Over the nearly 250 years that the United States has existed, it has had 46 different president. Some are fondly remembered, others not as much, and even fewer are barely remembered at all. Not all presidents were equally fit to take the Oval Office. Here are all of the US presidents ranked by their IQ.
Ulysses S. Grant – 130
While it’s unfair to call any of the presidents geniuses, they were all still rather intelligent. The “least intelligent” president, Ulysses S. Grant had an IQ of 130, which is 15 points above the average.
George W. Bush – 138.5
George W. Bush has a reputation for potentially being the dumbest president in US history. It’s not completely out of left field, as he wasn’t a particularly skilled public speaker. Although, he does have the second lowest IQ on this list at 138.5. Still though, consider that that’s quite a bit higher than the average.
James Monroe – 138.6
James Monroe was the last of the Founding Fathers to be elected president. And in comparison to all of them, his IQ was much lower. However, as mentioned before, an IQ of 138.6, even if it’s the third lowest score on this list, is considered “very superior” intelligence.
Andrew Johnson – 138.9
Andrew Johnson was the president that succeeded Lincoln after his assassination. With an IQ 138.9, he attempted to restore the seceded states into the Union. However, as he didn’t grant protections to former slaves, his actions came under fire from congress. As such, he was the first president to ever by impeached.
William Howard Taft – 139.5
With an IQ of 139.5, Taft may be pretty low on this list, but he also had a pretty successful career in politics. He was president between 1909-1913, then became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court between 1921-1930.
James Buchanan – 139.6
James Buchanan had an IQ of 139.6. He was the president that held office during the lead-up to the Civil War. He was later succeeded by a much smarter and famous president.
Zachary Taylor – 139.8
Zachary Taylor’s IQ was 139.8. While he may not have been the most effective president, he was still considered a war hero that fought in the Mexican-American War. He had earned the nickname “Old Rough and Ready” for his deeds.
Harry S. Truman – 139.8
Harry S. Truman had an IQ of 139.8, putting him in the bottom quarter of presidential IQs. He served as the president at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. He was well-known for his aggressive personality.
Warren G. Harding – 139.9
Warren G. Harding’s IQ was 139.9. His time as president was cut short by a fatal heart attack during his third year in office. While he was one of the most popular presidents prior to his death, he also had several scandals revealed after his death. Now he’s one of the least fondly remembered presidents.
George Washington – 140
George Washington’s IQ was 140. Not particularly high on this list, but the precedent he set while in office includes some things that presidents still follow today. He was certainly intelligent in his own way.
Gerald Ford – 140.4
Gerald Ford’s IQ was 140.4. Over the years, he developed a sort of reputation for being on the duller side. While his IQ puts him on the lower half of the presidential spectrum, his IQ is barely higher than a quarter of all presidents.
Lyndon B. Johnson – 140.6
Lyndon B. Johnson’s IQ was 140.6. He was known for taking over the presidency after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. While him ramping up the US presence in Vietnam was one of his more unfavorable actions, he was also the president that signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Herbert Hoover – 141.6
Herbert Hoover’s IQ was 141.6. He was president during part of the Great Depression. And by the end of his term, he was wildly unpopular in the country.
Calvin Coolidge – 141.6
Calvin Coolidge’s IQ was 141.6, the same as Herbert Hoover’s. His intelligence was rather average as far as presidents go. He was actually known as “Silent Cal”, due to his reputation for being mostly quiet and relatively unremarkable.
Ronald Reagan – 141.9
Ronald Reagan’s IQ was 141.9. Most people either hate him or love him due to his actions during the Cold War. However, he had average presidential intelligence as well.
Richard Nixon – 142.9
Richard Nixon’s IQ was 142.9. While one of the most controversial presidents of all time, he isn’t one of the dumbest. He did have the intelligence to resign from the presidency after the Watergate scandal after all.
George H. W. Bush – 143
George H. W. Bush had an IQ of 143. He’s pretty close to the average of presidential IQs. He’s gained a reputation for not being the brightest bulb. While a controversial figure, he certainly wasn’t dumb though.
James K. Polk – 143.4
James K. Polk’s IQ was 143.4. He was actually known to be one of the most effective presidents in the pre-Civil War period. He actually accomplished most of the things on his original presidential agenda, won the Mexican-American War, and kept the US out of war with the UK.
William McKinley – 143.4
William McKinley’s IQ was 143.4. He has the same IQ as Polk. Although, one of the things he’s best known for was keeping the country using gold to make coins as opposed to switching to silver, which most wanted by that time.
Grover Cleveland – 144
Grover Cleveland’s IQ was 144. Pretty close to being in the upper half of presidential IQs, but not quite there. He wasn’t particularly amazing as a president, but he definitely wasn’t bad at his job. He was also the only president to serve non-consecutive terms, being both the 22nd and 24th president of the US.
Andrew Jackson – 145
Andrew Jackson’s IQ was 145, right in the middle of presidential IQs. Jackson believed in putting trust in the common man to make the right decision.
Dwight Eisenhower – 145.1
Dwight Eisenhower’s IQ was 145.1, just barely edging out Jackson. He’s the president you can thank for interstate highways. Without him, cross-country travel would be a lot more difficult than it is today.
Benjamin Harrison – 145.4
Benjamin Harrison’s IQ was 145.4. He was the president between Cleveland’s two terms. His IQ is just barely above the top 50 percent in regards to presidential IQs. He’s also technically more intelligent than Cleveland by 1.4 IQ points.
