Saturday, September 03, 2011

Skin color and educational level among blacks

ADD Health interviewers judged the skin color of respondents as black, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, or white. Limiting the sample to just African Americans, let's treat the measure as a rough indicator of the amount of European ancestry. Here is mean educational level by skin color (sample size = 1,211):

Mean educational level

Black 12.8
Dark brown 13.0
Medium brown 13.3*
Light brown 13.5*
White 12.8

*significantly higher than black category

Medium- and light-brown blacks are significantly more educated than black-skinned African Americans. White blacks--only 16 respondents--are the exception to the trend.


  1. Anonymous7:09 AM

    Can you do the same analysis using IQ scores? Add Health participants took the PPVT verbal IQ test.

  2. I think I would have to download and merge different waves to look at IQ.

  3. Nice. How hard is ADD health to work with?

  4. Statsquatch: I've only analyzed the data online which is easy. It looks like a pretty typical data set.

  5. White blacks--only 16 respondents--are the exception to the trend.

    Probably working too hard to prove they're black!

  6. Anonymous12:06 AM

    Are there age differences between the different groups? That could explain some of the patterns. Some may not have finished their studies yet.

  7. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Are the "whites" a combination of coding errors or albinos?

  8. It's not uncommon for African immigrants to be computer programmers or the like, so the "black" category might include a few from Africa's educational elite.

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