Race, IQ, and the State of Nations

It seems that the ethnic makeup of a country and its IQ matters. Making the “there goes the neighborhood” saying have some merit…

Whether we like it or not, the ethnic demographics of a society does matter – especially for policy, the values of a nation, and the state of its people. Both the left and the right see race (as a biological or social concept), but both sides see their implications as radically different. The right sees race as something that doesn’t matter; we are all Americans – your race doesn’t define you, nor should anyone care for it. The left, on the other hand, says that race does matter – but only because of racism and that type of stuff.

Regardless of where you stand, race does matter. Once we acknowledge race as a biological reality and the differences that come with it, we can see that racial inequality is natural. We can also see that the ethnic demographics of a nation also matters.

Race as a Biological Concept

Before we continue, we should establish that race is real.

Race is often said to just be a “social construct”; biologically, race doesn’t exist — but it does exist in a social and political sense. Even the American Anthropological Association said that there’s more variation within than between, and that phenotypic differences are continuous (American Anthropological Association 1998).  In an article on Psychology Today, the author writes,

There are no specific racial genes” (Fuentes 2012).

Fuentes goes onto say that race exist in a political and social sense, but not biologically as there’s no race genes.

Before we begin, we must establish what exactly is “race.” Race is our genetic ancestry, it’s simply where our ancestors were from. After branching away from Africa, different races evolved differently from one another. This has to led to differences, which are observable, between these groups; whether they be behavioral, genetic, physical, etc. Each race had to adapt to their own regional environment which led to race differences. One may say “well, the word ‘race’ has meant a lot of things in the past, so why is yours correct?” Well if that’s the case, then I simply surrender the word “race.” Instead, you can substitute “race” for “genetic ancestry,” and the examples of race differences that I’ll name are differences between the ancestors of those from Europe, Africa, East Asia, etc. All I lose is a word, nothing else.

Within the social sciences, it’s often said that race is a recent European invention. Race is not a new concept, in fact, it’s been around for a long time (Wade 2014; Sarich and Miele 2004).

Going back to our first paragraph where Fuentes said that “there is no race specific gene,” Fuentes simply doesn’t understand the biology of race. While we all have the same genes, we differ in gene allele frequency. There is no “race gene” in which different races have different genes specific to them and only them, but we differ in gene alleles, and these different gene alleles vary between racial groups.

Lewontin (1972), Gould (1996), Chou (2017) and others have made the assertion that “there’s more variation within than between.” This is true, but that’s looking at a couple of gene alleles. When you analyze gene alleles over a small number of loci, then you see that there’s more variation within than between, but when you look at more loci, that doesn’t hold true. When analyzed, people cluster in with those of the same race in respects to genetics. This helps us find someones genetic ancestry with a high accuracy.

For example, Witherspoon et al. (2007) found that analyzing gene allele frequency over thousands of loci finds that one racial population is similar to someone in the same population as them. So a European is more genetically related to another European than to an African.

One of the earliest attempts to study DNA differences came in 1994 when looking at tandem repeats (sites on the genome where the same pair of DNA units are repeated several times in tandem), in this case CA repeats, also known as cytosine which is then followed by adenine. When analyzing their subjects on the basis of the number of CA repeats at each genomic location, they found that people clustered together well with their continent origin: Africa, Europe, East Asia, the Americans and Australia (Bowcock et al. 1994).  Furthermore, Li et al. (2008) applied a clustering program and looked at 1,000 people from 51 populations from around the world. Each person had their genome looked at at 65,000 SNP sites; the people sampled from around the world clustered into 5 continental groups. One of new clusters that formed was of the people from Central and South Asia, including India and Pakistan. The second new cluster formation was of people from the Middle East. This, of course, shows how the number of races aren’t fixed, and there could be a large number of races. Genetic clustering analysis have been replicated multiple times (see Bamshad 2003Rosenberg et al 2002Tang et al 2005).

Race differences are also not continuous. If you don’t know what I mean, think of it as this: look at a color spectrum and ask yourself “where does black end and white begin?” People use this when talking about race to make it philosophical in my opinion. Regardless, race differences aren’t continuous despite what places like the AAA might say.  Same race populations are more genetically similar than different race populations even when all three populations are separated by the same geographic distance (Rosenberg 2005).

