The American President Believed To Have Had The Highest IQ

Running any country is a huge responsibility, and successfully leading a country like the United States can be especially challenging. A country of this size and that is home to such diverse peoples, cultures, and beliefs, ideally requires a strong, intelligent Commander in Chief. In its relatively short existence as a country, the U.S. has had different men preside over it as president. Some have been good, some have not been so great. Some have been excellent leaders, while others have left much to be desired. As such, choosing the next president is always an important decision, and there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration. For some, this might include the potential candidate's IQ.

According to Ranker, an IQ test, or intelligence quotient test, is a combination of standardized tests that are used to determine a person's intelligence level. In recent years, the IQ levels of both past and recent United States presidents have become a subject of exploration. The average score on an IQ test is around 100, while 140 or above is considered more genius territory. Research has revealed that the average among the presidents was around 130. So generally speaking, they have been relatively intelligent across the board, with a couple of outliers on either side.

It's someone you may not expect

One of the most common questions that people have been asking is, which U.S. president has (or had) the highest IQ? This is a bit of a tough question to get a definitive answer to, largely due to the fact that the majority of the presidents were born long before the modern IQ test, which first made its appearance in 1905, says Business Insider. Despite this, psychological studies have been done to take an educated guess as to where various presidents might fall on the IQ scale.

According to a 2006 study by Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California at Davis (posted at JSTOR), it is likely that the president with the highest IQ was John Quincy Adams. Estimates have put his IQ as high as 175, theoretically making him what we consider a genius. Though his presidency was not necessarily outstanding, the man himself had many impressive accomplishments. He was a Harvard graduate, a lawyer who was so good he didn't need to complete law school (yes, really), he was fluent in seven languages, and was an amazing orator and diplomat.

In addition to John Quincy Adams, there were a handful of other presidents with impressively high IQs. Thomas Jefferson seems to be a close second with 165, while James Madison was right behind him at 160. As for some of our more modern presidents, we had a couple of pretty smart guys in there as well, including John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.