Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm heading to snow country for a few days, but the dealer will be back soon enough to feed the numbers addiction in all of us. On an unempirical note, Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The other blessings of economic freedom: If you just read my post right below this one, you might say to yourself that, ok economically free countries are rich, but they are both unequal and indifferent to the welfare of others. Wrong on both accounts: using the same sample I just described, I found that economic freedom is positively related to a willingness to help others (.57) and basically unrelated to income inequality (-.14). Evidently, markets create wealth, they distribute it broadly, and the wealth they create gives people the luxury to worry about the well-being of others.
Freedom and national wealth are empirically indistinguisable: Continuing my exploration of cross-national data, I noticed an extraordinarily large correlation between economic freedom and per capita GDP. Sample size was between 30 and 40, and the measures were normally distributed. The Pearson correlation was almost .90. Translation: national wealth and market freedom are almost empirically indistinguishable here. Where you have one, you will have the other.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Discrimination, my ass: I have avoided commentary on this blog, figuring that the last thing the blogosphere needs is another fact-free gasbag, but after reading yet another "achievement gap" article, I really need to vent.

Students of the so-called prejudice problem obsess about race (thereby making ME obsess about race) but there are people with any number of traits that those in power might not want to help. The traditional power-holder has been a Christian, an English speaker, an American by culture, heterosexual, a member of a particular family, a man, and a white. An employer or professor, for example, might have something against people not matching himself in any of these characteristics.

So let's forget the facts for a moment and predict who would be at the bottom of the social ladder on the basis of the preceding points. He, or rather, she would be non-Christian, not good at English, not steeped in American culture, and not white. The woman who fits this desciption perhaps the best is Chinese. So is she at the bottom? Exactly the opposite of correct. She is more likely than a female member of any other American ethnic group to have a bachelor's degree or higher. In fact, according to the General Social Survey, the only men more educated than she are Chinese and Indian men. Discrimination, my ass.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Neo-Nazis are the most hated group in the world: The World Values Survey asked almost 17,000 people from 11 countries(Azerbaijan, Australia, Armenia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Georgia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Uruguay) which group they disliked the most. Here is the ranking:

Percent saying the listed group is most disliked:

1. Neo-Nazis/right extremists 26.9
2. Criminals 23.4
3. Guerrillas 9.2
4. Stalinists/hard-line Communists 7.0
5. Drug traffickers 5.5
6. Capitalists 5.2
7. Homosexuals 5.2
8. Immigrants 5.1
9. Para-military 3.7
10. Radical Maori activists 3.2
11. Anarchists/terrorists 2.0
12. Christians 0.6
13. Members of new religions 0.6
14. Kurds 0.5
15. Muslims 0.4
16. Jews 0.4

To Neo-Nazi folks: you know you are not very popular when the world has more regard for criminals, drug lords, and terrorists than for you. Evidently, your Jewish enemies are winning the PR campaign: they're at the bottom of the hate list. Keep in mind that three of the included countries are former Soviet satellites, and they inflated the anti-Nazi number some. Still, the Swiss, for example, are 3.6 times more likely to dislike most the hard Right compared with criminals (67.5% versus 18.6%). Myself, I'm much more fearful of some scumbag attacking my daughter than guys with shaved heads demonstrating for white rights, but maybe I'm odd.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Diversity breeds murder, inequality does not: A standard finding in criminological research is that homicide is strongly related to inequality: in societies with a big gap between the wealthy and the poor, the poor become resentful and take it out on nearby targets, also poor. This theory always seemed a bit of a stretch to me, the idea that I hate how the Man is screwing me, so I kill some guy at the bar for calling me queer. The theory turned every fist fight into something political. But the macrolevel correlation has been very reliable and very strong, I admit. A little investigation of mine evidently explains what is going on. Past cross-national studies always had a handful of Latin American countries with soaring homicide rates, and we all know that part of world reigns supreme in the rich-poor gap. So these outliers basically determined the size of the correlations. And yes, Latin murders are frequently political and tied to inequality.

But the whole situation changes with the sample I just constructed. I gathered the most recent homicide data for all countries that have published it. Data is now available from all the former Soviet countries. These are relatively equal countries, many of which have horrible violence of the organized crime type. When they are included in the analysis, the inequality-homicide link disappears.

Ethnic heterogenity, on the other hand, does have a significant influence on violence. The correlation between it and male homicide victmization rates is .41; for female victims, it's .48. Diversity breeds distrust and conflict, and can even lead to murder.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do blacks bargain hunt as much as whites? This debate between Steve Sailer (I like) and Malcolm Gladwell (I'm indifferent to) has been very interesting. As is usually the case, my response to this sort of thing is what does the crystal ball (i.e., General Social Survey) say? Are blacks big spenders or bargain hunters, the same as whites?. (By the way, their reputation for cheapskate tipping suggests the latter). According to the GSS, 51.5% of whites (138 out of 268) who bought a car in the past 5 years chose a particular dealership because, after searching out the best price, they decided that it was the place to go. The number for blacks: 47.8% (22 out of 46). A small difference. As much as I'd hoped these data would back up Steve, there's not much evidence here. Keep in mind the black sample is small, and doing one's homework before buying a car is a bit different than face-to-face interactions with a salesman.

I'm pretty much a penny pincher, and I do seem to see quite a few blacks shop where I frequently shop: Walmart, dollar stores, Big Lots. I don't care that being seen there makes me look like a tight wad, and some blacks evidently feel the same. (Of course, this is anecdotal, and I don't know if blacks are truly over-represented or under-represented in these stores.).

Steve (and Posner) might be right, but the process of negotiating the price of a car is to some degree a battle of wits and manipulation, so wouldn't the IQ difference naturally come up as an explanation? If the opponent is weaker, the greedy salesman will exploit that. In the case of blacks it could be general intelligence. In the case of women, it could be less knowledge and haggling skills.
American Indians have poor vocabularies: Let's continue our look at ethnic groups who report multiple races. Among people saying they are American Indian (AI), they answered one of three races: white, black, other. Here are the mean vocabulary scores for these three categories:

Mean vocabulary scores (General Social Survey):

White American Indians 5.52
Black American Indians 4.65
Other American Indians 4.62

As we saw with Hispanics, more white ancestry is associated with higher scores, but having black ancestry does not lower the average. In fact, the average of all blacks is 5.01, so having AI ancestry lowers the scores of blacks. The pure AI average of 4.62 is lower than the non-white Hispanic mean of 5.34. So clearly, AI's do poorly on vocabulary tests. I imagine that some of this is due to low-quality environments--AI's often have worse indicators than blacks.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Do race differences among Hispanics correlate with IQ? I calculated the mean vocabulary scores from the General Social Survey for the following groups:

Mean vocabulary scores for those born in America:

Non-Hispanic white 6.47
White of Spanish descent 5.81
White Hispanic 5.63
Non-white, non-black Hispanic 5.34

Race is self-described: many white Hispanics are actually mestizos. So we see here that this measure of IQ is positively related to how much European ancestry you have. But the gap between Spanish whites and whites from other countries is larger than any other. Spanish whites are more similar to non-white Hispanics than other whites? Perhaps the explanation is more cultural than genetic?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Support for defective fetus abortions are on the decline

After reading's Razib's post on eugenics, I wandered what the trends are in approving of an abortion if there is a good chance of a birth defect. It turns out that support has been dropping for a decade. The percent approving went from 81.8% in 1996 to 72.9% in 2004. 2002-2004 was the biggest two year drop, and I'd be interested to see the 2006 numbers. The samples were all over 850 people, so the numbers should be fairly accurate. Of course, approval numbers are still high, but as genes moves front stage, we might see some backlash.
Men have more energy than women: As a follow-up to the last post, I thought I would compare men and women on energy levels. For men, the mean 3.22, and for women, it's 2.90. To give you an idea of the size of the difference, it's 1/4 of a standard deviation. Women do seem to complain a lot about how tired they are, but then where's the survey question about how much do you complain?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Which ethnic group has the most energy? Americans were asked how much energy they had the past month (General Social Survey). Answers ranged from all the time (1) to none of the time (6). I calculated the mean answer for the large ethnic groups and subtracted it from 6 so that high numbers indicate having abundant energy:

Mean energy score:

Mexicans 3.38
Jews 3.26
Germans 3.16
Italians 3.14
Blacks 3.10

USA 2.97

Irish 2.97
English 2.85
American Indians 2.77

The American Indian estimate squares with my experience, but I am surprised that the black mean is above average. On the other hand, no one works harder to get their grades changed than black students. And don't accuse me of suppressing stats that make Mexicans look good.

Update: I promised myslef that I would include Jews (a religious, not ethnic group in the General Social Survey) when analyzing ethnic differences, and, just like me, I immediately forgot. Their mean energy score is 3.26, so this is a active group, behind only Mexicans.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mexican-Americans are the most arrested of all ethnic groups: In my post on bad behavior, readers would have liked to see more ethnic groups and more serious behavior. Crime was suggested, so let's look at the percent ever arrest. Let's set the minimum sample size to 50:

Percent ever arrested (sample size in parentheses):

Mexicans 17.4 (195)
Spanish 17.2 (64)
Blacks 16.4 (714)
French Canadians 16.3 (92)
American Indians 14.6 (315)
Italians 14.2 (508)
French 13.2 (189)
Scots 11.5 (278)

USA 11.1

Puerto Ricans 11.0 (73)
Danes 11.0 (73)
Irish 10.4 (969)
Germans 10.2 (1,613)
Swedes 9.6 (146)
English/Welsh 8.8 (1,213)
Russians 8.4 (155)
Poles 8.3 (291)
Czechs 8.3 (121)
Hungarians 7.9 (76)
Dutch 7.8 (153)
Austrians 6.5 (77)
Finns 5.3 (75)
Jews 5.1 (237)
East Asians 1.7 (60)

Since some samples are small, it's advisable to look for regional patterns. Poor non-whites are toward the top of the list. So are those from southern European countries. In the earlier post on bad behavior, Catholics did poorly, but here it's more divided: southern Europeans are arrested at high rates, but those from central and eastern Europe are very law-abiding (Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, and Austrians). The Irish fall into the middle ranks. Northern Europeans have few arrests, except for those angry Scots--a trait that gets you arrested. Jews are second from the bottom: they didn't do as well on my "bad behavior index" because they had high numbers on things that don't get you arrested: thinking cheating on taxes is okay; ethnocentricity; homosexuality; infidelity; and promiscuity. East Asians were Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos combined. Only one person in the sample (Filipino) reported an arrest. The sample is still small, and I don't know about you, but I think the estimate is basically correct.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are smart people crazier? A reader asked if I would look to see if smarter people are more likely to be mentally ill. (Please, if you ever want me to see what the numbers say about anything, just ask). Using General Social Survey data, the mean vocabulary score for those ever having a mental problem is 7.25 (the range is from 1 to 10). For those reporting no problem, the average is 5.98: smarter people are definitely at risk. Surprisingly, the gap narrows for actually receiving help: the average of those who have sought counseling is 6.69; 6.18 for those who never have.

