Saturday, January 12, 2019

Data: Educated immigrants ain't impressive

In a recent tweet, Ann Coulter claimed that H-1B visa holders are not highly skilled like President Trump says but are simply slave labor.

While I can't use GSS data to identify this group of workers, let's look at the vocabulary test scores of immigrants with at least 16 years of total education. I won't call it IQ scores since English is a second language for most immigrants, but I will argue that an immigrant's English vocabulary says something meaningful about him.

Here are the mean vocabulary scores by decade (N = 725):

Mean vocabulary (using an IQ scale)

1970s  109.5
1980s    98.7
1990s  100.9
2000s    97.6
2010s  100.7

We can see that while educated immigrants in the 1970s had good vocabularies, they dropped to the average white score by the 80s, and it has remained in that area since.

This pattern is similar to what we have seen with immigrants in general, and Americans admitted to college or graduate school: mean scores were quite good in the 1970s, but the US then got more egalitarian and lowered standards. Now we take anyone into the country or into the university.  This shows that our elites no longer put a premium on quality, but really care about giving goodies (American citizenship, access to universities) to any schmuck who shows up. 

UPDATE: If we divide the educated immigrants from this past decade by race, the mean scores are: white 104.5, black 99.5, other 96.6.

1 comment:

  1. William O. B'Livion8:57 PM

    I work with a *lot* of H-1Bs.

    They suck.


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