Why the Finnish are such smarty-pants

Why is it that some relatively minor country always wins out over Japan or Germany or the UK (the US doesn’t have a chance) for having the brightest kids in the world? This year, it’s Finland. Hong Kong came in second. Both economies barely make a dent when it comes to global superpowers, yet they’ve managed to churn out quite a number of smarty-pants.

For Finland, the clue lies in an educational system where there’s no such thing as tuition and high school students receive freebies like meals and books. Still, it’s a bit surprising that not more Asian countries are topping this list, considering how hard students are pushed there. For instance, it’s not unusual for kids in China to begin studying for the college entrance exam in 7th grade. And that’s if the kid’s somewhat of a beach bum.

The list was based on testing high schoolers in each of the countries. What that made me think about was exactly how much fun and leisure time students from these countries have? Is it just me or does it seem that the Fins still manage to throw some good parties? Kind of interesting they’re so smart without seeming like bookworms.