National intelligence and suicide rate across Europe: an alternative test using educational attainment data

Psychol Rep. 2007 Oct;101(2):512-8. doi: 10.2466/pr0.101.2.512-518.


National mean scores on a historical knowledge test (taken as a proxy for intelligence), stemming from representative samples of male (and female) 9th-grade school students from 26 European countries in a 1999 report by Wilberg and Lynn, were significantly positively associated with the national male (and female) suicide rates, independent of the general quality-of-living conditions in these countries. This finding replicates previous evidence from cross-national studies (by Lester and by Voracek), of a correspondence of higher national IQ to higher suicide rates, with an alternative measure of national IQ that is independent of the national IQ estimates recently published by Lynn and Vanhanen which have been used in prior studies.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*