Saturday, February 28, 2015

Take that, Detroit

While I have a fairly clear mental map of the geography of white intelligence, socio-political, and cultural distributions in the US, I tend to think of black populations--at least concentrated black populations--as, well, black populations. If you've listened to one local hip hop station, you've listened to them all.

Steve Sailer periodically snaps me out of that lazy thinking by noting the especially poor performance of contemporary blacks in the Upper Midwest, with Milwaukee and its history through the 20th century as a prime case study.

As luck would have it, NAEP results are available for 21 metro areas in the US, including Milwaukee. The following table shows estimated average IQ among black 8th graders taking the NAEP math and reading assessments in 2013 by jurisdiction. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a standard deviation of 37 on the math assessment and 34 on the reading assessment. In the subsequent table, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98--corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading--and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are weighted equally. The data are insufficient for Albuquerque, but the other 20 cities the NAEP sampled are all included:

1. Charlotte92.6
2. Boston91.2
3. New York City90.9
4. Hillsborough County (FL)90.9
5. Houston90.8
6. Austin90.0
7. Atlanta89.7
8. Dallas89.0
9. Baltimore88.8
10. Miami-Dade88.4
11. San Diego88.4
12. Chicago88.2
13. Philadelphia87.9
14. Jefferson County (KY)87.5
15. Los Angeles86.7
16. District of Columbia85.4
17. Cleveland84.1
18. Fresno84.0
19. Milwaukee83.1
20. Detroit83.0

Milwaukee can be thankful for Detroit. Detroit, in turn, might be thankful for, uh, East St. Louis, though the last bit is just speculation on my part. Cleveland, another Upper Midwestern city, also fares poorly. The birthplace of the Crips and the Bloods outperforms all of them. Chicago is the best the region is able to boast, and it's still in the bottom half of the jurisdictions considered.

Steve's perspicacity can hardly be overstated. Generous welfare programs are going to, ceteris paribus, attract welfare recipients. The tactics to 'gentrify' a jurisdiction include restricting the amount of land available for certain kinds of development (whether it be through zoning or merely the physical terrain), instituting municipal and county minimum wages significantly higher than the national minimum wage, and curtailing welfare program payouts as aggressively as possible. Because the last two are each generally supported by different political factions, there is currently an opportunity for either red state or blue state America to gentrify on a systematic, nationwide scale by, in the case of red staters, dropping their opposition to increasing legal minimum wage rates and in the case of blue staters, dropping their opposition to curtailing welfare benefits. While it seems like a tough sell to red state America, it's an even more difficult sale to close with blue staters.

This game of hot potato is, nationally, a zero-sum endeavor, but the cracks in the national foundation are increasing in number and intensity by the day, just as the dead weight costs that the underclasses impose increases. The stakes are getting higher.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

IQ by race and parental educational attainment

One of the most salient statistics regarding education is the tendency for poor white teenagers to perform as well as rich black teenagers do on college entrance exams. When sharing as much with educational romanticists, I'll often get the response that it isn't money that determines whether or not an environment is intellectually stimulating, it's the household's embrace of education and learning that does.

Well, the NAEP online data explorer allows for cross-tabs to be created using several variables, including race and parental education level*. The following table and graph show estimated average IQ by race and the parental education level among 8th graders taking the NAEP math and reading assessments in 2013. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a standard deviation of 37 on the math assessment and 34 on the reading assessment. In the proceeding table and graph, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98--corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading--and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are weighted equally:

IQ by parent ed and raceLess than HSHS gradSome collegeCollege grad
American Indian89.088.395.396.4

White kids from the homes of high school dropouts do about as well as do black kids whose parents are college attendees and graduates (marginally worse and marginally better, respectively). At every level of parental educational attainment, the racial ordering is the same--Asians on top, followed by whites, then Hispanics, then American Indians, and finally blacks. These things are, as Steve Sailer might say, drearily predictable.

NAEP variables used: PARED, SDRACE

* Defined as the highest level of educational attainment achieved by either of a student's parents and broken down into four categories: Did not graduate high school, graduated high school but didn't go to college, went to college but didn't get a bachelor's degree, and graduated with a BA or higher

Saturday, February 21, 2015

State IQ estimates, Hispanics only (2013)

Similar methodology to what was employed previously, with an important exception. Instead of equally weighting math and reading scores, I relied entirely on the former. The math and reading scores of whites by state correlate at a comfortable .90 (p-value = 1.36E-19), but among Hispanics math and reading scores correlate at a less robust .62 (p-value = .0000006). English language proficiency is an obvious potentially confounding variable here. The NAEP data explorer site does allow for results to be sorted by reported English language proficiency level, but that probably excludes an excessive number of Hispanic test takers who may be handicapped when it comes to English reading comprehension but not when it comes to math. Consequently I've elected to rely on the universal language instead.