Myself, I must be smart as hell 'cuz I'm one crazy bastard.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

WASPs rule! I wrote in a recent post that I was getting the sense that Americans with Protestant European backgrounds were the best behaved. So I decided to sum all my prior post numbers that dealt with ethnicity and moral behavior to assess this idea systematically. I followed the simple strategy of assigning a rank for each behavior for each of the 8 ethnic groups with sufficiently large sample sizes. Jews were often ignored in previous posts since one must turn to the religion rather than the ethnicity variable to get estimates, but I wanted to include them, so I calculated numbers and then ranks for them.

I included all variables that I have posted on--here's a list of them: okay to cheat on taxes; drinks too much; ethnocentric; dirty house; frequents prostitutes; promiscuous men over 30; feel that infidelity is not wrong; gay; lesbian; husbands and wives who cheat; fathers divorcing mom; women arrested; and promiscuity for men and women and under. I realized that I had not posted on drug abuse so I added that to the rest. I ranked group so high numbers indicate more bad behavior, then I simply summed the 16 rankings for each ethnic group. Here are the totals:

Bad Behavior Index

Blacks 106
Mexicans 85
American Indians 85
Italians 70
Irish 67
Jews 64
Germans 56
English/Welsh 47

My hunch was correct. This pattern coincides with that feeling that goes way back among nativists that the moral quality of the country was slipping with the mass immigration from Catholic, southern and eastern European countries, and more recently in concern over immigration from Mexico.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miami is like a Third World country: Governor Jeb Bush got huffy the other day when Tom Tancredo said that Miami is like a Third World country. Bush and other Florida lawmakers responded with the usual doublespeak, using words like "hospitality" and "vibrant."

Like always, we must ignore what the politicians say, and must rely on data. According to the Census, here is how Miami compares to the rest of the country:

Percent Hispanic
Miami 65.8
USA 14.1

Percent speaking something other than English at home
Miami 74.6
USA 17.9

Percent of people ages 25+ with high school degree
Miami 52.7
USA 80.4

Homeownership rate
Miami 34.9
USA 66.2

Percent poor
Miami 28.5
USA 12.5

Let's see: the city is a place where most people are Hispanic, Spanish-speaking, 1/2 never finished high school, few own homes, and many are poor. Sounds like the Third World to me. And it's coming to your neighborhood next.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who's crazier: blacks or whites? The General Social Survey asked respondents if they had ever experienced a mental health problem. The only two groups large enough to examine are blacks and whites, and 5.3% and 7.7% said yes, respectively. These numbers parallel the racial pattern of suicide. Now, the racial activists tell us that are society is rife with racism, but if that were the case wouldn't mental illness be much more common in blacks? If I were surrounded every day by people who hate me, it might very well take its toll on my sanity. You might respond that prejudice is indeed pervasive, but blacks possess the mental strength to overcome it and even surpass whites in psychiatric health. But oops--now you have violated your own taboo against positing natural mental differences between races.
Other data indicating that Mex-Ams are ethnocentric and strongly tied to Mexico: In earlier posts, I presented evidence from the General Social Survey (GSS) that Mexican Americans are comparatively ethnocentric. Another way to look at it is to see how many of them see themselves as "American only"--people with no roots anywhere except for here. According to the GSS, Mexicans are 5.2% of the population but are only 2.3% of those saying they are only American. Blacks, for example, are much more likely to say yes to this question, even though they could easily identify with Africa if they chose to.
Which Americans have the most sex partners? General Social Survey participants were asked how many different partners they had in the past year. I calculated the mean for 18-30 year olds from ethnic groups with at least 100 respondents:

Mean sex partner in last 12 months (women in parentheses, then the sex difference):

Blacks 2.39 (1.44) +.95
Irish 1.92 (1.36) +.56
Italians 1.85 (1.19) +.66
American Indians 1.83 (1.38) +.45
Mexicans 1.73 (1.48) +.25

USA 1.74 (1.32) +.42

Germans 1.53 (1.21) +.32
English/Welsh 1.51 (1.28) +.23

Blacks have been characterized as the most sexual race, but according to GSS data, this is more true of black men. Mexican American women report more partners than do their black counterparts. Other surveys portray black women as being somewhat conservative about sex. And while other studies also suggest that blacks have more partners, they often do not find that blacks have sex more often, or that they engage in more novel kinds of sex (e.g., anal). In a well-respected study described in the Social Organization of Sexuality, Hispanics had the most sex, and were the most experimental.

The women's rankings tend to follow the men's: the number of partners a woman has are, in part, due to the kind of men she is dealing with. If she is sleeping with someone, she probably wants to keep him, and if she is sleeping with multiple guys in a year, the guys are not sticking around. There is also a pattern of more gender-traditional groups having the biggest sex differences (Italian guys can sleep around, but not the girls).

As we have seen with many kinds of behavior that grandma wouldn't like, rates are highest among non-whites, or among whites from Catholic or southern European countries. (Drinking is an important exception). You and I might not think any group is ultimately superior to another, but Grandma is starting to think that whites from traditionally Protestant countries (and perhaps East Asians and Jews if I studied them more) are.

Friday, November 24, 2006

GSS data cast doubt on the idea that immigrants will shift our values right: Will Mexican immigrants bring a more Catholic tinge to politics? General Social Survey respondents were asked if they approved of abortions for any reason. Below is the percent difference between groups:

Percent difference in approving of abortion for any reason

Mexican Immigrant--All Americans, -17.2%
American-born of Mexican ancestry--Total American-born (ages 26+), -10.1%
American-born of Mexican ancestry--Total American-born (<25), -2.9%

Indeed, Mexicans immigrate with views less favorable to abortion than the average American, but in subsequent generations and among younger Mexican Americans, the gap closes. From these data, America shapes the moral values of immigrant families more than the reverse. These data also say poppycock to neocons who argue that Latinos will move the country in a traditional direction.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Poor Americans are not poor: Thanksgiving Day has got me thinking about abundance and poverty. Students moan in my class about how poor so many Americans are. I looked at the American Community Survey to see what percent of poor Americans own a house. According to the 2000 sample of 52,830 of Americans making less than $20,000 annually total household income, 30.4% own a house free and clear, 17.8% own with a mortgage or loan, and 51.8% rent. The modal home owned has 3 bedrooms. A Third Worlder would giggle if you told him that 1/2 of poor Americans owned a house with 3 bedrooms. That ain't poor, baby.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Is the unemployment-crime link stronger for blacks or whites? In his latest VDARE column, Steve Sailer writes that young, black men are more likely to cause trouble if unemployed compared to other groups. (This was not his main topic, but even his small points are food for thought). In my mind, it could go either way: unable to make a living, the young black man turns to crime while the young white guy sits in his parents' place playing with his new Playstation 3; or a white guy who doesn't have a job is, on average, more troubled and more likely to commit crimes than the unemployed black guy who lives in an envirnoment where not having a job is not that unusual.

I looked at General Social Survey males ages 18 to 22 and compared "active" and "inactive" blacks and whites--"active" means working part- or full-time or in school. Twenty-five percent of active whites report having been arrested compared to 45% of inactive whites. For blacks, arrest rates are 40% for actives and 50% for inactives. From these numbers (and we should view them with caution since the sample size is only 391) an inactive status differentiate whites in terms of criminal behavior more than it does blacks. As with all correlational research, the causal relationships here are difficult to identify. Based on these data, I would say that inactivity is a measure of certain personality traits (e.g., shiftlessness) that lead to crime, and the measure is more valid for whites than blacks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lynching is ancient history

An anonymous reader cited statistics in my earlier post, presumably to show that lynchings were a larger problem than I indicated. My main point was not that lynching was not a serious problem, but rather that most incidents happened prior to 1950. Allow me to comment on the reader's numbers. The first study he cites by Raper is for the years 1989 to 1930. The period from the 192os to the 1930s saw a huge decline in lynchings. This is shown in the above graph. The whole decade of the 1950s--a troubled time for race relations--experienced only 6 black executions. This was the point of my post: there have been very few black lynchings in the last 50 years. Race activists paint a picture of America that has been murdering blacks up until the week before last, but you have to go back 80 years before you find 50 of these victims in a year among a population of over 10 million people.
Let's get some perspective here. With 6 lynchings in the decade of the 50s with 15 million blacks, the annual risk of this kind of murder was .00399 per 100,000 blacks. According to the CDC, the risk of murder for blacks--a crime usually perpetrated by another black--was 21.7 per 100,000 in 2003 (most recent year available). That risk is 5,439 times higher than the risk of being lynched in the 50s. Even if some lynchings were never recorded, there is no possible way that these two risks are in the same ballpark.

I also notice some things in the numbers cited. An accusation of rape was generally not the motivation for the killing, so it is myth that lynchings were motivated by whites who were hysterical about black male/white female sexual contact. In the two cites, lynchings of whites are not directly discussed. According to the source I cited (evidently the same source used by Wikipedia which was also cited) over that same period of 1882-1968, 27.4% or 1,297 of lynch victims were white. It is convenient to ignore white victims since it is easier to portray this phenomenon as pure, rabid hate crime instead of something much more complicated.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How common were black lynchings 50 years ago? After watching what seemed like an hour-long press conference on CNN--the most trusted name in news--where Paul Rodriguez (a co-owner of the Laugh Factory where Michael Richards performed) argued with a foaming-at-the-mouth black audience over the Richards flap, my principal reaction was "Michael Richards is Jewish? I didn't know that."

