Laos is the least populated country in Indochina; home to nearly 7 million people. It is a single-party Marxist state, and ranks close to Cambodia and Burma on the tail end of human development indices. Ethnic Lao are about 55% of the population and inhabit the lowland regions. Numerous ethnic minorities inhabit more elevated regions, including the Hmong, who are about 8% of the population.

In this post I review one small study with intelligence test data for the nation of Laos. I also summarize over a dozen studies with intelligence and achievement test scores for Laotians living in the United States. A majority of these studies are for Hmong Americans.

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HVGIQ: Thailand

Thailand has a population of over 64 million people, which is comparable to the United Kingdom or France. It is the world’s 21st most populous country.

IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002) and IQ and Global Inequality (2006) both assign Thailand an IQ of 91 based on one clinical trial from 1989. Lynn and Vanhanen (2012, p. 417) add two more studies that push their estimate down to 88. Some of their numbers are reported inaccurately and these books overlook larger, higher quality, and more recent intelligence test studies for this nation. In particular—as I noted on Gene Expression almost a decade ago—the government of Thailand has implemented broad national IQ surveys, which have been reported in relation to U.S. and U.K. test norms.

In this post I review almost 50 studies of intelligence and scholastic achievement for the nation of Thailand. Many representative studies since the 1990s give conflicting results, making a solid estimate of Thailand’s IQ a difficult task.
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HVGIQ: Vietnam

Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen did not have a study for Vietnam in IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002). Then, beginning with their follow-up book, IQ and Global Inequality (2006), Lynn added a bogus study for Vietnam and gave the world’s 13th most populous country a made-up national IQ of 94. In short, Lynn’s dataset does not have an IQ study for Vietnam.

In this post I review two dozen intelligence and achievement test studies for Vietnam and Vietnamese populations living internationally. While IQ in Vietnam is lower than I anticipated, there is evidence that Vietnamese people have high intellectual potential.

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HVGIQ: Cambodia

Much like Burma, Cambodia is a populous Southeast Asian country with a toxic authoritarian government, and routinely shows up at the back of human development indices. Richard Lynn’s international IQ dataset likewise does not yet have a study for this country.

Lynn & Vanhanen (2002, p. 74) make an IQ estimate of 89 for Cambodia by averaging together scores from its regional neighbors Thailand (91) and the Philippines (86). IQ and Global Inequality (2006, p. 56) revises this estimate to 91 by averaging together scores from three neighbors: Laos (89), Thailand (91), and Vietnam (94). Lynn & Vanhanen’s most recent update (2012, p. 21) assigns Cambodia an IQ of 92, but it’s not entirely clear why, as this book no longer lists the nations used to generate regional estimates. Presumably it’s the rounded average of Laos (89) and Vietnam (94).

In this post I present several different intelligence studies from Cambodia, as well some data for U.S. immigrants. These studies suggest that Cambodia has one of the lowest IQs in the world, but their achievement test scores in the U.S. exceed blacks and Hispanics.
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HVGIQ: Burma

Burma, also known as Myanmar, has a population of over 60 million, and is the world’s 24th most populous nation. With an authoritarian, military-controlled government, it is also one of the poorest and most dysfunctional places on earth—you will find it nestled together with mostly African countries at the back of most human development rankings.

Richard Lynn’s international dataset does not yet have a study for Burma. IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002, p. 74) makes an estimate of 86 by averaging together IQ from neighboring India (81) and Thailand (91). IQ and Global Inequality (2006, p. 59) bumps up India’s IQ to 82, which changes the Burma estimate to 87. The latest version of the dataset (Lynn & Vanhanen, 2012, p. 26) assigns a lower IQ to Thailand (88), which means that Lynn’s most recent estimate for Burma is 85.

I was able to locate one published intelligence study for Burma. The results are surprising, but the research contains no obvious flaws. Intellectual potential in Southeast Asia is an issue filled with contradiction and uncertainty.
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