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?


  1. Anytime you have large-scale intermixing, outward features won't correlate perfectly (or even tolerably) with what neutral genetic markers tell about the person's ancestry. For example, there was a recent study showing that skin color & percentage African ancestry didn't correlate well in Brazil.

    In the case of Whites of Spanish descent, some of these could be those who are really White Hispanic but don't want to acknowledge their potentially mixed origins. Assuming they pass for White externally, they may well believe they're little or not admixed. In these cases, you have to look at neutral genetic markers like they did in Brazil to separate people into different groups rather than rely on self-report data, I think.

  2. Anonymous5:46 PM

    What about hispanics with a black mixture? That would be interesting to see. Would probably be a small sample size though.

  3. Anon: Right, there are only 7 cases of Black Hispanics.


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