Later, I wondered if it were true, as Richards said, that fifty years ago a disrespectful black man would find himself "upside down with a fork up his ass." Precisely, how common was lynching in 1956? According to the Tuskegee Institute, the exact number of cases in 1956 was ZERO .

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mexican women are the most criminal in America: I've looked at crime before on this blog, but have not focused on female criminality. Here are the percent who reported to the General Social Survey that they have ever been arrested:

Percent of American women arrested (sample size in parentheses):

Mexicans 9.3 (108)
French 6.1 (114)
Blacks 5.9 (404)
Italians 5.6 (269)
American Indian 4.8 (187)
Germans 4.7 (844)

USA 4.6 (4,626)

Scots 4.6 (131)
Irish 4.5 (581)
Poles 3.8 (159)
English/Welsh 2.8 (647)

I swear I'm not making this up: Mexican women have rates higher than any other group. Blacks and Southern Europeans also have high numbers, while other Europeans and American Indians are average or low.
Many blacks say that Jews are "bloodsuckers": Just about the only American not (weakly) portrayed as an anti-Semite, homophobe, or Jesus freak in "Borat" was the angelic black prostitute who eventually became the protagonist's wife. Yes, blacks remain the icons of humanitarian virtue.

The Survey of Chicago African Americans asked 639 blacks the following question: "Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Black Muslims may be a little extreme to describe Jews as 'blood suckers', but there's a lot of truth to it all the same. Do you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat or disagree strongly?"

One-third said they agree (strongly or somewhat). You're going to have to go to to get a higher number than that.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Evidence that Mexicans are the most ethnocentric group in America: As I just wrote about, the General Social Survey asks respondents about their ethnicity and records a second ethnic group if you mention one. If you don't mention a second, they record again the first ethnicity you mentioned. While most Americans have a mixed family tree, many feel a connection to just one branch. This varies by primary ethnic group. Let's see what percent report no identity except their main one:

Percent saying they have only one ethnicity

Mexicans 73.9
Blacks 51.6
American Indian 51.6
Italians 41.5
French Canadians 35.8
Yugoslavs 34.0
Norwegians 33.2
Irish 32.1
English/Welsh 29.9
Czechs 26.0
Poles 25.8
Scots 23.6
Finns 23.5
Swedes 22.9
Austrians 22.6
Russians 21.4
Portuguese 20.6
Danes 20.2
Hungarians 20.2
Germans 19.6
Dutch 17.8
Rumanians 17.4
Lithuanians 15.6
French 14.5
Greeks 14.3
Swiss 12.7
Spain 12.6

Non-whites are much more likely to see themselves as belonging to one group, and as we saw in the earlier post, on the rare occasion when they report a second ethnicity, it is also typically non-white. Mexicans take the lead: most are Mexicans and nothing else. Mexicans are more Mexican than Blacks are Blacks. While many of us see ourselves as multi-ethnic, here is evidence of strong Mexican ethnocentricity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We are all Germans now: Many of my posts deal with American ethnic groups, but I always treat people as though they belong to one group. The General Social Survey recorded if respondents mentioned belonging to a second ethnic group. Here are their answers--the first is the main identity, the second is the most common second identity given, along with the percentage saying so:

Percent saying that the second group is their secondary ethnicity

Black--American Indian 25.8%
German--English/Welsh 20.6
Irish--German 19.3
English/Welsh--German 19.9
Mexican--American Indian 5.7
Italian--Irish 13.2
Scottish--English/Welsh 24.9
Austrian--German 25.0
French Canadian--Irish 22.6
Czech--German 22.0
Danish--German 19.3
Finnish--German 17.6
French--German 19.7
Greek--German and Italian 19.1
Hungarian--German 17.1
Dutch--German 25.0
Norwegian--German 23.7
Polish--German 17.2
Russian--German 28.3
Spanish--Mexican 36.3
Swedish--German 20.1
Swiss--German 40.5
American Indian--Black 14.3

The first thing that jumps out at me is how common German is as a secondary identity! Of course, this is a large American group, but I can't help thinking that perhaps Germans have been very open to intermarrying, or that of the many ancestries that mutt Americans have, German is one that is remembered for some reason. It is also interesting that poor minority groups only have some other poor minority group as their secondary ethnicity.
Spirituality is unrelated to education: I assumed that intelligence would be positively correlated with "feeling connected with all life." While unintelligent people have strong feelings for specific friends, relatives, or enemies, I imagined that only smart people would feel a bond with an abstraction. I was wrong: according to the General Social Survey, the correlation between years of education and feeling connected is a whopping .02.
Do men and women differ in spirituality? Just a few posts below, I looked at how spiritual various ethnic groups are. Let's compare men and women now.


Mexicans 3.12
Blacks 3.11
American Indians 3.05
Scots 3.00
Irish 2.98

USA 2.80

English/Welsh 2.67
Germans 2.66
Italians 2.52


Scots 3.63
Blacks 3.33
English/Welsh 3.17
American Indians 3.16
Germans 3.15

USA 3.11

Italians 3.07
Mexicans 2.68
Irish 2.83

First, we can see that women are more spiritual than men, but the differences appear to be smaller than with church attendance (earlier post). Comparing ethnic groups, Mexican men are comparatively spiritual, but Mexican women are not. The pattern is similar but less striking for Irish Americans. The pattern is reversed for Germans and English/Welsh. But we can't make to much of small differences since sample sizes are small.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Religious involvement by sex and ethnicity: Steve Sailer suggested I post on the gender differences in spirituality and religious attendance. Let's begin with the latter. Here are mean scores broken out by ethnic group and sex:


Blacks 3.95
Mexicans 3.91
Irish 3.62
Germans 3.57

USA 3.55

English/Welsh 3.44
Italians 3.39
Scots 3.29
American Indians 3.21


Blacks 4.83
Mexicans 4.51
English/Welsh 4.25
Scots 4.29
Germans 4.25

USA 4.25

Irish 4.23
American Indians 4.23
Italians 4.00

While the ranks are similar for the two sexes, Irish men rank a little higher than the women, while Scottish and English women rank higher than their male counterparts. Dragging your partner to church might be one factor that makes men and women similar. Another is selecting someone like yourself for a partner.

Notice how the least religious women (Italians) are more churchgoing than the most religious men (Blacks).

Friday, November 10, 2006

More on spirituality: I just posted on the topic of ethnicity and feeling connection to all life, and it made me wonder how much of an overlap there is between spirituality and church attendance. According to GSS data on 1,271 people, the correlation between the two is .27. Note that, as a rule, correlations based on survey data are disappointingly low, so relatively speaking, this ain't too shabby. Here is the list of mean church attendance by ethnic group (3=several times per year, 4=once a month):

Mean church attendance score

Blacks 4.44
Mexicans 4.22
Irish 3.97

USA 3.93

Germans 3.92
English/Welsh 3.87
Scandanavians 3.86
Scots 3.77
Italians 3.71
American Indians 3.70
East Asians 3.58

Across the 10 groups, the rank correlation (Spearman's rho) for spirituality and church attendance is .32. Certain groups lower the correlation: the Irish are church-goers but are not spiritual, and Scots and American Indians are spiritual but don't go to church much.

Update: On a related topic, what is the distribution of church membership among American Indians? Three-quarters are Protestant, 9 percent are Catholic, 11 percent have no religion, and only .6 percent report a Native American faith.
Which American ethnic group is the most spiritual? GSS respondents were asked how often do they experience a connection to all life. Answers range from never (=6) to many times a day (=1) (many times a day?!) I calculated mean scores for ethnic groups with at least 30 cases and subtracted this number from 6 so that higher numbers indicate greater spirituality:

Mean spirituality score (sample size in parentheses):

Scots 3.29 (42)
Blacks 3.26 (82)
American Indians 3.12 (58)

USA 3.04 (1,000)

English/Welsh 2.95 (137)
Mexicans 2.91 (61)
Germans 2.90 (151)
Irish 2.90 (138)
Italians 2.80 (54)
Scandanavians (Danes, Norwegians, Swedes) 2.78 (36)
East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos) 1.92 (26)

I was under the impression that Scandanavians and East Asians were sober people, so I combined national groups so samples were larger. I was right, espeically with Asians: they fall to the bottom of the list. Blacks in second place seems right: they are not a sober people. The Scots in first place does seem odd, however.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Who has the most good friends? I was interested to know which American ethnic groups say they have the most close friends. According to the General Social Survey, this is the mean number reported:

Mean number of close friends (sample sizes in parentheses):

Norwegians 12.7 (32)
Scandanavians 9.7 (60)
Germans 7.8 (198)
English/Welsh 7.7 (198)
Mexicans 7.4 (38)

USA 7.2

American Indians 7.2 (43)
Irish 6.9 (167)
Poles 6.2 (54)
Blacks 6.1 (91)
Italians 5.0 (75)

This is not the pattern I expected. Comments?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mexican women second most concerned about women's rights: Americans were asked by the General Social Survey (GSS) how important women's rights were to them. Answers ranged from "not at all" (=4) to "one of the most important issues" (=1). I calculated the means for women from ethnic groups with sufficiently large samples. I subtracted the means from 4 so that higher numbers indicate greater feminism. Here they are:

Mean feminist score

Blacks 1.94
Mexicans 1.91
American Indians 1.83
Italians 1.82
Germans 1.70
Irish 1.74
English/Welsh 1.58

It is interesting that the women from the most gender-traditional ethnic groups are the ones most concerned about women's issues. There are at least a couple possible reasons for this: 1) these groups are poorer and more liberal, and feminism goes with liberalism; and 2) these groups have the worst behaving men.

