Is Human Intelligence Rising With Each Generation?

Millennials tend to get a bad rap from older generations for being entitled, self-absorbed and unfocused. They are not the first young generation to be maligned by an older one, a tradition that doesn’t have much basis in reality. In fact, research consistently shows that human intelligence scores increase with each generation.

Now, thanks to some new data from a longitudinal study, we might have a better understanding of why: each subsequent generation, so far, has enjoyed a higher standard of living than the one preceding it — better nutrition and medical care, education and job opportunities.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen and Scottish health board NHS Grampian studied 751 people born in Aberdeen, divided into two groups — one born in 1921 and the other in 1936 — known as the Aberdeen Birth Cohort. They were all tested at age 11 and then again up to five times between 1998 and 2011.

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