Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another state IQ estimate

The IQ hoax revealed how state average IQs pique widespread interest. Some graduate student should be trying to find out what they actually are, for curiosity's sake if nothing else (Randall Parker suggests trying to ascertain them through Though after some satisfaction at pointing out the lower scores in the NASCAR states, the propagators of the big lie would have to revert to feigning no interest in IQ when an astute internet user discovers a powerful inverse correlation between a state's demographic composition and its average IQ.

In the meantime, I'll throw an estimation out there based on the regressions I've run on national IQs, picking two strong variables that don't lose statistical significance when others are controlled for: infant mortality rates and average life expectancy. Like any multivariable regression, the formula produced is linear and is data entered into it are estimated at a 'perfect fit'. Consequently, the estimated IQs (adjusted to a mean national average of 98 and rounded to the nearest decimal place) are probably a bit too tight (while it's unlikely that any state enjoys an average IQ over 100 since the score approximates the non-Hispanic white average, DC's average is probably too high given that it is almost two-thirds black). More 'important', then, is the ranking.

1. Hawaii--99.7
2. Minnesota--99.5
3. Utah--99.3
4. New Hampshire--99.2
5. Massachusetts--99.1
6. Iowa--99.1
7. California--99.0
8. Colorado--99.0
9. Conneticut--99.0
10. Washington--99.0
11. North Dakota--99.0
12. Vermont--98.9
13. Nebraska--98.8
14. Rhode Island--98.8
15. Oregon--98.8
16. South Dakota--98.7
17. Idaho--98.7
18. New York--98.7
19. Wisconsin--98.7
20. Maine--98.6
21. New Jersey--98.5
22. Arizona--98.4
23. Kansas--98.3
24. New Mexico--98.3
25. Florida--98.3
26. Montana--98.2
27. Wyoming--98.2
28. Texas--98.0
29. Virginia--98.0
30. Pennsylvania--97.9
31. Alaska--97.9
32. Illinois--97.8
33. Ohio--97.6
34. Michigan--97.6
35. Maryland--97.6
36. Nevada--97.6
37. Delaware--97.5
38. Missouri--97.5
39. Indiana--97.5
40. North Carolina--97.2
41. Kentucky--97.1
42. Oklahoma--97.0
43. Georgia--96.9
44. Arkansas--96.8
45. West Virginia--96.8
46. Tennessee--96.6
47. South Carolina--96.6
48. Alabama--96.4
49. Louisiana--96.2
50. Mississippi--95.7
51. District of Columbia--95.0

Appears pretty reasonable, although there are a few curiosities, like Hawaii being on top (Asians live forever, and Hawaii's full of them). California seems high, likely in part due to the actual effects of illegal immigrants on the predictors used not being fully reported (first generation Hispanics probably don't live as long as native Californians and reliable birthing statistics are probably hard to come by for that segment of the population).

The color-coding to the 2004 Presidential election results is to keep with the spirit of the hoax. If it taken as plausible, it doesn't tell us much about the IQ of Republican or Democratic voters. As income rises so does the propensity to vote Republican. And as income rises so does IQ (albeit moderately). Kerry picked up 800% more black votes than Bush, even though the blackest states went strongly for Bush (red states, in fact, average a 24% higher proportion of blacks to total population than do blue states). It quickly becomes muddled.

(Human biodiversity)

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