Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The smart fraction among American ethnic groups: La Griffe du Lion has shown that per capita GDP is a function of the smart fraction: the percent of a population with a verbal IQ of 106 or higher. The vocabulary test of the General Social Survey can serve as a good measure of verbal IQ, and I'm interested in estimating the smart fraction of each ethnic group in the United States, especially those groups with currently high levels of immigration. Here is what I found (immigrants are excluded since they can't be expected to have the vocabularies that natives have):

The smart fraction

Russian 66.3
Chinese 57.2
Japanese 55.5
English/Welsh 55.3
East Indian 49.9

All Native-born Americans 42.5

Filipino 28.5
Puerto Rican 27.4
Blacks 20.8
Mexican 20.6

Once again, Mexican Americans fall to the bottom of the list. I'm surprised that Filipinos don't do better since their educational levels are quite good. If we want to become a wealthier society, and to the extent that immigrants match their native-born counterparts, we want to encourage the immigration of those who increase our smart fraction and discourage those who shrink it.


  1. I suspect a lot of those Russians are Ashkenazi Jews from Russia.

  2. Exactly. In an earlier analysis, 1/2 of Americans with families from Russia were Jewish.

  3. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Oh dear, I wonder why I can never have an original thought.

  4. Is there anyway to only look at hispanics who are native speakers? Could not speaking english effect their wordsum score? Your results surprised me since I thought hispanic IQs were a little higher than those of black's.

  5. You want more Russian Jews? They're not quite as left-wing as the previous waves but I'd imagine they tend to lean left.

    OTOH, since we are no longer in a battle with Communism and the Muslims hate the Jews as much as, if not more than, the rest of America, you don't have to worry about subversion anymore... and given what some recent immigrants have told me about Russia I doubt you have to worry too much about double loyalty toward Russia from them!

    Russian immigrants of dubious ethnicity are also apparently responsible for the neo-nazi groups springing up in Israel.

  6. Anonymous11:09 PM

    "La Griffe du Lion has shown that per capita GDP is a function of the smart fraction"

    I'd rather you said the he has "argued" this: G. du L. is an interesting writer, and the smart fraction is his central idea, but it's still a highly speculative (not to say controversial) contention.


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