, the number one veteran. Today, she continues to maintain her winning attitude.
Jacob Barnett (IQ Score: 170)
Jacob Barnett was born a typical child in the United States in 1998. Later his parents learned that he had Asperger’s syndrome, and teachers and physicians informed them that he would never be a contributing member of society. Christine, Jacob’s mother, was disappointed with the therapy sessions because he was unable to talk at all. Despite that, she never gave up on her son.
Sessions with her son were led by the mother, from puzzles and graphics to algebraic equations. Jake’s mother chose to take him to the planetarium so he could view Mars via a telescope because Jake appeared to be captivated by astrology, planets, and space.
The American child prodigy got to college at age 10, having completed classes 6 through 12 in less than a year. By the age of 13, he had a published physics paper to his name. He is currently 21 and pursuing a Ph.D. Jacob claimed that his autism contributed to his achievement in college. Jacob is reported to have a higher IQ than Einstein, at 170!
Leonardo Da Vinci (Estimated IQ Score: 190)
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen.” – By Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo Da Vinci, who was born on April 15, 1452 and died on May 2, 1519 is one of the most renowned geniuses in history. His IQ was believed to be 190. Da Vinci not only worked in a variety of professions, including art, science, music, and architecture, but he excelled in each of them. The drawings of Leonardo da Vinci would become an integral element of his legacy.
Da Vinci sketched prolifically, designing inventions, investigating human anatomy, sketching landscapes, and outlining paintings such as The Virgin of the Rocks and his only surviving mural, The Last Supper. In fact, he was so far ahead of his time that several of his innovations (such as flying machines, the telescope, and the submarine) were not realized until long after his passing.
Marie Curie (Estimated ِAverage IQ Score: 190)
Marie Sklodowska Curie was a Polish scientist who was best known for her work in the field of radioactivity. Curie lived from 1867 to 1934. Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first individual to win it more than once. It is believed that her intelligence level ranged between 180 and 200.
She was the first person to develop techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and the first person to discover the elements radium and polonium, both of which were necessary for the production of X-rays. During World War I, Curie put her scientific expertise to use by serving as the chief of the radiological service for the International Red Cross. She was stationed on the front lines during the war.
Richard G. Rosner (Average IQ Score: 195)
Richard, an American television writer and reality television personality who was born on May 2, 1969, is renowned for his supposed high IQ test scores and his unconventional profession. Rick Rosner has completed over 30 IQ tests, revealing a range between 192 and 198 for his IQ, depending on how the tests define their findings. He is noted for engaging in things that are not often associated with geniuses. Rosner claims to have worked as a stripper, waiter on roller skates, bouncer, and nude model.
Numerous films and features on his actions and opinions have featured him. He has also been in commercials for both Domino’s Pizza and Burger King. As a contestant in 2000, Richard G. Rosner filed a lawsuit against the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over an allegedly defective question. He also wrote and produced various quiz shows and Jimmy Kimmel’s programs, including The Man Show, Crank Yankers, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Sho Yano (Estimated IQ Score: 200)
Sho Timothy Yano is an American physician who was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1990. The estimated IQ of former child prodigy Yano is 200. Sho Yano, an American physician, began college at age nine, began playing classical music on the piano at age four, and began composing at age five. He attended Mirman Elementary School as a child. After achieving a score of 1500 out of 1600 on the SAT at age eight, he graduated from the American School of Correspondence at age nine and enrolled at Loyola University Chicago at the same age.
Then, he enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Chicago‘s Pritzker School of Medicine, which is developed for students seeking an MD and PhD. In 2009, at the age of 18, he received a doctorate in molecular genetics and cell biology from that institution. According to Yano, he owes a significant portion of his success to his mother, who recognized his exceptional intellectual potential at a young age and encouraged and motivated him through rigorous academic enrichment.
Edith Stern (IQ Score: 203)
Edith Stern was born in 1952, The young prodigy and survivor of the Nazi concentration camp that Albert Einstein helped financially by paying for their cancer treatment. Edith Stern’s father had finished reading her the entirety of the Encyclopedia Britannica by the time she was five years old. He did this with the intention of preparing her for intellectual achievement in the future. With an IQ of 203, She started attending college at the age of 12, and by the time she was 15, she was already teaching arithmetic at the college level.
She began her career in the 1970s at IBM, where she worked her way up through the company’s ranks all the way to the position of vice president for research and development. Because of her lifelong dedication to the advancement of innovative technology, Stern was presented with the AMSE Kate Gleason Award. Stern was included on the list of the Smartest People of All Time that was created by Business Insider.
