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The average IQ of a Mbuti Pygmy is 54 [1] which profoundly affects the type of work they can do and level of education they can attain.  Few grasp the impact of this figure; so, it is illustrated in the following charts and explanations.

An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.  Approximately 95% of the population scores within two SDs of the mean, i.e. has an IQ between 70 and 130.

Classification of IQ

IQ Range Inteligence Classification
130 and over Gifted
120–129 High
110–119 High Average
90–109 Average
80–89 Low Average
70–79 Borderline
Below 69 Extremely Low
54 Pygmies

IQ scores are used as predictors of educational achievement, special needs, job performance and income.

Average adult IQs associated with real-life accomplishments

MDs, JDs, or PhDs 125+
College graduates 115-112
1–3 years of college 115-104
Clerical and sales workers 105-100
High school graduates, skilled workers (e.g., electricians, cabinetmakers) 100-97
1–3 years of high school(completed 9–11 years of school) 95-90
Semi-skilled workers(e.g. truck drivers, factory workers) 95-90
Elementary school graduates(completed eighth grade) 90
Elementary school dropouts(completed 0–7 years of school) 85
Have 50/50 chance of reaching high school 75
Pygmies 54


     Average IQ of various occupational groups



Professional and technical 112
Managers and administrators 104
Clerical workers, sales workers, skilled workers, craftsmen, and foremen 101
Semi-skilled workers (operatives, service workers, including private household) 92
Unskilled workers 87
Adults can harvest vegetables, repair furniture 60
Pygmies 54
Adults can do domestic work 50

IQ scores do have high predictive validity for individual differences in school achievement and adult occupational status. Individual differences in intelligence are substantially influenced by both genetics and environment.

33 points separate Pygmies from the average IQ of an unskilled laborer.  For perspective, look at the 10 point difference between the averageIQ of a college grad and the average IQ of a PhD or the six point difference between a high school drop out and a high school graduate.  The 2009 Handbook of Crime Correlates stated that around eight IQ points separate criminals from the general population, especially for persistent serious offenders.

A diagnosis of mental retardation is in part based on the results of IQ testing. Borderline intellectual functioning is a categorization where a person has below average cognitive ability (an IQ of 71–85), but the deficit is not as severe as mental retardation (70 or below).

The average IQ of Pygmies is 16 points below the upper limit of mental retardation.

Stanford-Binet Scale of Human Intelligence

IQ Score

Original Term

Modern Term

145 and over Genius
120–144 High Above Average
110–119 Above Average
90–109 Average or Normal
80–89 Dull Normal
70–79 Borderline Deficiency Mild disability
50–69 Moderate disability
54 Pygmies
20–49 Severe disability
Below 20 Profound disability

Individual differences in intelligence are substantially influenced by both genetics and environment.  A number of biological factors, including malnutrition, exposure to toxic substances, and various prenatal and perinatal stressors, result in lowered psychometric intelligence.

There is also a tendency of children with a high number of siblings to be the least intelligent.

Those with greater educational achievement have fewer children, while children with lower IQ come from larger families as primary evidence that intelligence and fertility are negatively correlated.

…socio-economic status is negatively correlated with indicators of conscientiousness such as work ethicmoral values and crime.  There is a genetic basis for the differences in conscientiousness. Twin studies provide evidence of a high heritability for the trait. The less conscientious, such as criminals, have more offspring.

It seems to me that Pygmies never stop having children.  Many Pygmy women have 10 children. But, the infant mortality rate in the jungle with no defense against malaria is probably the worst in the world.  The riskiest country in the world to be a new mother is the Democratic Republic of Congo.  And, for Pygmies it is far worse. No one knows the statistics because Pygmies are not given a record of their birth or any documents.

Pygmies are a different race than the surrounding Bantoes (who have an average IQ of 67). Pygmies mature faster and some start having children at age eight.  Thank God, where we work it is usually later.  The average life span of a Pygmy was only 18 to 24 per two older studies. I know the average is getting better where we work.

There are a million points to talk about. I just want to talk about one now. Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo are to me “the least of these My brothers and sisters”  as in “What you have done to the least of these My brothers and sisters you have done to Me.”  See Matthew 25:40).

My life is to serve Jesus.  To me, He looks like an especially small blind Pygmy with an alcohol problem.  Jesus also lives in a Pygmy girl in the forest who has never been to school, can’t write her name, doesn’t know her age or how to count and is now pregnant.  Her face is becoming tattooed and wrinkled and her head is being filled with strange ideas that Pygmies believe and teach.  She may die in child birth. She is too young to have a baby.

What is the future of her baby?


[1]  according to Richard Lynn in a review of the global Intelligence Quotient (IQ) data, surveying 620 published studies from around the world, with a total of 813,778 tested individuals. [1]

 [2] Rushton, J. P. (2006). “Lynn Richard, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis, Washington Summit Books, Augusta, GA (2005) ISBN 1-59368-020-1, 318 pages

Other Sources: Wikipedia