IQ Scores of Oppressed Minorities

There is some interesting literature out there about IQ gaps in minorities and in particular in oppressed minorities.

For instance, in Japan, Burakumin (a caste-like minority) and Koreans (an oppressed minority in Japan) have very low IQ scores and poor school performance relative to Japanese. The Burakumin have a 15 pt gap in IQ. However, it is said that when Burakumin immigrate to the US, in the second generation, the 15 pt difference evaporates and their children score even a bit higher than Japanese.

Japanese Koreans are also said to do very well in school and on IQ tests in the second generation after migration to the US, but they do poorly when they are in Japan.

There are also other examples of IQ score differences between close neighbors in the same nation who would appear to have similar genetics, for example between French vs. Flemish speakers in Belgium, Irish and Scottish vs. English in Great Britain, and Afrikaans speaking Whites vs. English speaking Whites in South Africa.

Children of immigrants of all types seem to score higher than those who stay behind. This difference is mysterious and apparently cannot be accounted for on the basis of selective immigration. Something about immigration itself seems to stimulate cognition in immigrants and their children.


Sternberg, Robert J. (Editor), Grigorenko, Elena L. (Editor). 2001. Environmental Effects on Cognitive Abilities. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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6 thoughts on “IQ Scores of Oppressed Minorities”

  1. The IQ of lower castes in India is low because they are very oppressed (at least historically) and some of the low castes are likely to have some Australian blood.

    I think when you average the IQ of higher and middle castes, then India’s will be high as any, even the East Asians.

  2. To Robert:

    Arguably Chinese in Malaysia (and I think you would agree Chinese in Indonesia…) are oppressed minorities yet they dramatically out perform the indigenous people of Malaysia and Indonesia. Basically the same thing with Jews in Europe before WWII. By the way the so called IQ gap between Irish Catholics and Protestants came from hereditarian Richard Lynn. I suspect that this is an interpretation from his data and that he was examining tests to enter A Levels and not culture neutral IQ tests. (The schools systems between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland were
    markedly different until the 80s.. basically the Protestants followed the English model, so it’s not much of a surprise that outperform Catholics on tests that were designed for students of the British system…)

    I’ve tried to find more data for this notion on the internet but basically all of the articles reference books which I can not obtain from my local library.

  3. “However, it is said that when Burakumin immigrate to the US, in the second generation, the 15 pt difference evaporates and their children score even a bit higher than Japanese.”

    I’m not sure. Some other blog says that’s poor scholarship from Ogbu, based on “gossip”, and that the gap actually persists.

    It says, however, that Korean immigrants to Japan also suffer there from a decline in accomplishment that’s analog to the White-Black gap in the US and much of the world. Whereas Korean immigrants to other places don’t.

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