But I thought Mexican women were paragons of traditional family values? These women may not be advanced feminists of the you-must-be-a-lesbian-to-be-liberated type, but evidently they won't be voting in sync with Focus on the Family.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Latin American countries are the most criminal in the world: In response to my point that the U.S. does not have a high property crime rate as predicted by popular theories that claim that love of the market breeds crime, a reader argued that the U.S. would have a high rate if not for astronomical rates of incarceration (the adjective I would use is appropriate). Let's set aside the United States for a moment and look at the rankings of national robbery rates around the world (International Crime Victimization Survey) :

Percent robbed last year

Brazil 11.3
Colombia 10.6
Paraguay 6.7
Argentina 6.6
Tunisia 6.3
Bolivia 6.2
Costa Rica 5.8
Zimbabwe 4.8
South Africa 4.6
Uganda 4.4
Spain 3.1
Philippines 2.4
Botswana 2.0
Egypt 1.9
Polish 1.8
Italy 1.3
England/Wales 1.2
Australia 1.2
Indonesia 1.2
Portugal 1.1
France 1.1
Belgium .9
Sweden .9
Canada .9
China .9
Netherlands .8
W. Germany .8
India .8
Switzerland .7
Denmark .7
New Zealand .7
Scotland .7
USA .6
Finland .6
Norway .5
Austria .2
Northern Ireland .1
Japan .1

According to anti-market theories, countries with the greatest economic freedom should have the most theft. But the 10 worst countries have weak to terrible rankings on economic freedom ( Costa Rica is the best at 46. With the exception of India, the 10 countries with the lowest levels of robbery are highly ranked on economic freedom. The only one who doesn't make the top tier is Japan, and its rank is 27th. If anything, a market orientation reduces theft.

Criminologists love to find an appealing theory that suits their politics. They don't bother to look at the data first. Anti-market theories have reigned in sociology and criminal justice classes for decades, with the one little problem of having no empirical validity.

In the spirit of the name of this blog, what do these data points lead us to conclude concerning the cause of national levels of violent theft? Rates are highest in Latin America and lowest in Europe and Japan. This looks like a simple case of wealth except that Latin American countries are richer and yet more thieving than sub-Saharan African countries. Plus, China and India have low rates. Spain has the highest European rate, and the Tunisian rate is very high.

What about distributions of traits? Hispanics have higher IQs than Africans. The rankings on extraversion, based on a recent post by Agnostic at, don't line up all that well with robbery (although if there is one thing a robber needs to be, it's bold).

Let me complicate things by adding that in my previous post on burglary, Africans exceeded Latin American countries. Is there some reason why Africans would prefer breaking into houses, while Latinos prefer mugging people? Housing in Latin America is more secure?

What is it about Hispanics? Machismo? Any ideas? I did not plan this at all, but isn't it funny how so many of my analyses make one wonder if mass immigration to the U.S. from the south is such a great idea? Now the Tamar Jacoby's of the world will say that Hispanic immigrants have low rates of crime, but she is looking at a little selective slice of the Latin population--an above-average behaving slice. The criminal mean for this international population is very high, and the American descendants of these immigrants regress to that very high mean.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mexicans are (almost) least in favor of free speech: One important indication of assimilation to American society is a belief in free speech. Nothing upsets me more than to hear about some eccentric locked up in a European prison for saying wacky things like there was no Holocaust. They won't lock up actual criminals, but are only too happy to imprison people who say the wrong thing. So let's see which ethnic groups are best assimilated in terms of free speech values. The General Social Survey asked Americans if they feel that anti-religionists should be allowed to speak in their communities. Here is the percent who said yes:

Percent saying anti-religionists should be allowed to speak

Hungarians 81.5
Greeks 79.6
Russians 79.2
Scots 78.9
Yugoslavs 78.2
Swedes 77.8
French 77.3
Norwegians 77.0
Lithuanians 76.5
Filipinos 76.5
English/Welsh 75.4
Italians 74.5
Japanese 73.8
Danes 73.0
Swiss 72.8
Poles 72.8
Irish 72.7
Germans 71.4
Spain 71.4
Finns 71.3

USA 71.2

Belgians 70.7
French Canadians 69.5
Chinese 67.7
Czechs 67.7
Rumanians 67.4
Austrians 66.9
Portuguese 66.2
West Indians 66.0
American Indian 65.1
Blacks 64.8
India 63.2
Arabs 62.5
Mexicans 62.0
Netherlands 61.2
Puerto Ricans 59.3

Roughly speaking, whites and Asians are free speechers, others less so. This, with other evidence I've seen, suggests that white immigrants assimilate best to American society, with Asians being an exception to the rule. Blacks and American Indians show how difficult it can be for non-whites to adopt American ways: they have had hundreds of years to develop a belief in free speech, but have been left behind by even the most recent immigrants. And speaking of recent immigrants (I can never pass up the opportunity to address the Mexican question) Mexicans are almost at the bottom of this list. In an earlier post, they had a similar ranking on the question about allowing racists to speak in public. As Hispanics become a more powerful influence at the ballot box, we might see the day where the things I am writing on this blog could get me a long stretch in the pen.

Monday, October 23, 2006

No surprise: poor people steal the most: Continuing our look at the International Crime Victimization Survey, are the rates of property crime the highest in poor countries or wealthy countries? According to rational choice theory, crime pays more and more as one's legal opportunities for income are diminished. By contrast, routine activities theory claims that property crimes will flourish in places where desirable targets are abundant. A lot is stolen because there is a lot to steal. I list here the percent of all respondents whose dwelling was burglarized in the past year:

Tanzania 19.0
Uganda 11.7
Zimbabwe 10.7
Botswana 10.4
Paraguay 8.2
Costa Rica 7.3
Tunisia 7.2
Bolivia 6.7
South Africa 6.3
Columbia 6.0
Argentina 5.5
New Zealand 4.3
Indonesia 3.9
Australia 3.9
Denmark 3.1
England/Wales 2.8
Egypt 2.6
Italy 2.4
China 2.3
Philippines 2.0
Belgium 2.0
Poland 2.0
Netherlands 1.9
Brazil 1.9
USA 1.8
North Ireland 1.7
Sweden 1.7
India 1.4
Switzerland 1.1
Spain 1.6
Scotland 1.5
Portugal 1.4
Catalonia 1.3
West Germany 1.3
Japan 1.1
France 1.0
Austria 0.9
Norway 0.7
Finland 0.3

The evidence here supports the rational choice view: the worst 11 countries are all poor. (India is an exception, and the number for Brazil is lower than expected). Of course, I haven't mentioned all possible explanations. It might be that countries with lots of crime and poverty have many people with certain traits. An example would be a low average IQ. Sociopathy, impulsivity, present orientation, or laziness are among the other possibilities.

For those familiar with the criminological literature, one of the most interesting numbers is the United States. According to at least two popular theories--strain and institutional anomie--America should lead the world in property crime because it is unique in its worship of the market. Sorry guys--as much as you'd like to vilify the American system and conservatism, the U.S. is mediocre, even among wealthy countries.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A worldwide survey of victims shows racial differences in crime: In Race, Evolution, and Behavior, Phillip Rushton used international law enforcement data (Interpol) to show that blacks globally have higher rates of criminal violence than Asians. Critics have pointed out that the data were collected by disparate national systems, and that Interpol itself says that the data are not comparable. A better approach is to use data from the International Crime Victimization Survey. This survey publishes estimates of crime from nationally representative samples of respondents who are given a list of crimes and are asked if they have been a victim in the past 12 months. Here are the prevalence rates (the percent of the population victimized in the past year) for "assault with force" for the latest year available:

Zimbabwe 6.7%
South Africa 4.6
Botswana 3.7
Uganda 2.4
Indonesia 1.1
China 0.9
Philippines 0.4

This kind of survey data is much more persuasive evidence of worldwide racial differences than officially recorded violent crimes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Europeans are gender stupid: The World Values Survey asked people if they agreed that fathers are as well suited to caring for children as mothers. The sample is basically Europe. Three-quarters of the sample agreed or strongly agreed. The reigning idiots are Swedes: 92% believe daddies and mommies are naturally interchangeable caregivers. Common sense emerges as we descend southward: only 64% of Greeks think this way. People seem equally thick east to west, although more Russians (82%) see things this way than British (71%).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Message to liberals: you don't have to be like your hero Clinton in every respect: It's been a long time since I made liberals look bad, so let's find something--it's not difficult. The data tell us that liberals cheat on their spouses more than conservatives: here is the percent unfaithful in the past year (GSS data):

Extreme liberals 9.1%
Liberals 4.6
Slight liberals 4.1
Moderates 3.1
Slight conservatives 2.7
Conservatives 2.7
Extreme conservatives 3.1

I'm stunned. I thought conservatives were heartless beasts, while liberals will shed a tear if someone steps on a flower. Well, maybe crushing the person you're supposed to care about the most isn't so bad, I mean sexual fulfillment is the greatest thing life has to offer, right? Like I heard on the radio the other day: some liberal said he would bet that the shooter of those Amish children was a Republican. Translation: conservatives love kill people, and liberals love to love people. Yeah, your wife while you're at work.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sexual dimorphism differences across races? I've read that sexual dimorphism is positively correlated with polygyny and less paternal investment, so I looked to see if this might be true across human races that are known to differ on these things. Wikipedia lists height studies from all around the world, so I calculated the percent differences in height between males and females for all available black and Asian samples. The results:

American blacks 8.41%
Japan 7.60
South Korea 8.13
Taiwan 7.72
Singapore 6.21

Male-female differences are consistently smaller for Asian groups than for blacks, but not by much, so interpret as you will.

Friday, October 13, 2006

USA close to world average on wanting authoritarian leader: In Fred Reed's current column, he suggests that America is vulnerable to a shift to authoritarian rule: if President Bush decided to stay in office past his time, who would stop him? No one has stopped him on anything so far.