Mean IQ estimates by state among Hispanics using 2013 NAEP 8th grade mathematics assessment data follow. There are no estimates for Maine, North Dakota, Vermont, or West Virginia due to insufficient sample sizes in those states:

1. New Jersey97.7
2. Montana97.3
3. Texas97.1
4. Maryland96.4
5. Hawaii96.4
6. Virginia96.2
7. Mississippi96.2
8. North Carolina96.1
9. Indiana95.9
10. Wyoming95.6
11. Massachusetts95.5
12. Louisiana95.4
13. Ohio95.3
14. Alaska95.2
15. Delaware94.9
16. Georgia94.9
17. Missouri94.8
18. Kansas94.8
19. South Dakota94.3
20. Florida94.3
21. Arkansas93.9
20. Washington93.8
21. Minnesota93.8
22. Colorado93.6
23. Wisconsin93.6
24. Illinois93.4
25. South Carolina93.4
26. Tennessee92.6
27. New Hampshire92.6
28. Arizona92.1
29. Kentucky92.1
30. Nevada91.7
31. New Mexico91.6
32. Idaho91.5
33. Nebraska91.2
34. Oregon90.8
35. Iowa90.6
36. New York90.5
37. District of Columbia90.5
38. Oklahoma90.4
39. Pennsylvania90.2
40. California89.7
41. Rhode Island89.6
42. Michigan88.9
43. Utah87.6
44. Connecticut87.5
45. Alabama87.2

And a corresponding map. The darker the shading, the higher the state's estimated Hispanic IQ. The darker a state's shading, the higher its Hispanic IQ. Yellow indicates insufficient data:

The children of military NAMs outperform the NAMs of every state in the country. Joining the military isn't often an act of desperation for those without any other options. To the contrary, the armed forces pull mostly from the right side of the bell curve, especially when race is controlled for.

The putative Floridian advantage from having lots of professional Cuban emigres of mostly European ancestry doesn't show up much here. Cubans no longer constitute a majority of Florida's Hispanics--barely one-quarter of the state's Hispanics, in fact--and the diminution is even more acute among younger generations.

The California vs. Texas match up is always an interesting one to look at. Personally, dwelling on the two most populous states in the country leaves me feeling like we're all destined to lose, but when it comes to scholastic results, Texas appears to come out on top. It might well be because the state has adopted the motto of the most famous Hispanic athlete in American history to pull it off, but there you go!

Monday, February 16, 2015

So mothers, be bad to your daughters

Today I got into a discussion about the runaway success of Fifty Shades of Grey with a self-described feminist who argued that the book and movie are popular because they undercut the idea that women like to be dominated by men. She reasoned that because, apparently, the guy ends up committing to the female protagonist,it illustrates that in fact gender is little more than a social construction.

There are a thousand ways to take this down, and I employed several of them, but approach 1,001 came to mind during the conversation. It feels like if I'm not unknowingly plagiarizing Heartiste here, I'm surely just restating what someone or several other people have already pointed out. Still, the articulation at least is novel to me.

If women, who are putatively by their very natures are as gender-neutral as young boys are, become acclimated by society over time to accept male-preferred sex roles, shouldn't there be a dynamic of young, naive daughters falling for sweet, gentle, doting guys against their mothers' wishes? In a society free of patrimony, these mothers would encourage their daughters to follow their passions and stay with these nice guys. Their mothers warn them against the nice guys though, because, as middle-aged women steeped in decades of patriarchal mind control, they've been inculcated to the point of reflexively pleading with their daughters to forget the nice guys and instead start chasing the pump-and-dump rebels who play by their own rules. Sure, the mothers' efforts usually fall on the deaf ears of the poor girls who are indifferent to the bad boys and hopelessly enraptured by the nice guys, but a mother still has to try, doesn't she?

The exact opposite scenario characterizes the real world, of course. In reality, middle class American parents try to mitigate and temper the natural desires of their children with the wisdom and practical understanding they've picked up over the courses of their own lives. Society tries its best to artificially move towards something approaching gender neutrality--not entirely without success--but in so doing is fighting against that tenacious bitch, biology.   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

State IQ estimates, blacks only (2013)

IQ estimates similarly arrived at through the utilization of 2013 NAEP results in math and reading among black 8th graders follow. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a presumed standard deviation of 40. In the proceeding table, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98--corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading--and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are given equal weighting, except in the cases of Hawaii, Maine, and South Dakota, for which only reading, math, and reading scores are available, respectively. There are no estimates for Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, or Wyoming due to insufficient sample sizes in those states.