There is more to the concept of race than just genes (temperament, morphological, etc.), but that’s an article for another day. Anyways, now that we’ve established race as a biological concept – we should see why race differences matter for a nation.

IQ and the Values of Nations

I assume that the reader already acknowledges/ knows about race differences in intelligence, but if you don’t then you can read up on the issue here and come back. It’s better if you understand it before you continue so everything will make more sense.

The IQ of a nation matters since certain IQ’s are related to certain values, and some populations have lower IQ’s. Many of these values are good for society, but a decrease in a nations IQ (for example, letting in low IQ populations) can cause irreversible damages.

Kanazawa (2009) found that even after controlling for economic development, education and history of communism, high IQ societies were more liberal, less religious, and more monogamous.


Average intelligence in societies also increases the highest marginal tax rate; this means that people are more willing to contribute to the private resources for the welfare of people genetically unrelated to them. Each increase in IQ increases the highest marginal tax rate by more than half of a percentage point.


If we consider the reversal, then the dropping of a nations IQ will lead to a reverse. Lower IQ nations will have a higher belief in God (if this is good or bad depends on the person), less liberal, less monogamous, and less people looking out for the welfare of others.

Kanazawa defined liberal as:

the concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others.”

IQ and National Wealth

No matter where you’re in, geo-politics and domestic politics always ends up leading to a discussion on wealth inequality by nations. Socialist and Communist, from my experience, blame capitalism for a nation being poor. Capitalist and Conservatives sometimes say that it’s crony-capitalism and market failure. But what if a nations IQ could be a predictor of its wealth, or lack thereof?

National IQ’s are based on studies usually using the non-verbal Raven’s Progressive Matrices, which is the most g-loaded test (not an absolute measure, but it is correlated with at a high loading). National school achievement is also a good indicator of a countries average intelligence since IQ is correlated with national school achievement at 0.87 (Rinderman 2007) and 0.92 (Lynn et al. 2007). Since IQ correlates well with IQ and earnings for individuals (Strenze 2007), it shouldn’t be a surprise to see that IQ correlates with national wealth, too.

This idea was originally proposed by Lynn and Vanhanen (2002), but since then Hunt and Wittmann (2008) and Whetzel and McDaniel (2006) have confirmed the relationship between IQ and national wealth. Other studies, like Jones & Schneider (2006), Weede 
(2004), and Weede & Kämpf (2002) have found a correlation between national IQ and economic growth. As a nations IQ rises, it decreases income inequality (Meisenberg 2007; 2008). So smarter nations are doing pretty good economically. If we look at national IQ, then we can see why some populations aren’t doing well:

Seeing how IQ is different among st nations, this could explain why some populations are lagging behind others. A popular rebuttal to this is the Jared Diamond fallacy. The fallacy goes that people, for example Africans, are doing bad because of their environment. The environment explains why they’re less intelligent and why they haven’t developed almost anything. This is true, but it’s not that simple.

Race differences in IQ have existed for the past 10,000 years (Lynn 2009), and Africans, for example, have the same average IQ in sub-Saharan Africa and in other environments:


All the studies above average to an IQ of 75. In the Caribbean and Latin America, Africans averaged an IQ of 71; 86 in Britain; 85 in America; and 85 in the Netherlands, according to a meta-analysis in Lynn (2006). The changing in the environment from Africa to America, Britain and the Netherlands does show an increase in IQ, but a large part of this could be attributed to better nutrition and to European admixture – since European admixture increases intelligence (Reed 1969; Chakraborty et al. 1992).

As for the creation for anything:

“The African physical environment contains materials from which to fabricate wheels, axles and yokes; that no African group developed these devices, mathematics, or a calendar suggests inability to do so” (Levin 1997).

Baker (1974) made a criteria to classify a civilization: this included things like the wheel, metallurgy, building with stone, cultivation of food plants, roads, domestication of animals, money, laws ensuring personal security, recognition of a right of the accused to defend himself, written language, abstract knowledge of numbers, a calendar, schools, appreciation of art and knowledge as ends in themselves, and the absence of gross superstitions, cannibalism, torture, and self-mutilation. Using this criteria, the Europeans and the Mongoloids are the only people to actually have a civilization. Others came close, some halfway there, and the rest had nothing.