The World Values Survey asked people if they thought that having a strong leader who doesn't bother with parliament or elections is a good idea. Here is the percentage who answered "very good" or "fairly good":

Vietnam 99.4
Macedonia 73.8
Romania 66.6
Moldova 62.5
Philippines 62.5
Kyrgyzstan 60.6
Brazil 60.5
Ukraine 59.6
India 59.1
Mexico 56.2
Lithuania 55.9
Armenia 53.5
Russia 48.8
Venezuela 47.9
Latvia 47.9
Bulgaria 47.6
Luxembourg 45.0
Chile 43.0
Nigeria 42.6
Argentina 41.7
Jordan 40.5
Colombia 40.3
Belarus 40.3
Algeria 39.1
Iran 39.1
Peru 38.5
Portugal 36.9
Bosnia/Herzegovina 36.6
France 35.2
South Africa 34.2
Pakistan 33.8
Belgium 33.3
Puerto Rico 33.2

World 32.8

Uganda 30.1
USA 29.5
South Korea 28.3
Japan 28.0
Ireland 26.9
Netherlands 26.8
Finland 26.5
Austria 25.6
Great Britain 24.9
Australia 24.8
Slovenia 23.9
Canada 23.2
East Germany 23.0
Singapore 22.6
Poland 22.2
Hungary 21.5
Sweden 21.5
Iraq 19.9
Slovakia 19.8
New Zealand 19.6
Serbia 19.4
Indonesia 19.3
N. Ireland 19.2
Malta 19.1
Morocco 19.1
Spain 19.1
China 18.5
Estonia 18.3
Albania 17.3
Czech Republic 16.7
Italy 15.6
Montenegro 14.8
West Germany 14.5
Denmark 13.9
Croatia 12.1
Bangladesh 11.6
Iceland 10.5
Greece 8.7
Egypt 7.7
Tanzania 2.6

We see that there is a long list of countries less comfortable with the idea of strong man rule than the United States (although some of them are far from actually being democratic). The U.S. survey was conducted in 1999, so it does not reflect post-9/11 feelings.

I also looked at which Americans were most likely to express favorable views. Sex, religion, and religious attendance did not matter, but 43% of the people in the lowest of three educational categories thought a non-democratic leader was a good idea, and 37% of people ages 15-29.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My students are certain that rich people are evil: My students will sit placidly through all sorts of controversial things I say in class; that is, until I say something to the effect that rich people are not monsters. They believe with religious zeal that elites live to see little guys suffer. They make me feel like some sort of traitor when I tell them that the attitudes of the wealthy toward (lower class) criminals are no more aggressive than those of the poor. According to the GSS, 75% of individuals making $110K or more favor the death penalty, but practically the same number of people making under $15K feel the same way (73%).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Blacks do not oppose interracial marriage: In the current issue of "American Renaissance," Jared Taylor writes that a feeling against marriage with whites is common among blacks. What may be true of vocal black nationalists may not be true among Jamal-Six-Pack. According to the GSS, less than 10% of blacks have favored a law against interracial marriage over the past 20 years. Now, black folks may be focused on not giving Jim Crow Cracker what he wants, but if their feeling was strong against miscegenation, they would agree with him on this one.

By the way, white attitudes on this question went from 39% in favor in 1972 all the way down to 10% in 2002.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Eductional level is now a poor measure of intelligence: Pjgoober wondered if the correlation between IQ and education has declined over the past few decades, which might explain why the association between educational levels of spouses has evidently not been rising. Indeed, according to the GSS, the correlation has fallen sharply in the past 30 years from .59 to .39. The overall trend held for both whites and blacks. One's educational level is now a poor marker of intelligence.
Do men with higher status have more sex partners? Various theories predict this, but the data is what mattuh, so let's see what the GSS has to say....Strike one for these theories: 21% of men making under 50k had multiple sex partners last year, but only 13% of men making more than that did. I'm sure marriage and age accompany higher incomes, and these things do not help a man find girlfriends, but the theories are not supported nevertheless.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

They call them dreams because they never really happen: Let me share with you a dream that I had last night. It started with me at a party. I struck up a conversation with a woman who turned out to be a feminist. The discussion turned into a debate as I argued that men and women are fundamentally different. A crowd gathered, and she grew angry as the people responded to my common sense points and witty ripostes (this was my dream, remember). We were all laughing while she was scolding, and to mock her we began dancing the conga to the rhythm of her lecture: "Women-are-all-oppressed-see, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-DUH." Then I said, "Darlin', I'll help you understand the concept of the ratio of the crackers to the liver pate-tio," and the crowd burst into laughter. Her face turned red, and I said, "See Honey, men are funnier too." The group's laughter woke me up, and I was so elated I couldn't go back to sleep.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

No trend toward assortative mating for education? Looking around in GSS data today, I discovered that there is no observable trend toward men marrying women of similar educational levels over the past 8o plus years. The correlation was around .6 from the 1920s (based on elderly people's answers given in the 1970s) through the 1970s, and came in at .55 by the 1990s, and there it remains. This puzzles me. I know the older the respondents, the higher the rate of attrition, but do individuals from educationally dissimilar marriages die at younger ages than their counterparts? And I based my 1970s correlations on young people, and the results were no different.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Bell Curve has not convinced the American public

Since 1977, the General Social Survey has asked Americans if the lower economic status of blacks is due to inherited differences. The lower line on the graph above shows that the percent of whites who answer "yes" has gone from few to fewer. Twenty-six percent thought genes were the answer in 1977, and that number fell to only 10% by 1996. Following the publication of the Murray and Herrnstein's book, the genetic view rose slightly, peaking in 2000 at 12%, but by 2004 (the latest year available) it hit an all-time low of 7.7%. The popular assumption that race does not matter continues.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Poor, poor pear farmers: I just watched a story on CNN of northern Californian pear farmers whose crop is rotting on the ground because border control efforts have stopped illegal migrant workers. The story was designed to elicit sympathy for these poor, honest farmers. I say serves you right: you got it coming when you make your living off of illegality, and when you impose all the costs of illegals on your neighbors.
Being white or American is not important to whites: The General Social Survey asked Americans in 2004 to choose from a list the three identities that were most important to them. Here are the percentages who said yes to a particular identity broken out in terms of race:


Family 79.3%
Job 51.3
Region 36.8
Religion 32.5
Gender 30.5
Age 25.3
Social class 18.8
Nationality 12.5
Race 8.8


Family 75.2
Race 40.7
Religion 38.8
Job 37.0
Gender 33.2
Age 23.0
Region 21.0
Social class 17.8
Nationality 12.8


Family 77.6
Job 46.9
Region 41.2
Race 35.5
Religion 27.8
Gender 21.3
Age 21.3
Social class 10.8
Nationality 9.9

For all groups, family is cited most often, but beyond that we see different rankings. Many whites and Hispanics identify with their occupations and also the place where they live. Religion is most important to blacks, and least important to Hispanics.

The most striking contrast is race. It ranks second among blacks and fourth among Hispanics, but is at the very bottom of the white list. Blacks and even Hispanics are more than four times more likely than whites to feel that race is important to who they are.

So if race is unimportant to whites, where do they exceed these other groups? An American identity perhaps? These data give no indication of that: blacks have a slighly higher number on the nationality identity. (Nationality is not the best term: people use it to refer to ethnicity as well as citizenship). Whites have slightly higher percentages on occupation, age, social class, and political party (numbers not shown since they are so low).

I'm reminded of the debate between Steve Sailer and Jared Taylor over whether whites should pursue a nationalist or citizenist course. According to these data, neither race nor an American identity seems important to whites. Evidently, some whites can be moved by appeals to gender, age, and social class, but the only popular identity for whites that a society could be organized around is religion, and the tradition of separation of church and state and the fact that American religious groups disagree so much work against religion as an organizing principle .

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New report undermines the belief that Latinos are an unmitigated blessing for America: Jared Taylor's New Century Foundation has released a statistical report on Hispanics. Here are its major findings (go here to download a copy):

Income and Wealth

Per capita income of Hispanics is one half that of non-Hispanic whites, and household net worth is less than one tenth.

Fifty percent of Hispanic households use some form of welfare, the highest rate of any major population group.


Hispanics are 3.3 times more likely to be in prison than whites; they are 4.2 times more likely to be in prison for murder, and 5.8 times more likely to be in prison for felony drug crimes.

Young Hispanics are 19 times more likely than young whites (and slightly more likely than young blacks) to be in youth gangs.


Hispanics drop out of high school at three times the white rate and twice the black rate.

Even third-generation Hispanics drop out of school at a higher rate than blacks and are less likely to be college graduates.

From 1992 to 2003, Hispanic illiteracy in English rose from 35 percent to 44 percent.

The average Hispanic 12th-grader reads and does math at the level of the average white 8th-grader.

Families and Health

At 43 percent, the Hispanic illegitimacy rate is twice the white rate, and Hispanic women have abortions at 2.7 times the white rate.

Hispanics are three times more likely than whites not to have medical insurance, and die from AIDS and tuberculosis at three times the white rate.

In California, the cost of free medical care for illegal aliens forced 60 hospitals to close between 1993 and 2003.


Only 33 percent of citizens of Hispanic origin consider themselves “Americans” first. The rest consider themselves either “Hispanic/Latino” or their former nationality first.
Liberals choose to live in neighborhoods that are a whopping 16% black: We're told that conservatives are overt or closet racists. We are in deep need of sensitivity training, and after repeating the chant "George Washington Carver gave us peanut butter" enough times, the curtains will be drawn back, we will see the eternal light, and enter the holy realm where liberals dwell. Yes, liberal sainthood is clearly shown in where they choose to live. According to the General Social Survey, conservatives prove their baseness by living in neighborhoods that are only 14% black. Liberals, on the other hand, guided by purer, enlightened minds, surpass that figure by a whole 2%.

It's clear why so many people, even professed conservatives, mouth all the right views on race: it's all benefit and no cost. You get a status boost as you convince people that you're not philistine. Evidently, people are not troubled by a dissonance between beliefs and observations. Like the saying goes, talk is cheap. It would please me very much if every time a white guy said "America is a very racist country" someone would call him on it and say "You are all talk unless you live in a black neighborhood and send your kids to a black school. So do you?"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

IQ rises with lighter skin among blacks: Black Americans have an average of about 20% Caucasian ancestry with evidently wide variation, and skin color is a crude index of how much of this ancestry an individual has. General Social Survey interviewers judged their black respondents on skin tone, ranging from "very dark brown" to "very light brown." Participants were also given a vocabulary test, where scores ranged from 0 to 10 correct. This variable serves as a simple measure of IQ. I transformed test scores into IQs (setting the white mean at 100), and these are the averages:

Very dark brown 87
Dark brown 84
Medium brown 90
Light brown 93
Very light brown 91

The extremes have small sample sizes. If we drop those, we see a clear pattern of rising IQs with lighter skin color. The modal category is "medium brown," and this group's IQ is probably higher than the 85 IQ usually seen in IQ studies due to the fact that verbal IQ tends to be higher than math IQ among blacks.