I dispense with the tradition of color-coding states in the table based on how their populations under consideration voted, for reasons made clear here:

1. New Jersey94.7
2. Hawaii94.5
3. Massachusetts94.2
4. Maine93.6
5. Maryland93.5
6. Washington93.1
7. North Dakota93.1
8. Texas92.8
9. Alaska92.4
10. South Dakota92.1
11. North Carolina91.5
12. West Virginia91.5
13. Florida91.3
14. Delaware91.2
15. Connecticut91.2
16. Vermont90.9
17. Virginia90.9
18. Georgia90.7
19. Arizona90.4
20. New York90.4
21. Ohio90.4
22. Rhode Island90.1
23. Pennsylvania90.0
24. Kansas89.9
25. Indiana89.9
26. Nevada89.8
27. Minnesota89.2
28. South Carolina89.1
29. Tennessee89.1
30. Kentucky89.1
31. Colorado89.1
32. Illinois89.0
33. Missouri88.6
34. California88.6
35. Louisiana88.5
36. District of Columbia88.3
37. New Mexico88.3
38. Iowa88.2
39. Nebraska87.9
40. Oklahoma87.8
41. Arkansas87.3
42. Michigan86.9
43. Mississippi86.2
44. Alabama85.8
45. Wisconsin85.3

A map of the same. The darker a state's shading, the higher its black IQ. Yellow indicates insufficient data:

Racial relations in the US military are generally regarded as being better than they are in the civilian world. This is potentially an important reason why that is the case. Hawaii's strong showing is more evidence of just how authentically black Barack Obama is!

The relatively high scores will jump out immediately to those who are familiar with the history of differences in results on IQ tests by race. The estimated national average IQ estimate for black Americans using the methodology described above is 90.1. Traditionally, US blacks have consistently scored around 85, and the gap between whites and blacks has held tenaciously at one standard deviation, so these estimates appear rather high. A few possibilities as to why:

- The black/white IQ gap may be narrowing. Flynn and Dickens argue that blacks have gained five or six points on whites over the last three decades, presumably spurred in part by better access to nutrition and healthcare. If accurate, that would put contemporary average African American IQ at 90 or 91, just as my estimates did.

- The rate of interracial marriage and procreation has increased over time. Richard Lynn marshals a good deal of evidence showing that racial 'hybrids' tend toward IQs that are an average of the two groups their parents represent. This should work to attenuate the gap by slightly lowering average white IQ and raising average black IQ a bit (the latter should rise more than the former falls due to sheer size).

- I built the formula for the estimates using Richard Lynn's data on international academic and IQ test results, so my equation is linear. Although Lynn believes that adjusting for attenuation yields a correlation between test scores and IQ of 1 (a perfect relationship), I'm inclined to assume that the correlations for IQ and math (.87) and IQ and science (.81), even adjusted for attenuation, are still not perfect. And because my formula is linear, moving further out from the averages if anything underestimates the magnitude of the true deviation. So depending on the true strength of the relationship, the estimates might be inflated by a couple of points (although I think this would only be on the order of a point or two).

- Differing rates of truancy by race may be artificially giving blacks a boost relative to whites. Assuming that children frequently absent from school generally come from more chaotic, less endowed households, it follows that students who are the least likely to show up on test day are among the poorest performers. And the absentee rate for black children (24%), defined as missing an average of three or more days per month, is greater than the rate for white striplings (19%).

- According to the late Philip Rushton, black adolescents develop faster than white adolescents (who in turn develop faster than Asians). Consequently, young blacks achieve greater parity with their white counterparts than they do as both groups age. Indeed, very early on black children may be more intelligent than whites and Asians due to relatively accelerated physical development. This meshes with the tentative assertion that the gap may have narrowed among children but doesn't appear to be shrinking among adults. To the extent that differing development levels affect average scores by race, IQ tests based on an average white IQ of 100 given to children will tend to underestimate the eventual cognitive capacity of Asians and overestimate it for blacks.

Parenthetically, the correlation between a state's white-black IQ gap and its propensity to vote for Romney in 2012 is .47 (p-value =  .0013). Unfairly, I can imagine Rush Limbaugh pointing this out as evidence that the Democrats benefit from keeping blacks down!