Indians Aren`t That Intelligent (On Average)
In this article, I summarize the
evidence for an average IQ of 85 in the group designated
South Asian/North African. The people of
Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, the Gulf States, the Near
East, Turkey and North Africa have an IQ just below the
world average of 90. This is much higher than the
IQ of 70 found for Black Africans, but it is also
much lower than the IQ of 100 found for Europeans.
VDARE.COM readers will know, IQ tests were constructed
in Western Europe and North America and standardized
with an average IQ of 100. The “normal” range
goes from “dull” (IQ around 85) to “bright”
(IQ around 115). IQs of 70 suggest handicap, while IQs
of 130 and above
There are large inequalities in
average IQ scores between groups.
Herrnstein and Murray`s (1994) The Bell Curve
reported that the average IQ for “African”
Americans is lower than those for “Latino”,
“White”, “East Asian”, and “Jewish”
Americans (IQs = 85, 89, 103, 106, and 115,
respectively, pp. 273-278).
In the 1970s the IQ debate became
worldwide when British psychologist
Richard Lynn showed that compared to a White IQ
average of 100, East Asians average about 105 and
sub-Saharan Africans around 70.
By 2006, Lynn had
tabulated 620 IQ studies in 133 different countries.
He clustered the countries into the ten genetic
groupings identified by
L. L. Cavalli-Sforza et al. in their mammoth 1994 History and Geography of Human Genes.
The world average IQ had to be calibrated downwards to
90, as shown in the map.
World Distribution of IQ Scores of Indigenous (pre
Peoples (Adapted from Lynn, 2006).
East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and
Koreans) obtain the highest mean IQ at 105. Europeans
follow with an IQ of 100. Some ways below these are the
Inuit or Eskimos (IQ 91), South East Asians (IQ 87),
Native American Indians (IQ 87),
Pacific Islanders (IQ 85), and South Asians and
North Africans (IQ 84). Well below these are the
sub-Saharan Africans (IQ 67), the Australian Aborigines
(IQ 62), the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, and the
Pygmies of the Congo rain forests (IQ 54).
Even a few years ago, news of
drastically lower mean IQs for any population group—as
low as 70 to 85 in Africa—would have been considered not
an absurdity, but also an injustice. Yet new
empirical work continues to show a world IQ average of
90. It continues to show that mean IQs of 70 are found
sub-Saharan Africa and that mean IQs of 70 to 90 are
typical of many other regions of the world. Outside of
European and East Asian populations, an average IQ as
high as 100 is seldom found.
IQ scores are valuable, of course,
because of their utility in forecasting. IQ differences
between people typically show up by 3 years and remain
consistent over the course of life. IQ scores usefully
predict the capacity to learn and also to reason
logically and flexibly. They can also effectively
predict work behavior, child abuse, crime and
accident proneness, and civic responsibility.
The Bell Curve documented
that IQ scores predict equally well for all groups. For
example, Blacks with IQs of 114 have an equal (or
better) chance of graduating from college than Whites
and Latinos with the same IQs—68%, 50%, and 49%,
respectively, and also of getting top jobs (likely a
affirmative action programs).
In their book IQ and Global Inequality,
Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen
show that national IQ scores correlate well (0.68)
with per capita income and rate of economic development.
They further show that national IQs correlate well with
a number of other social phenomena, such as adult
literacy (0.64), tertiary education (0.75), life
expectancy (0.77), and democratization (0.57).
Back to the Indians.
Classical anthropology often placed
South Asians and North Africans in the same taxonomic
group as Europeans and designated them both as
Caucasoids. But modern genetic studies, such as those by
L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, show the South Asians/North
Africans are a surprisingly distinct “genetic
cluster”. They can be distinguished from Europeans
to their north as well as from sub-Saharan Africans to
their south and the other Asian groups to their east.
The evidence that the average IQ of
the North Africans/South Asians is as low as 85 is
extensive. Lynn reviewed 37 IQ studies from 16 countries
such as India, Pakistan,
Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and found an IQ range of from
77 to 96 with a median of 84. He reviewed 13 studies of
immigrants from those countries in the UK and Australia
and found a median IQ of 89. He reviewed 18 further
studies of South Asians and North Africans in
Continental Europe and found a median IQ of 84. He
reviewed 9 studies of South Asians in Africa, Fiji,
Malaysia, and Mauritius and found a median IQ of 88.
Finally, Lynn reviewed 13 studies of select South Asian
and North African high school and university students
and found a median IQ of 92, eight points higher than
that of general population samples.
Lynn`s finding of an average South
Asian IQ of 85 has been corroborated by Jan te Nijenhuis
and colleagues in Holland, who analyzed thousands of
respondents including nationally representative samples.
They found an average IQ of 81 for first generation
Turks and Moroccans living in the
Netherlands. They found an IQ of 88 for the second
generation, who spoke Dutch and had been educated in the
Dutch school system. They published their results in the
European Journal of Personality.
Another finding of a low South
Asian IQ came from a review of studies on the
Gypsies (or Roma as
they are now often called). This South Asian
population migrated to southeastern Europe from
northwest India between the 9th and 14th
centuries and currently number between 4 and 10 million.
Their average IQ in the Czech Republic and Slovakia,
based on a review of 10 studies by
Petr Bakalar, is below 80. His review was published
2004 Mankind Quarterly.
I too have confirmed the very low
the Roma. This was in a study carried out in and
around Belgrade, in Serbia. My colleagues and I
individually tested 323 16- to 66-year-olds over a
two-year period in three separate communities using the
Raven`s Matrices, a widely-used, culture-reduced,
non-verbal test of general intelligence, and four other
tests usually given to children. On these tests, we
found the Roma averaged at the level of Serbian
10-year-olds. (Our study was
published in the
January 2007 issue of Intelligence.)
I considered the question of
whether the South Asian-European group difference is due
to the genes or culture. My colleagues and I were able
to do this because of the large amount of data available
on the Raven`s test from
twins raised together and apart, as well as from
high school and university samples of East Asians,
Europeans, South Asians, Coloreds, and Blacks in South
We used standard procedures to
calculate the heritabilities for each of the puzzles on
the Raven`s test. Heritabilities are the proportion of
variance accounted for by genetic factors. Since
identical twins share 100% of their genes and fraternal
twins share only 50%, doubling the difference between
their correlations provides one simple estimate of
heritability. In the case of
identical twins raised apart, their similarity
provides a direct estimate of heritability, because they
share no upbringing environment.
In 55 comparisons, including three
independent samples of South Asians, we consistently
found the European-South Asian group difference was more
pronounced on the more heritable test items. We found
this relationship held even after statistically
controlling for possible confounds. (These results were
published in the July 2007 Proceedings of the Royal
Society of London.)
Our study indicates the remarkable
cross-cultural generalizability of test scores. South
Asians, Europeans, East Asians, and Africans all appear
to have the same combination of genetic and non-genetic
influence on cognitive ability. Puzzles found relatively
easy (or difficult) by one group are found relatively
easy (or difficult) by the others. There is no evidence
of any population-specific cultural effect.
Of course, all the differences
described are averages. There are bell-shaped
distributions around each average. The full range of
behaviors, good and bad, is found in every group. No
group has a monopoly on virtue or vice, wisdom or folly,
capacity or incapacity.
VDARE.COM readers have heard about
this research through my reviews of Lynn`s 2006 book
Race Differences in
and his other 2006 book (with Tatu Vanhanen),
IQ and Global Inequality
They may also have read about my research on