Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Which ethnic groups think astrology is scientific?

It is important for America that we have people who understand and value science.  The General Social Survey asked people residing in the US, "Would you say that astrology is very scientific, sort of scientific, or not at all scientific?"  Anyone who understands science would not say astrology is scientific, even if they otherwise like it. 

Let's look at the percentage who say astrology is very or sort of scientific listed by ethnic group (sample size = 6,873):

Percent who say astrology is scientific

Black  53.1
Mexican  50.6
Asian Indian  47.4
Puerto Rican  46.4
American Indian  45.1
Filipino  42.7
Spanish  41.2
Norwegian  38.5

All Americans  36.3

Chinese  35.5
Italian  35.1
Portuguese  34.3
Arab  32.1
Irish  31.1
French Canadian  30.8
Polish  29.9
French  29.5
Dutch 29.2
German  28.9
Japanese  28.5 
Czech  27.7
Swiss  27.5
Russian  27.0
Greek  25.0
Scottish  24.3
Jewish  23.8
English  23.5
Danish  21.1
Swedish  15.1

Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians top the list, but some high IQ ethnic groups are toward the top as well; namely, Asian Indians, Norwegians, and Chinese.  Setting aside the Norwegians, there is a tendency for northwestern Europeans to fall to the bottom of the list.  These groups are more skeptical and seem to understand better what it means to be scientific.


  1. It would be interesting to disaggregate the "Norwegians" to see what is driving the spectrum toward pseudoscience in that outlier group.

  2. Nick Dean11:32 AM

    Presumably tiny sample, JB. Where are you mainly posting these days. JB?

  3. Good point. Looking at my own dataset, as of 1990 around 0.5% of the white population (row id "NorwegianPercentOfWhites"). Multiply that times the GSS sample size and it could indeed be noisey.

    Nowadays, I'm mini-posting at:


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