While many Mensa members hail from developed countries, there are plenty of undiscovered children with impressive intelligence in developing nations. According to the Hindustan Times, Mensa's India offices in Delhi tested over 4,000 underprivileged kids in the city and National Capital Region over the past few months.
Mensa IQ test results
Of the 4,000 children who took IQ tests for kids, 102 tested as "extremely bright," and more than 12 scored over 145, which means they are geniuses. The other top scores were between 130 and 145, and kids who achieved this ranking are "very gifted."
The president of Mensa India told the publication he believes there are around 6 million poor gifted children across India, but because of their lack of resources, the kids will never receive recognition or reach their full potential.
Childhood smarts and poverty
According to the organization, Mensa's fastest-growing segment includes youth under age 18. The Hindustan Times listed the average score on Mensa India's IQ test as between 85 and 115, or of average to below-average intelligence. Children in lower income areas and developing countries do not have access to the same quality of financial and health care resources as those who are better off financially. During the Mensa India testing, proctors moved many of the children to the front of the class due to poor eyesight for which they'd never sought medical attention. Some kids in these locales may be forced to work to care for ailing family members and provide food to their siblings, even when they have the incredible intellectual capacity of geniuses.
A study published in Science Today found that poverty-related concerns, like worrying about money or food, can reduce a person's cognitive abilities, literally lowering his or her IQ. The study also found participants who were well-off did not experience lessening in cognitive functioning when finances were brought up, but the topic did affect individuals who had lower incomes. For those children living in Delhi, their family statuses and finances can greatly affect their educational outcomes as shown on the Mensa tests. They also may underperform in school due to the stresses of their home lives where they care for their families and potentially work outside of school hours. This may be true across the world, not just in the NCR area of India, and may also not be limited to developing countries.