Who Is The Smartest Living Person In The World Today?

There are over 7.5 billion people alive today, according to World Population Review, each of whom is a kaleidoscope of varying skills and types of intelligence. Accurately pinpointing which one of us is the smartest is essentially an impossible task without creating an all-encompassing standard for intelligence and then testing every living human being fairly. If you were to pull off such a feat, the smartest person in the world would likely be you. That being said, there are certainly many good candidates who have distinguished themselves through IQ testing and scientific achievement. 

In terms of IQ, the candidates for smartest living person include Marilyn vos Savant, Terence Tao, and Christopher Hirata, all of whom boast IQ's between 225 and 230, according to Science Trends. Vos Savant held the Guinness World Record for Smartest Person in the World until the record was done away with in 1990, according to All That's Interesting. She now runs the popular "Ask Marilyn" column and is married to the inventor of the artificial heart. Tao is a mathematician and Hirata is an astrophysicist and cosmologist. For the record, Worldwide IQ Test states that above 170, it gets hard to accurately gauge IQ.

In terms of measurable achievement, it could be argued that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with inventing what became the World Wide Web, has had more of an impact on the world than anyone else living. His IQ isn't public, but surely he's a smart fellow.

If you expand the question to include anyone who's ever lived, Einstein would surely make the list, but according to NPR, William James Sidis is considered by some to be the smartest of all time, with an IQ estimated between 50 and 100 points higher than Einstein, which would put him as high as 260, and firmly above anyone else. The article states that "he could read the New York Times before he was 2. At age 6, his language repertoire included English, Latin, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Turkish and Armenian," and he was at Harvard by age 11, going on to author numerous books on a wide range of subjects and learning about 25 languages conversationally, including one of his own creation.

So, the real answer is that there is no one "smartest person in the world." Forget the numbers and live life to the best of your abilities.