There are a number of different ways of measuring intelligence but the most widely accepted method is by measuring a person's 'intelligence quotient' or IQ which is a series of tests which assess mathematical, spatial, verbal, logic and memory.
The average IQ is between 90 and 110 and in the World Rankings Hong Kong and Singapore are top with an average of 108, the UK is joint 7th with an average of 100, Canada and Germany joint 8th with 99, Australia, France, USA and Spain joint 9th with 98 while poor old Equatorial Guinea are bottom with an average of just 59.
Over the last 100 years our IQ scores have been steadily increasing but the trend is slowing and scientists are expecting it to start falling back which means that our generation could be the peak of human intelligence.
Our brains have stayed the same size over the last 70,000 years and IQ's most improved over the last 100 years at a rate of around three points a decade with improvements in the environment, health and education standards.
However since the mid-90s, the average IQ dropped by around 0.2 points a year and science is struggling to find a reason behind it but i have a suggestion, technology which most came to the fore around the time the IQ began to drop.
Calculators do the maths for us, we no longer have to know our times tables or work out percentages and i have seen a scary drop in spelling amongst the upcoming generations once spellcheck is taken away.
Where once we had to commit to memory all sorts of facts and figures, we now have Google at our fingertips so why bother to take the time and effort to dates and events when it is quicker and easier to tap it into a search engine.
As less people now read books and newspapers, reading skills will almost certainly be the next big area to dip but of course technology is always going to be with us so what does it matter as long as we have a calculator, a search engine and spellcheck and that is fine but it is the times when you don't have these to hand you will be found wanting.
It may be just a coincidence that the mid-90s was when technology with computers and mobile phones really took off while IQ scores began to fall away but someone with a much higher IQ than me may want to look for a correlation there.