Studies Showing Babies Are Getting Dumber After 2020

Can we actually believe the stat after all the technologies we are bringing to the table?

Suvadeep Paul
Published in
3 min readMar 21


Studies Showing We Are Getting Dumber After 2020
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Isn’t it unthinkable that in the era of modern technologies and machines, where new futuristic devices are created every day and humans are planning to take life to another planet while the market is booming with artificial intelligence, babies are born dumber every day?

No, what I said previously is not wrong at all.

According to the studies of some famous institutes, babies born after 2020 are getting dumber.

This is actually the first time since 1904 when the IQ was invented, that a dip in intelligence is seen.

Let me slowly dive into it. But before that, here is a brief explanation of IQ.

What is IQ

The intelligence quotient (IQ) is a type of score used to measure an individual’s mental ability compared to their peers. The average IQ score of the peer group is set at 100, which was obtained by testing a large number of people from various socio-economic backgrounds.

The term "IQ" was coined in 1912 by William Stern, a psychologist, who defined it as a ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100. Therefore, if a 10-year-old individual has a mental age of 10, their IQ would be 100.

However, if their mental age is higher or lower than their chronological age, their IQ would be higher or lower than 100, respectively.

Are babies actually born dumber?

According to two studies conducted by Brown University, Columbia University, and five other reputable institutions, cognitive development in babies is deteriorating.

Until 2020, there has been a consistent rise in IQ scores, which is commonly known as the “Flynn effect,” with an increase of at least three IQ points per decade.

As per the research, the babies who were born in 2020, during the pandemic, have lost 22 IQ points, which is similar to 77 years of IQ gains.

The effect is more visible in boys and children from lower economic backgrounds.

What is the reason behind the babies getting dumb?

Although there is no proper reason for the decline, there are two causes that should be noted.

  • Parents spending more time online can be one the reason behind this fall. According to the Pew Research Centre,

three in four parents have been online more frequently since the pandemic began, with nearly one-third of adults reporting they are now online “almost constantly.”

What can we do about it?

The encouraging news is that intelligence is not predetermined or unchangeable. Extensive research conducted over many years has demonstrated that IQ can be improved over the course of a person’s life.

Studies have revealed significant increases in IQ among children with autism who received intensive behavioral interventions at an early age. The crucial factor is early intervention.



Suvadeep Paul

I write on Medium Growth, Personal Development, Life, Experiences, and Health. Subscribe to The Growth Newsletter -