Skeptics will argue that these numbers reflect the greater educational opportunities given to light-skinned blacks, but when a white guy sees someone with characteristically black features, he thinks "black person" not "light-skinned black person."
Men kill bambies while women cross stitch: To the folks who shut down Sixteen Volt's blog, you'll be happy to know that I plan to write twice as much about how men and women are different, and just to please you, I'll make an effort to document those differences that reflect poorly on women. But today, I'll be nice.

While someone with a very active imagination might be able to think that women are turned away from male-dominated fields, it simply is not credible to say there is something called "hobby discrimination." People pursue certain leisurely activities because they find them pleasurable, pure and simple. And it's not like mommy and daddy assigned you a gender-appropriate hobby. The General Social Survey tells us that 23% of men went to an auto race last year versus 10% of women (and I'm sure half the women were dragged there by their husbands). Revolutionary conclusion number one: men like cars more than women. Almost half (47%) of women did arts and crafts in the past year, while only 31% of men did (and the differences are much sharper for whites since black women are not "craftsy"). Revolutionary conclusion number two: women like toll painting more than men. Fifty-one percent of men hunted and/or fished last year. Only 27% of women did the same. Revolutionary conclusion number three: men like to catch stuff more than women do.

I can document this kind of thing for people, but all experience tells us the men and women use their free time to do different things. My wife is repulsed when I watch a violent film: I fall asleep when she grows flowers. Hobbies are the free expression of who you are much more than what society says you should do as a member of a particular gender group, and they show us that men and women are different.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ordinary people accept nature and nurture: In 2004, the General Social Survey asked people if an athletic black man is explained more by genes or environment, and they were asked to give the answers percentages in 5% increments. The average white American answered 55% nurture. After years of seeing college students turned off by biosocial explanations, I was pleased by this number. I next looked at answers in terms of the respondent's IQ (based on a vocab test): the smartest group was a bit more nurturist than average at 60% environment. The dumbest group thought it was 95% genetic. High intelligence appears to move people in the wrong direction.

Next, I wanted to see how people felt about moral behavior. Respondents were asked about a Hispanic woman who is always good. I predicted that the average would be almost all environment. I was wrong: it was 55% nurturing--the same as the black athlete vignette. I was right, but only for the most intelligent group: they averaged 90% environment. The dullest group said 100% genes.

While it looks like education and taking the proper attitude to enhance one's status may shift a person in the nurturist direction, people in general seem to recognize that both genes and environment play a role in both physical and moral arenas. This gives me a little more faith that, while I'm surrounded by colleagues who make the world feel like a place of nutty radical nurturists, ordinary folks have some sense.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Does capitalism breed selfishness? I am constantly reading in social science literature that capitalism breeds selfishness. The Soviets might not have had a decent standard of living, but, hey, at least they cared about each other. The World Values Surveys asked people how willing were they to help various groups: poor people, the sick and disabled, neighbors, etc. I calculated an index of the average of their answers, the higher numbers indicating less willingness to help:

"Selfishness" Index
Belarus (2000) 18.33
Lithuania (1999) 14.69
Ukraine (1999) 14.61
Russian Federation (1999) 14.13
Estonia (1999) 13.32
Latvia (1999) 13.00
Great Britain (1999) 12.26
Hungary (1999) 12.21
Denmark (1999) 11.80
Germany West (1999) 11.72
France (1999) 11.72
Bulgaria (1999) 11.71
Finland (2000) 11.66
Czech Republic (1999) 11.65
Romania (1999) 11.53
Northern Ireland (1999) 11.44
Poland (1999) 11.39
Germany East (1999) 11.28
Austria (1999) 11.23
Luxembourg (1999) 11.13
Greece (1999) 11.12
Portugal (1999) 11.11

World 11.8

Netherlands (1999) 11.05
Belgium (1999) 10.95
Slovakia (1999) 10.91
Slovenia (1999) 10.89
Italy (1999) 10.81
Iceland (1999) 10.78
Malta (1999) 10.51
Croatia (1999) 10.33
Ireland (1999) 9.88
Sweden (1999) 9.62

Funny how all those years of communism didn't produce boatloads of humanitarians, and how capitalism hasn't turned everyone into devils. Oh, but I can anticipate you good sociologists out there. Americans weren't asked the question, and you're absolutely positive that the uniquely wicked American system would put us at the very top of this list. It's a good thing they weren't asked the question, so you can hold on to that cherished notion. (As if the data would change your mind anyway).
The "free" in means "you're free to say what we tell you to say": I occasionally post my politically relevant comments on This recent post got me banned from the website for being a "racist":

The ghetto ain't the only reason for black violence: Steven Pinker, usually a reliable source, tells us in The Blank Slate that blacks who live in the suburbs are no more violent than their white counterparts. Uh, yes they are Steven. According to the 2004 Uniform Crime Reports, 36% of murderers arrested in American suburbs were black, and African Americans are not even close to 36% of all suburbanites. Political correctness infects even our best social scientists.

Horror of horrors, I blasphemed by uttering--can you feel your heart beating fast--a statistic. At least I know what I'm getting with liberals. Conservatives just masquerade as tough-minded people, and frankly it's disgusting.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Does bad science in the name of sensitivity never end??? From CNN's website: "All Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 should be routinely tested for HIV to help catch infections earlier and stop the spread of the deadly virus, federal health officials recommended Thursday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said HIV testing should become about as common as a cholesterol check. Nearly half of new HIV infections are discovered when doctors are trying to diagnose illness in a sick patient who has come for care, CDC officials said."

Yes, the best science shows us that the absolute strongest predictor of HIV infection is not being a child or a senior citizen. Future generations will laugh at us (or cry) for the ridiculous efforts we made to (unsuccessfully) convince people that AIDs has nothing to do with homosexuality; that street crime has nothing to do with race; and that terrorism has nothing to do with the Muslim religion.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Smart countries have less homicide

Using Richard Lynn's data on national IQ and WHO data on male homicide victimization, I calculated a correlation of -.46 across 30 countries. The scatterplot is shown above. Argentina, Uruguay, and especially the United States are well above the regression line. Black Americans might raise homicide levels more than they lower average IQ, but murder rates among white Americans are higher than expected. This has been attributed to any number of things: frontier cultures that became violent due to a non-existent or ineffective criminal justice system (i.e., the Scots-Irish and the Wild West); immigration selecting for restlessness; and handy guns, which embolden criminals and turn a fight into a murder.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The ghetto ain't the only reason for black violence: Steven Pinker, usually a reliable source, tells us in The Blank Slate that blacks who live in the suburbs are no more violent than their white counterparts. Uh, yes they are Steven. According to the 2004 Uniform Crime Reports, 36% of murderers arrested in American suburbs were black, and African Americans are not even close to 36% of all suburbanites. Political correctness infects even our best social scientists.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Moral relativism spreads with economic development: The World Values Survey asked respondents if prostitution is justifiable. Answers ranged from 1 (never) to 10 (always). Here are the mean scores ranked from most to least accepting:

Switzerland 5.3
Spain 4.7
New Zealand 4.4
West Germany 4.3
Austria 4.1
Uruguay 3.8
East Germany 3.6
Canada 3.4
Argentina 3.4
Israel 3.4
Luxembourg 3.4
Great Britain 3.4
Slovenia 3.3
Philippines 3.2
Finland 3.2
Mexico 3.1
Chile 3.1
Greece 3.1
USA 3.1
Belarus 3.0
Iceland 2.8
Czech Republic 2.8
Dominican Republic 2.7
India 2.7
South Africa 2.6
Moldova 2.6
Ireland 2.5
Italy 2.4
Singapore 2.4
Lithuania 2.4

World 2.3

Russia 2.3
Colombia 2.3
Brazil 2.3
Romania 2.2
Japan 2.2
Korea 2.2
Venezuela 2.2
Northern Ireland 2.1
Peru 2.1
Ukraine 2.1
Kyrgyzstan 2.0
Croatia 2.0
Taiwan 2.0
Armenia 2.0
Uganda 1.8
El Salvador 1.8
Georgia 1.8
Serbia 1.8
Bosnia 1.7
Montenegro 1.7
Macedonia 1.6
Azerbaijan 1.6
Nigeria 1.6
Albania 1.4
Algeria 1.3
Saudi 1.3
Tanzania 1.2
Bangladesh 1.2
Iran 1.2
Vietnam 1.2
Egypt 1.1
Pakistan 1.1
China 1.1
Indonesia 1.1
Jordan 1.0

A clear pattern emerges here. Western countries lead the world in accepting prostitution. By contrast, Muslim countries uniformly condemn it. A difference in values couldn't be clearer. Other regions of the world fall somewhere in the middle. In less developed societies, especially the Muslim societies, people look to tradition to form their moral attitudes, while wealthy countries have moved toward a contract morality where any behavior, even renting a girl like you do a pay toilet, is okay if it is agreed to by both parties.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Does all the world want democracy? We hear it a lot these days about how democratic political systems are desired by all people, everywhere. But this blogger cares not for platitudes, but only for systematically observed attitudes. The World Values Surveys asked people all around the world if they think that this form of government is a good idea. Here's what I found:

Percent saying democratic political systems are a bad idea:

Russia 37.0
Kyrgyzstan 18.5
Philippines 17.6
Poland 16.3
Slovakia 15.9
Ukraine 15.4
South Korea 15.4
Chile 15.2
Brazil 15.1
Armenia 15.0
El Salvador 14.6
Iran 14.4
Lithuania 13.9
Bulgaria 13.6
Estonia 13.3
Latvia 12.7
Finland 12.6
Hungary 12.9
Australia 12.6
Great Britain 12.3
Colombia 12.0
Pakistan 11.9
Canada 11.6
Belarus 11.5
Romania 11.3
USA 10.8
Belgium 10.7
Slovenia 10.6
France 10.6
South Africa 10.2
Ireland 9.9
Argentina 9.4
Georgia 9.4

World 9.2

Iraq 9.0
Portugal 8.8
Macedonia 8.7
Puerto Rico 8.3
Japan 8.2
Turkey 8.1
Luxembourg 8.1
Northern Ireland 8.1
Bosnia 8.0
East Germany 7.7
Czech Republic 7.5
Algeria 7.3
Uganda 7.0
Peru 7.0
India 7.0
Switzerland 6.8
Tanzania 6.8
Taiwan 6.8
Venezuela 6.5
Malta 6.4
Singapore 6.2
Jordan 6.1
Serbia 5.9
Montenegro 5.5
Nigeria 4.7
Spain 4.7
West Germany 4.5
Vietnam 4.5
Morocco 4.4
Indonesia 4.1
Uruguay 3.9
Austria 3.8
China 3.7
Netherlands 3.6
Italy 3.4
Sweden 2.6
Azerbaijan 2.5
Albania 2.4
Croatia 2.3
Iceland 2.1
Denmark 2.0
Bangalesh 1.7
Egypt 1.4
Greece 1.1

First, affection for democracy is widespread around the world. No country has even close to a majority of people taking a position against it. Having said that, Russia is far and away the most anti-democratic country, and Eastern European and former Soviet countries in general are toward the top of the list. Contrary to what some people might expect, Muslims like democracy as much as anyone. Of course, being in favor a democratic political system does not mean that people are good at voting for candidates likely to preserve it. Asian, African, and Latin regions of the world are mixed. Western nations generally fall toward the bottom of the list, but English-speaking countries are on the high end of this group.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Is the increase in autism due to delayed fatherhood? On September 5th, the LA Times described a study that found that fathers over 30 are much more at risk of having an autistic child than younger men. It is widely known that the prevalence of autism has been on the increase in recent years, but researchers don't know why. I looked at the General Social Survey and found evidence that the increase might be due, in part, to men waiting longer to become fathers. I looked at men ages 40-50, and in 1994, the mean age for first-time fatherhood was 25.8. By 2004, the average had risen to 27.2. This might not sound like much, but let's look at it another way. In 1994, 24% of men became fathers after age 29. In 2004, the percentage was 37. That is a 54% increase in only one decade in the number of men starting fatherhood later in life.

According to the team that conducted the study, the association between the father's older age and autism might be due to "spontaneous mutations in sperm-producing cells and alterations in genetic 'imprinting,' which controls the genes that are activated during development."
Having kids move blacks to the left: In an earlier post, I presented numbers from the General Social Survey (GSS) that squared with Steve Sailer's thesis that low housing prices facilitate family formation among whites which then turns them into political conservatives. So my next question is: what does a large family do to black parents? According to the GSS, lots of kids moves blacks to the left. Data on the 2000 presidential election (the most recent available to the public) reveals that blacks who voted for Gore had a mean of .75 children living at home with them, while Bush supporters averaged only .38. (The numbers are low compared to those in my analysis of whites because I included older parents here to maximize sample size).

Conservative values might explain why some blacks voted for Bush, but not why they have fewer kids. Having even one child seems to cause a shift: 14% of those with no kids voted Republican, but that drops to 7% for those with at least one. Whites are a middle-income group: perhaps concern for your children leads people to see big government as an obstacle, while black parents, as a low-income group that has turned to government for answers for decades, look even more to Democrats in order to help their children.

So Steve's thesis is a race-specific one that does not seem to apply to blacks. He also argues that whites, as a group, avoid having kids until they own a nice house--the kind that is safe and enjoyable for kids, in a good neighborhood. This attitude does not seem widespread among blacks, so Democrat strategists should not draw the lesson from this analysis that cheap housing in good neighborhoods will increase the number of blacks with children, thereby attracting more black supporters. (As if that were possible--the only thing harder to find than a black Republican is me, a conservative social scientist).

This analysis reminds me of something I have seen many, many times in research studies: findings are almost never the same for blacks and whites. Social scientists--the most politically correct people in the world--routinely analyze the two groups separately. They force black and white data points to live in different neighborhoods because they know that they are so distinct from each other that they must do it.

By the way, I also looked to see what factors other than number of kids might distinguish black Republicans from Democrats. I was surprised that the two groups do not differ much in terms of income, education, IQ, occupational prestige, or religiosity. The only thing I found was gender: men were almost two times as likely as women to vote for Bush.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Seventeen percent of the world is anti-Semitic: The World Values Survey asked people if there were certain kinds of people you wouldn't want as neighbors. The following proportions refer to Jews:

Iraq (2004) .83
Turkey (2001) .62
Republic of Korea (2001) .41
Serbian Republic of Bosnia (2001) .36
Spain (2000) .34
Poland (1999) .26
Republic of Moldova (2002) .25
Bosnia Federation (2001) .24
Romania (1999) .23
Uganda (2001) .23
Lithuania (1999) .22
Malta (1999) .21
Kyrgyzstan (2003) .20
Bangladesh (2002) .20
Macedonia, Republic of (2001) .20
South Africa (2001) .19
Greece (1999) .19

World .17

Zimbabwe (2001) .17
Bulgaria (1999) .17
Albania (2002) .17
Slovenia (1999) .17
Egypt (2000) .17
Croatia (1999) .16
Belarus (2000) .15
Italy (1999) .13
Northern Ireland (1999) .12
Russian Federation (1999) .11
Ireland (1999) .11
Estonia (1999) .11
Belgium (1999) .11
Portugal (1999) .11
Ukraine (1999) .10
Uruguay (1996) .10
Slovakia (1999) .10
Luxembourg (1999) .10
United States (1999) .09
Chile (2000) .09
Germany East (1999) .09
Austria (1999) .09
Finland (2000) .08
Argentina (1999) .06
Great Britain (1999) .06
France (1999) .06
Latvia (1999) .05
Germany West (1999) .05
Czech Republic (1999) .04
Iceland (1999) .04
Canada (2000) .04
Denmark (1999) .02
Sweden (1999) .02
Netherlands (1999) .02

According to this sample, 17% of the world is anti-Semitic. Not surprisingly, Muslim countries rank high--83% of Iraqis wouldn't want a Jewish neighbor. (But countries like Egypt are in the middle). Korea--the only East Asian country in the sample--ranks very high, as does Spain among European countries. Eastern Europe is mixed with higher numbers in the south. SS African countries fall towards the middle. South American nations have low numbers, as does Western Europe, especially in the north. English-speaking countries also fall toward the bottom.

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Affordable Family Formation" and General Social Survey data

Steve Sailer wanted to know what General Social Survey (GSS) data say about his "affordable family formation" thesis that inexpensive housing allows young, white people to get married, have children, which then convinces them to vote Republican. Preliminary analysis showed that the pattern of voting Republican as family size grows is sharper among younger, white Americans, so the numbers shown here refer to people ages 18 to 45, as of 2004.

First, I looked at never married people, and the first graph shows that white, married men were more likely to vote for Bush than their never-married counterparts. This tendency is even stronger among women, as shown in the second graph--a majority of never-married women voted for Gore.

Now turning to the question of family size, the third graph shows that the percent of men voting for Bush in 2000 increases with the number of children they have: few men with large families voted for Gore. For women (graph 4), the big shift occurs between those with no kids, and those with one or more children. Almost one-half of white women with no children voted Democrat, but only about 30% did if they had any children.

Steve was also interested in the mean number of children at home for whites of different political orientations. Once again, patterns are sharper among younger whites who have kids living at home, so I focused on them:

Mean children at home for NH whites ages 18-45 (2004)

Extremely liberal .78
Liberal .59
Slightly liberal .64
Moderate .90
Slightly cons. .94
Conservative 1.20
Extremely cons. 1.02

It is clear that young, white conservatives have bigger families than their liberal counterparts. From these data, it is unclear what is driving what: family life may move people right, or conservatives might be more likely to choose marriage and large families. One line of evidence that supports Steve's idea is that these patterns seem to have emerged in the last decade. Among empty-nesters, white liberals have almost as many kids as conservatives. The large family/voting Republican correlation has grown in the last decade, perhaps fueled by trends in housing prices.

The GSS data are also consistent with the state-level data that Steve analyzed which show that red states have cheap housing prices and white families with lots of babies. That survey data would show the same pattern at the individual-level as data at a macro-level is significant.

More later....