Thus, environmental predispositions can’t explain why certain populations can’t increase their intelligence and create things. Using Cold Winters Theory, intelligence was under evolution. Populations in colder climates had to adapt in order to have self-control, work in larger groups, and exploit their environment using their intelligence. Populations in hotter climates didn’t have to do that at a high frequency, thus their intelligence wasn’t under evolution as much (Lynn 2009).

Race and the State of Nations

Race and National Decay

In Goboneau’s “l’inégalité Des Races Humaines” (Inequality of Human Races), he carefully looked at the explanations others had brought forth to explain nations that fell

  • Decay of religion
  • Fanaticism
  • Corruption of morals
  • Luxury
  • Bad government
  • Despotism

While looking at them, he rejected them based on historical evidence. He found that the changing demographic of a nation explains it. According to Gobineau, certain races are better at uniting people to make civilization, and some aren’t. Those that aren’t don’t seem to be stopped by environmental causes as they can found in cold and hot climates; fertile lands and barren places; or river-banks, coast and inland regions. When allied tribes are homogeneous they succeed, but as more people from races who are incapable of building civilizations come, civilization starts to decay.

Considering Europeans and Mongoloids are the only races to have developed civilizations, it’d make sense as to why civilization starts to decays when others come in. Especially since racial diversity seems to have negative effects on society.

Racial Diversity

Racial diversity does have negative effects. It seems that the classic “there goes the neighborhood” saying does have some merit.

Posta (2011) found that in European politics, diversity is associated with white support for nationalist parties at the state/ regional level, but not on the local level. Dinesen and  Sønderskov (2012) looked at Denmark from 1979-2009. At the individual level looking at social trust from several surveys, they found that social trust is negatively associated with ethnic diversity. Delhey and Newton (2005) looked at 60 nations around the world. High trust countries were characterized by ethnic homogeneity, protestant religious traditions, good government, wealth, and income equality. They found that ethnic homogeneity and Protestant traditions positively impact individual and societal levels of trust.

Ziller (2014) used data from the European Social Survey 2002-2010 and immigration numbers from ELFS (European Labor Force Survey). Regional economic growth and ethnic polarization as cultural context moderate the relationship. An increase in immigration is related to a decrease in social trust in the context of economic decline and high ethnic polarization. However, in the context of lower polarization, the relationship is positive.

Laurence and Bentley (2016) did a longitudinal test on the impact of diversity. They also used data from the British Household Panel Survey which spanned 18 years. They found that changes in community diversity do lead to changes in attitudes from the community. This change, however, differs by whether people are staying and the community starts to become diverse – or if people are moving into more or less diverse places. The increase of diversity undermines the attitudes from the people who stay, but for the people who moved from a diverse to a homogeneous community, they reported improved attitudes. There is no effect among individuals who move from a homogeneous to a diverse community.   This suggests that the effects of community diversity are likely casual.

Dincer (2011) looked at data from U.S. states. He investigated the relationship between ethnic diversity and trust. He found a negative association between ethnic diversity and trust, and a U-shaped relationship between ethnic fractionalization and trust.


The U-shaped relationship between ethnic fractionalization and trust fits in line with Putnam’s findings (Last 2018).

Neal and Neal (2013) found that neighborhood integration and and cohesion can’t exist. After running multiple trials on different fictional neighborhoods, the results were still the same. The more integrated a neighborhood became, the less socially cohesive it became (and vice versa). Making a place that fosters respect for diversity and a sense of community maybe a last cause. This should manifest itself in other places beyond just communities.

This could be why Advani and Reich (2015) found that minorities above a critical mass, and of whom are culturally different from the majority culture begin to self segregate; why Kelly et al. (2005) looked at 3-month-old babies and found that they prefer faces of the same race than those of a different race; why Ingraham (2014) reported on a study by PRI and found that people have more friends of the same race than friends of a different race; and why Cheng and Xie (2013) found that in large schools, self-segregation occurs; so blacks go with blacks, Hispanics with Hispanics, whites with whites, etc.

Towards a Conclusion

It seems that the ethnic demographic of a country and its IQ matters. High IQ societies are wealthier and have better values that also include the welfare of people genetically un-related to them. The ethnic makeup of a country could mean its decay and drop in social trust, or prosperity – especially if the races differ in intelligence. This could mean a lot for future immigration policies built on the notion that all people are the same and don’t differ at all.

Future policy implications should take into account the side-effects of racial diversity on a nation and why a nation’s IQ matters.


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