Kim Ung Yong (IQ Score: 210)
Kim Ung-Yong was born in Korea in 1963 and started speaking at six months of age. Kim Ung-Yong was already enrolled in university classes at the age of three. By the age of 4, he was fluent in four different languages. And by the age of six, he had learned to read Korean, English, German, and Japanese. His IQ of 210 earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the highest IQs in the world at the time.
NASA recruited him to study in the United States when he was only eight years old after his brilliance was publicized. He moved to America to work and conduct research for NASA for a decade. However, he was dissatisfied with NASA’s life, so he returned to his homeland and became a teacher. He is currently conducting valuable research and teaching at Chungbuk National University in South Korea.
William James Sidis (Average IQ Score: 225)
William James Sidis was a genius child of the late nineteenth century with an estimated IQ between 250 and 300. In 1898, the most intelligent man who ever lived was born in America. When he was just 18 months old, William James Sidis was able to read The New York Times. He was fluent in several languages by the time he was six, including English, German, Russian, Hebrew, Turkish, French, and Armenian.
Sidis was just nine years old when he was accepted to Harvard University. The school, however, would not permit him to enroll in classes until he was11 years old. Sidis briefly taught mathematics after graduating before going into hiding. He has also written essays on Popular Philosophy.
Despite his intelligence, he struggled to fit in with a society that didn’t share his perspective. After earning his Harvard degree, he told reporters, “I want to live the perfect life. The only way to live the perfect life is to live it alone. I’ve always hated crowds”. Sidis, at the age of 46, died from a brain bleed in 1944.
Marilyn Vos Savant (IQ Score: 228)
Vos Savant, who was born in 1946, has an IQ of 228. She penned articles for local newspapers when she was a teen while also working in her father’s store. Jezebel reports that after two years at Washington University, Vos Savant dropped out to invest in stocks and real estate.
Despite not having attended college, Marilyn Vos Savant earned great recognition in 1985 when she was named in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest IQ. Following her recognition by Guinness, Marilyn Vos Savant rose to fame as a writer with the books “Ask Marilyn” and “Annie’s Mailbox,” which allowed readers to ask her questions and get her responses. She later tied the knot with Robert Jarvik, the creator of the Jarvik artificial heart.
Terence Tao (IQ Score: 230)
Terence “Terry” Chi-Shen Tao is an Australian-American mathematician born on 17 July 1975. As a child prodigy with an IQ of 230, Tao had outstanding mathematical skills from a young age, enrolling in university-level mathematics courses at age 9. Tao competed in the International Mathematical Olympiad for the first time at the age of ten; he won bronze, silver, and gold medals in 1986, 1987, and 1988, respectively.
In 1988, he was 13 years old when he won the gold medal, making him the youngest Olympian ever to win all three medals. He currently holds the James and Carol Collins chair in mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His studies include harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, probability theory, compressed sensing, and many more.
In 2006, Tao was awarded the Fields Medal, and in 2014, he was awarded the Royal Medal and Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. He is also a MacArthur Fellow for 2006. Tao has written or co-written more than three hundred research papers. He has been referred to as the “Mozart of mathematics” and is widely recognized as one of the best living mathematicians.
Ainan Cawley (IQ Score: 263)
Ainan Celeste Cawley was born in Singapore on November 23, 1999. It is projected that he has an IQ of 263. He is currently pursuing a career in music. According to his parents, Valentine Cawley and Syahidah Osman, Cawley was able to walk at six months, construct complicated phrases by his first birthday, and said his first word at two weeks of age.
Cawley delivered his first public speech at the age of six, passed the GCSE in chemistry at the age of seven and a month, and then studied chemistry at the tertiary level at Singapore Polytechnic a year later. At the age of nine, he could recall the periodic table and recite pi to 518 decimal places. At the age of 12, he composed the music for his first film, which aired at the Vilnius International Film Festival. He later directed his own film.
Michael Kearney (Average IQ Score: 263)
Michael Kearney (born in 1984) is a former child prodigy who established global records for being the youngest person to graduate from college and teach at a university. His intelligence quotient has been estimated to be between 200 and 325, which is possibly the highest IQ score. In 1994, he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama. By the age of 22, Michael Kearney had earned four bachelor’s degrees and a doctorate.
In October 2006, Kearney won $100,000 as a finalist in the trivia-and-puzzle game Gold Rush. In November 2006, in front of a nationwide audience on Entertainment Tonight, he won an additional $1 million as the grand prize.
Above are the top 15 individuals with the highest IQ, however, the list continues. Due to the fact that the idea of intelligence quotient (IQ) did not exist in the early times, not all values are exact and are instead estimated by specialists. There is still no doubt that the individuals listed above have outstanding IQs, with Michael Kearney being on top with an IQ score of 263. We have a significant number of intelligent individuals who are contributing to the greater good of humanity.