Martin Van Buren – 146
Martin Van Buren’s IQ was 146. While his IQ is slightly above the average for presidents, historians consider him a below average president. He had even earned the nickname “Martin Van Ruin” while in office.
Rutherford B. Hayes – 146.3
Rutherford B. Hayes’ IQ was 146.3. He’s a pretty average guy by today’s standard, but he wasn’t back then. There would have only been 2,500 people with higher IQs than him when he was president.
William Henry Harrison – 146.3
William Henry Harrison’s IQ was a bit above the presidential average, but that’s all we really know for sure about his presidency. He died of pneumonia only 31 days into his term, making him the shortest-serving president in US history.
Franklin Pierce – 147.4
Franklin Pierce’s IQ is 147.4. While his IQ is one point above the presidential average. However, he wasn’t above average in any other respects as president. Many historians rank him among the least presidents in the US.
John Tyler – 148
John Tyler’s IQ was 148. He was the tenth president, taking office after William Henry Harrison died. He was definitely up there in terms of intelligence, especially for his time.
Millard Fillmore – 149
Millard Fillmore’s IQ is just shy of the top quarter of presidential IQs at 149. He was initially elected vice president but then was called into action after President Zachary Taylor’s untimely death. Although, he was widely unpopular and is considered one of the nation’s worst presidents.
Abraham Lincoln – 150
Abraham Lincoln’s IQ was 150. That means that he wasn’t just one of the smartest presidents, but one of the smartest people of his day. Living in an era where it was difficult to get a formal education, Lincoln being able to home his mental ability was all the more impressive. There’s a reason he’s one of the most positively remembered presidents.
Franklin D. Roosevelt – 150.5
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s IQ was 150.5. He’s one of the most celebrated presidents, having brought an end to the Great Depression and serving through the the majority of World War II. He served four terms in office for a reason. It’s no wonder he ranks in the top 25 percent of presidential IQs.
Chester A. Arthur – 152.3
Chester A. Arthur didn’t have a particularly remarkable career as president. Although, his IQ of 152.3 is rather remarkable.
James A. Garfield – 152.3
James A. Garfield’s IQ was 152.3. He was one of the smartest presidents, tied for tenth, at least in terms of IQ. Tragically, he was assassinated the same year he was elected, causing Chester A. Arthur to take his place.
Theodore Roosevelt – 153
Theodore Roosevelt’s relative, Franklin, may have been more popular as a president, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he was smarter. Teddy’s IQ was estimated to be 153. It might be the reason he’s associated with so many different quites.
John Adams – 155
John Adams IQ was 155. For the time he lived in, that was absolutely massive. Even today, he’s still in the top quarter of the presidential IQs. He is the Founding Father that helped draft the Constitution, broker a peace treaty with England, and end the Revolutionary War. The second president is generally remembered favorably by history.
Woodrow Wilson – 155.2
Woodrow Wilson’s IQ was 155.2. He’s another one of the presidents regarded fondly by historians. Being the president that presided over World War I, it only makes sense.
Jimmy Carter – 156.8
Jimmy Carter’s IQ is 156.8. He’s actually still alive at 97 years old and is the oldest living president. Some underestimate him due to his actions while in office, but he’s considerably intelligent. He’s currently involved in several charity and humanitarian projects around the world.
Bill Clinton – 159
Bill Clinton’s IQ is 159. He’s a controversial figure nowadays, and is one of the few presidents to have ever been impeached. He was accused of perjury after all. But it’s hard to dispute that he’s the fifth smartest US president, at least in terms of IQ.
John F. Kennedy – 159.8
John F. Kennedy’s IQ was 159.8. He was not just one of the smartest presidents, but was actually the youngest president ever elected into office. He was also the first Catholic to be elected into office. He was assassinated only a few years into his term, unfortunately, so we never got to see the full extant of his brain at work.
James Madison – 160
James Madison’s IQ was 160. He was a Founding Father after all. And Madison is the president created as the father of the Constitution. In addition to being president, he also served as an advisor of George Washington and the secretary of state of Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson – 160
Speaking of Thomas Jefferson, his IQ was 160 as well. Jefferson and Madison are tied for having the second highest IQ of all presidents. Again, this isn’t too surprising, as Jefferson was the Founding Father responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence.
John Quincy Adams – 175
John Quincy Adams’ IQ was 175. And having an IQ that high in the early 19th century meant that he was smarter than 99.999943% of all people on Earth at the time. So it’s not too surprising that this Adams was the smartest president of them all.
Barack Obama – ???
Barack Obama was a constitutional scholar and author of two best-selling books before running for president. His time as a senator in particular made him even more desirable for the position. It’s not easy to dispute that Obama was an intelligent man, although his exact IQ has not yet been revealed by a creditable source.
Donald Trump – ???
The last president, Donald Trump, has boasted of an impressive IQ in the past, but what that number may be has not yet been revealed. Although, Dean Keith Simonton, the researcher that researched and uncovered the IQs of all the other former presidents, has hypothesized that it’s not very high.
Joe Biden – ???
Joe Biden is the current United States president. Having been Obama’s former vice president, he seemed desirable for the role, but has since struggled to keep anyone happy. We don’t know his IQ yet, and it may be a bit hard to see how he stacks up against the other presidents.