Richard Lynn's The Global Bell Curve—The Explanation That Fits The Facts

Richard Lynn's new book The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ and Inequality Worldwide builds on Richard  Herrnstein and Charles Murray's The Bell Curve. Its subject: whether the same type of racial hierarchy in IQ and socio-economic status that Herrnstein and Murray documented in the US is present in other parts of the world. Its answer: yes.

In The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray found that the average IQ for African Americans (85) is lower than for Hispanic (89), White (103), East Asian (106), and Jewish Americans (113). In The Global Bell Curve, Lynn shows in detail that similar racial IQ/socio-economic hierarchies are indeed present within Africa, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Throughout the world, Europeans and East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) average the highest IQs and socio-economic positions. The lowest averages are found among the Aborigines in Australia and in Africans and their descendants. Intermediate positions are occupied by the Amerindians, the South Asians from the Indian sub-continent, the Maori in New Zealand, and by the mixed race peoples in South Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The same pattern is found on many other social and life history indicators, such as educational levels, earnings, health, accidents, crime, marriage, fertility, and mortality.

Lynn's new book provides fascinating historical vignettes of all the migrations and mixing of peoples. It also provides clear tables of data, which allow the reader to check the facts for themselves.

For example, in Brazil, it is the Japanese who are the highest-achieving group. They were brought in as indentured labourers to work the plantations after slavery was abolished in 1888. Yet, today, the Japanese outscore Whites on IQ tests, earn more, and are over-represented in university places. Although they are less than one percent of the total population, they comprise 17 percent of the students at the elite University of Sao Paulo.

In Caribbean countries such as Cuba, Trinidad, and Guyana, it was the Chinese and South Asians who were brought in after the end of slavery. Subsequently, they too began to do well, with the Chinese excelling and the South Asians placing intermediate to Whites and Blacks. 

In Britain large numbers of Blacks from Africa and the Caribbean, and South Asians from Africa, India, and Pakistan began to enter the country in the 1950s and 1960s.