Thursday, February 19, 2009

Smarter countries send people to work, duller countries send people to live, seek refuge

In a previous post I showed countries 'sending' migrants for legal work-related reasons send better people than do countries sending a greater proportion of their total human shipment for reasons of family reunification or as refugees or asylees.

Continuing on that theme, I computed the percentage of migrants gaining residency by way of employment-based preferences by country for '07 from every nation that saw at least 500 of its people granted legal residency in the US during that year. Then I looked at the relationship between this and estimated average national IQ.

The two correlate positively at .51 (p=0). This relationship is attenuated by the presence of a few countries with low average IQs that send lots of workers to the US. Of the 127 countries who had at least 500 people granted legal residency in the US last year, Malaysia, South Africa, and India had the third, fourth, and fifth highest percentages of migrants come via employment-based preferences. The Chinese from Malaysia, whites from South Africa, and brainy Brahmins from India aren't representative of the larger populations in their countries of origin [Razib points out that high educational attainment is a better parameter than any of these designations are]. Removing just these three and looking at the relationship again for the other 124 strengthens the correlation to .58.

If we were looking at the percentage of a nation's population that had the ability to do well in the US, the relationship would be banally predictable. But with the average number of migrants per country coming to a little over 8,000 for the 127 countries, it's only a thin slice of the sending nation's population being looked at. If we take the IQ estimate of 66 for Zimbabwe, that still suggests around 50,000 Zimbabweans with an IQ of 115 or higher. Even the least endowed places could potentially send US employers a sharp contingent.

Yet even with numbers so small (relative to the size of the sending countries), a clear relationship between the percentage of those granted residency due to employment considereations and the average IQ of their home countries exists. Those who've found a place in the US economy are more likely to have come from countries with elevated average IQs. Those coming to swell the size of families already here, as refugees, or as "diversity immigrants" are more likely to come from duller places.

10 comments:

Razib said...

just a minor point, most immigrants from india aren't brahmins. 2/3 are from two ethnicities which are sending few brahmins (gujaratis & punjabis).

Audacious Epigone said...

Razib,

According to an article in the WSJ, about 5% of Indians are Brahmin. Does that sound about right? Is the percentage of Indian immigrants that are Brahmin higher than that, even though it doesn't constitute a majority? I'd think so. I don't know if the majority of South Africans coming to the US are white, but I'm assuming more than 10% are. My point is that immigrants from these countries are not too representative.

Razib said...

My point is that immigrants from these countries are not too representative.

your point is well taken, but you pointed to a less salient parameter when it comes to over-representation. the high educational qualifications are the most significant point in terms of selection bias, while the over over-represented social-caste group are gujarati banias (50-60% of indian americans are gujarati, and the vast majority of these are banias from what i can tell).

ironrailsironweights said...

Regarding Zimbabweans, from what I've heard many of the (former) middle class people fleeing the country's turmoil are going to Britain, where they seem to be reasonably well-accepted. More so than the Pakistanis, for sure.

Peter

agnostic dyslexic said...

I am shocked that the Pakistanis of England are not receiving the Pakistanis of Pakistan well! And that they are welcoming the whites of Zimbabwe better than their own co-ethnicists.

Mr. Audacious, I understand your point even if the rather obtuse Razib does not.

You may expect the flow of immigration to reverse as Mr. Obama's policies begin to take shape in the ruination of your country.

Opportunity to excel for person's of all backgrounds is very rare in the world. Too, too bad that the new US President wants to demolish all of that.

BTW, I wonder if there really is a dog?
Agnostic Dyslexic

ironrailsironweights said...

I am shocked that the Pakistanis of England are not receiving the Pakistanis of Pakistan well! And that they are welcoming the whites of Zimbabwe better than their own co-ethnicists.

The Zimbabweans coming to Britain are not white.
Many of the white farmers who have left Zimbabwe have gone to Mozambique. As I understand it, Mozambique welcomes them.

Peter

Audacious Epigone said...

I'm glad my point is taken, but it's difficult to think of a word less accurate to describe Razib than "obtuse". He (unintentionally) makes me feel obtuse on a regular basis, instead...

Re: the reversal of net migration in the US--great, so the country becomes so troubled that no one wants to come here. That's not the way I want to go about dealing with the immigration issue!

Peter,

Mozambique has pitched itself as an alternative for white South Africans and Zimbabweans, but most of the flight from the country has ended up in Britain. From The Economist:

"The South African Institute of Race Relations, a think-tank, guesses that 800,000 or more whites have emigrated since 1995, out of the 4m-plus who were there when apartheid formally ended the year before. Robert Crawford, a research fellow at King’s College in London, reckons that around 550,000 South Africans live in Britain alone. Not all of South Africa’s émigrés are white: skilled blacks from South Africa can be found in jobs and places as various as banking in New York and nursing in the Persian Gulf. But most are white—and thanks to the legacy of apartheid the remaining whites, though only about 9% of the population, are still South Africa’s richest and best-trained people."

silver said...

countries sending a greater proportion of their total human shipment for reasons of family reunification or as refugees or asylees.

In fewer words, the Organization of Melanin Exporting Nations -- OMEN.

Audacious Epigone said...

Silver,

Hah, very clever. I'm sure it'll be adopted soon by groups like CAIR and La Raza.

silver said...

Let's hope it catches on.

In a previous post I showed countries 'sending' migrants for legal work-related reasons

Oh, like China, Russia, Brazil, India. Yes, the economic strategy of this organization is a little different -- CRIB.