Friday, September 01, 2006

In Denmark, you're supposed to have unconditional regard for all humanity...except for your mother, that is: The World Values Survey asked people if parents should always be loved and respected, or do they have to earn it. Here are the proportion in each country that said always:

Proportion saying parents should always be respected:

Viet Nam (2001) .99
Puerto Rico (2001) .97
Morocco (2001) .97
Zimbabwe (2001) .96
Egypt (2000) .95
China (2001) .94
Pakistan (2001) .94
Nigeria (2000) .94
Jordan (2001) .94
Venezuela (2000) .94
Singapore (2002) .94
Kyrgyzstan (2003) .94
Philippines (2001) .94
El Salvador (1999) .94
Taiwan Province of China (1994) .93
Algeria (2002) .93
Armenia (1997) .93
Serbian Republic of Bosnia (2001) .93
Brazil (1997) .93
Republic of Korea (2001) .92
Saudi Arabia (2003) .92
Malta (1999) .92
Azerbaijan (1997) .92
Georgia (1996) .91
Macedonia, Republic of (2001) .91
Colombia (1998) .91
Uganda (2001) .91
South Africa (2001) .91
Peru (2001) .91
Tanzania, United Republic Of (2001) .91
Republic of Moldova (2002) .91
Bosnia Federation (2001) .90
Indonesia (2001) .90
Mexico (2000) .90
Bangladesh (2002) .90
Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2000) .89
India (2001) .89
Argentina (1999) .88
Spain (2000) .88
Poland (1999) .87
Chile (2000) .87
Montenegro (2001) .87
Serbia (2001) .87
Albania (2002) .87
Ukraine (1999) .86
Dominican Republic (1996) .86
Turkey (2001) .85
Russian Federation (1999) .85
Portugal (1999) .84
Romania (1999) .84
Hungary (1999) .83
Lithuania (1999) .82
Bulgaria (1999) .80
Italy (1999) .79
Canada (2000) .79
Slovenia (1999) .78
Uruguay (1996) .77
United States (1999) .77
Northern Ireland (1999) .77
Latvia (1999) .77
France (1999) .75
Czech Republic (1999) .74
Australia (1995) .74
Slovakia (1999) .73
Estonia (1999) .72
Japan (2000) .72
Switzerland (1996) .71
Ireland (1999) .71
Belarus (2000) .71
Germany East (1999) .70
Greece (1999) .69
Belgium (1999) .67
Austria (1999) .65
Great Britain (1999) .65
New Zealand (1998) .64
Croatia (1999) .63
Finland (2000) .62
Iceland (1999) .61
Luxembourg (1999) .59
Norway (1996) .52
Germany West (1999) .51
Sweden (1999) .43
Netherlands (1999) .32
Denmark (1999) .28

It looks like the less developed world still feels unconditional regard for mom and dad, but Eastern Europe shows a noticeable share of people who feel differently. It's a bit more mixed in wealthy countries, and the clearest pattern here is that many northern Europeans feel no obligation to love their parents. It seems that individualism and modernization breaks down the traditional loyalty to family. In Denmark, you're supposed to have unconditional regard for all humanity...except for your mother, that is.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Godless countries favor abortion: My international dataset is growing, so I hope to find some interesting patterns (at least interesting for nerds of my variety). I looked at the World Values Survey to see which countries are most pro-abortion, and this is the proportion of people who approve of an abortion if a woman does not want more children. (This variable correlates with favoring an abortion because mom is not married at .88, so results with either would be similar).

Proportion approving of an abortion because no more kids are wanted:

Sweden (1999) .86
Bulgaria (1999) .82
Germany East (1999) .77
Hungary (1999) .76
Czech Republic (1999) .76
Slovenia (1999) .75
Russian Federation (1999) .74
Denmark (1999) .72
Estonia (1999) .71
Belarus (2000) .68
Lithuania (1999) .65
Latvia (1999) .64
Ukraine (1999) .63
France (1999) .62
Croatia (1999) .60
Romania (1999) .57
Greece (1999) .55
Finland (2000) .54
Slovakia (1999) .52
Iceland (1999) .50
Netherlands (1999) .49
Germany West (1999) .49
Great Britain (1999) .49
Austria (1999) .45
Belgium (1999) .42
Turkey (2001) .41
Portugal (1999) .40
Poland (1999) .37
Luxembourg (1999) .36
Italy (1999) .31
Northern Ireland (1999) .18
Malta (1999) .16
Ireland (1999) .13

The pattern is very clear here: Protestant and Orthodox countries (which, in actuality, are likely to be irreligious) generally approve of abortion more than Catholic countries. (Hungary is an exception). This is no surprise, but Orthodoxy has the same basic view of abortion that Catholicism has. It clearly has less influence over the values of its adherents. I imagine the Soviets teaching children in school not to believe in God (or was that Dover MA where that happened?) might have something to do with that.

Across 33 countries, I calculated the correlation between the percent not believing in God and the share of people who favor abortion to control family size. It is .68: there is a strong connection here. I never liked abortion even when I was an atheist, but evidently as soon as God goes out, it's bring in the abortionist.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The religious shall inherit the earth: I wanted to quantify the pattern of religious people having more children than the irreligious. Starting with the U.S, the General Social Survey (2004) indicates that Americans who never go to church average 1.67 kids: it's 2.25 for those who go weekly and a slightly lower 2.14 for those who go more often. By the way, the fertile "attends weekly" group is not fringe: it is the modal category of religious behavior in America.

As for the world, I looked at the World Values Survey and calculated that those who never attend religious services have 1.72 children, compared to 2.47 for those going more than once a week. (I suspect that this sample is a bit skewed toward more developed countries).

I'm reminded of William James' statement that (went something like) believers will always have more vitality than non-believers.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Democrat party is not the party of the little man: When Democrats say they are the party of the little man, they mean they are the party of the black man (even if he is rich--18% of blacks make more than I do). The General Social Survey reveals that 53% of poor whites (individuals making less than $17,500/year) voted for Bush in 2000 (2004 data are not available). And Democrats are wrong to paint Republicans as the party of fat cats: 62% of whites in the richest category ($110,000+/year) voted for Bush, but that is practically the same share as for whites of all incomes--59%. Sixty percent of the whites who voted Republican make less than $50,000 annually.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Atheism rises with economic development and average IQ: The World Values Survey asked respondents whether or not they believed in God. I was suprised how national results ranged from most people to nobody being atheists:

Percent who do not believe in God:

Vietnamese 81.2
East Germany 69.7
Czech Republic 61.1
Estonia 48.6
Sweden 46.6
Japan 42.6
France 38.5
Slovenia 34.8
Bulgaria 33.8
Hungary 31.9
Denmark 31.1
Russia 29.7
Belgium 29.0
Great Britain 28.1
Luxembourg 26.8
West Germany 23.1
New Zealand 20.8
Latvia 20.5
Australia 19.9
Ukraine 19.7
Serbia 17.6
Finland 17.5
Slovakia 17.2
Belarus 17.1
Montenegro 17.0
Iceland 15.6
Armenia 14.4
Lithuania 13.5
Spain 17.1
Uruguay 13.3
Austria 13.2
Singapore 12.9

World 12.4

Bosnia and Herzegovina 12.0
Canada 10.7
Macedonia 9.5
Greece 9.1
Albania 8.3
Northern Ireland 6.8
Georgia 6.8
Croatia 6.8
Italy 6.5
India 5.3
Kyrgyzstan 5.0
USA 4.4
Ireland 4.3
Moldova 4.0
Romania 3.7
Argentina 3.7
Portugal 3.1
Chile 3.0
Poland 2.7
Turkey 2.2
Azerbaijan 2.2
Mexico 2.0
Peru 1.5
South Africa 1.2
Brazil 0.9
Colombia 0.9
Portugal 3.1
Puerto Rico 0.8
Tanzania 0.7
El Salvador 0.6
Iran 0.6
Uganda 0.6
Philippines 0.6
Bangladesh 0.5
Malta 0.5
Nigeria 0.3
Algeria 0.2
Jordan 0.2
Saudi Arabia 0.1
Indonesia 0.1
Morocco 0.0
Pakistan 0.0
Egypt 0.0

It does not please me to write that smarter countries are more atheistic because I consider myself a believer (probably "hoper" is the more correct term) but thems the facts. Europe and Asia are the most skeptical regions, and they are also the most intelligent. There are several smart, believing countries, however (smart=95+ means): Singapore (103), Italy (102), Poland (99), USA (98), Canada (97), Argentina (96), and Portugal (95). From what I can see, there isn't a single atheistic country that is stupid. Unintelligent countries are uniformly believers. And it appears that the religious atmosphere in many Muslim countries snuff out any atheism whatsoever (at least you can't find people willing to admit that they are non-believers.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Puerto Ricans are the proudest people in the world. Can't imagine why. Must be the beaches: Participants in the World Values Survey were asked if they are proud of their nationality. The following percent answered "very proud":

Percent saying they are very proud of their nationality

Puerto Rico 95.6
Iran 92.2
Venezuela 92.1
Philippines 87.5
El Salvador 86.6
Morocco 85.9
Colombia 85.0
Portugal 82.4
Egypt 81.9
Tanzania 81.6
Pakistan 81.5
Mexico 79.5
Dominican Republic 78.6
Iraq 77.6
Peru 76.8
USA 76.1
Australia 76.0
South Africa 75.2
Malta 74.8
Saudi Arabia 74.6
Chile 74.0
Albania 73.6
Vietnam 73.4
Ireland 73.3
Bangladesh 73.1
Poland 72.2
Nigeria 72.0
India 70.2
Argentina 69.4
Jordan 68.2
New Zealand 68.0
Canada 67.6
Iceland 67.0
Georgia 65.2
Uganda 66.2
Brazil 66.0
Spain 64.4
Slovenia 59.0
Macedonia 58.1
Finland 58.3
Greece 56.0
Turkey 55.5
Hungary 54.9
Israel 54.4
Austria 53.9
Luxembourg 53.2
Great Britain 50.9
Denmark 49.7
Romania 47.3
Kyrgyzstan 46.7
Armenia 45.9
Singapore 45.3
France 44.7
Sweden 43.7
Italy 42.2
Croatia 43.6
Serbia 41.6
Latvia 40.4
Bosnia and Herzegovina 39.0
China 37.9
Bulgaria 36.6
Russia 34.9
East Germany 34.1
Montenegro 33.0
Japan 32.5
Belarus 31.7
Northern Ireland 30.5
Czech Republic 30.0
Ukraine 28.7
Slovakia 26.5
Belgium 25.4
Estonia 24.5
Lithuania 24.4
Netherlands 24.3
Moldova 23.4
Korea 20.8
West Germany 14.4

From what I can see, the proudest people often have the least reason to be so. Logically, you would expect people to think a lot of their country if it has contributed a lot, if it has been comparatively moral, or at least dominant. Evidently, the opposite is to be true. Latin, Muslim, and African countries are the proudest, and let's face it, are unexceptional. West Germany's ranking at the bottom makes sense I suppose, but don't Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Schumann, Strauss, and Wagner compesnsate a little (just to name composers)? And why do the Dutch feel so bad about themselves? Have they forgotten Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh, Escher, just to list the painters?!

Pride might indicate an underlying sense of inferiority, while a lack of pride is seen in an achievement-oriented people who don't want to get cocky (or at least don't want to express a proud attitude). At an individual level, accomplished people are often hardest on themselves, and one's feeling about his nation might be tied to his feelings about himself.