IQ and Achievement in British Black Children

Repost from the old site. It has been noted that British Black children do poorly in school. But the purpose of this essay is to give lie to the theory that they do poorly in school due to low intelligence. In fact, it is not true that British Black kids to age 15 have low intelligence at all. After age 15, it is possible that they may have low IQ’s that prevent many of them from reasonable school achievement.

British Black Children
Age   Grade      IQ
4     Preschool  106
7     2nd        97.5
8     3rd        96.5*
9     4th        95.5*
10    5th        94.5*
11    6th        93.5*
12    7th        92.5*
13    8th        91.5*
14    9th        90.5*
15    10th       89.5
16    10th       88.8?
17    11th       88?
18    12th       87.2?
24    ----       85?
* indicates an estimation
? indicates a sheer guess based on
available data and studies of US

All scores are from here. The quoted study is West et al 1992. That study found an 8-point IQ differential between UK Blacks and UK Whites in 1992. I believe that that worked out to an average and aggregated UK Black IQ of 93.5 for 7-15 year old’s. It turns out that the gap is about 4 IQ points at age 7 and extends to about 12 IQ points by age 15. As you can see, UK Black IQ is highest among kids and declines as individuals age. Unfortunately, this does seem to be the case with Blacks. I lowered UK Black IQ down to 85 by age 18 because that is what Black IQ does in the US between ages 15-18-24. For instance, in the US, Black kids seem to start out high and then crash down to ~85 by adulthood. But see my recent post suggesting that the US Black adult IQ may now be ~87. The figures tend to vary depending on which IQ tests are being used for comparison. The 106 score is from a recent study of preschool children in the UK, which showed approximately 108 IQ for British East Indians and 106 IQ for UK West Indian (Black) children, both at age 4. Both scores exceeded scores from UK Whites of ~102. This study has  upset hereditarians, who have countered with an argument about selective immigration, but James Flynn has stated that selective immigration from Jamaica at least could not possibly have raised IQ more than a few points or so. Another argument is that UK Blacks are now heavily admixed with Whites, but this is not the case. UK Blacks are 1 As you can see, up until age 15 or so, British Black kids have perfectly adequate intelligence. Much has been made of the very high homicide rate of British Black youth, but in minors at least, it cannot possibly be due to low intelligence. There must be other factors at play here, which may indeed be genetically mediated, at least in part. The notion that the high failure rate of British Black youths in schools is due to low intelligence must be abandoned. We should also note that in only the past four years, UK Blacks have closed the achievement gap in school with UK Whites by fully 1/3. This mirrors a similar drop in the achievement gap in the US for US Blacks, over 30 years, of a similar 1/3. The notion that there are permanent achievement gaps, set in stone, that are purely genetic, and that cannot be remediated in any way must be rejected. The achievement gap between Blacks and Whites, whatever it is, is not permanently and genetically fixed at any known number. It is a flexible boundary that is subject to movement towards closure by Blacks, especially in the last 40 years of Liberation. There is no permanent Western Black IQ called “85”, as hereditarians insist. The Western Black IQ varies with age and is rising. This rise can no longer be denied.

UK Blacks 15 yrs 89.5      
Croatia          90
Bosnia           90
Albania          90
UK Blacks 14 yrs 90.5      
Serbia           91
UK Blacks 13 yrs 91.5      
Cyprus           91.5
Chile            91.5
Greece           92
UK Blacks 12 yrs 92.5      
Macedonia        92.5
Ireland          93
Bulgaria         93
Armenia          93.5
UK Blacks 11 yrs 93.5 
Georgia          93.5
Israel           94
Romania          94
Argentina        94.5
UK Blacks 10 yrs 94.5
Portugal         95
Portugal         95
Slovenia         95.5
UK Blacks 9 yrs  95.5
Moldova          95.5
Uruguay          96
Slovakia         96
Malta            96
Russia           96.5
Belarus          96.5
UK Blacks 8 yrs  96.5
Ukraine          96.5
Spain            97.5
Czech Republic   97.5
UK Blacks 7 yrs  97.5 

As you can see, obviously, UK Black students to age 15 do not have low IQ scores. The notion that low IQ holds back UK Black students and that their IQ’s are so low that they cannot be properly educated in British schools  needs to be challenged. This theory cannot be supported. Whatever the problems of the Black students in the UK, low IQ cannot be one of them. An analogy may suffice here about the variance between Black and White IQ’s. Suppose you and I are running away from a tiger. It also may be true that if I am racing with you away from the tiger, I need not run faster than the tiger. I need only run faster than you. Therefore, if rising Black IQ’s are countered by rising White IQ’s we run into an IQ arms race and Black IQ gains are in a sense nullified in terms of White competition. Hence: As UK Whites consistently score from 4 points ahead at age 7, to 8 points ahead at age 12, to 12 points ahead at age 15, the IQ differential between Black and White youths will only grow with age, surely discouraging the Blacks. But differentials are real and obvious, and in terms of test scores anyway, as long as those differentials are there, UK Whites will continue to outscore UK Blacks, and misguided British laws such as the newly passed Race Relations Act which mandate equal educational outcomes by race will always fall short of their requirements.


Mackintosh, Nicholas. (1998) IQ and Human Intelligence. OUP.West, A., Mascie-Taylor, C., and Mackintosh, N. (1992) Cognitive and educational attainment in different ethnic groups. J. Biosocial Science, 24, 539-554.
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11 thoughts on “IQ and Achievement in British Black Children”

  1. Rob,
    An increase in the IQ gap is consistent with the hereditarian hypothesis, as the heritability of IQ increases with age. Basically, the model would be: Genotypically low IQ Blacks raise phenotypically low IQ Black who develop into genotypically low IQ Blacks; then genotypically higher IQ Whites initiate all sort of policies (Head Start, etc) so they can raise phenotypically higher IQ Blacks who develop into genotypically low IQ Blacks, anyways.
    That model seems to fit some of the data better . In 1966, the massive Coleman report found a 1SD B-W gap across ages. Since, the gap has only been decreased for younger Blacks. How do environmentalists explain that? If the contemporaneous increase (0 SD to 1 SD) is due to “culture” or white “racism,” why didn’t “culture” or “racism” cause the 1966 youth gap to double from 1 SD to 2 SD?
    In this same vein of thought, It’s funny that Flynn makes the following point:
    “At just 10 months old, the average score is only one point behind; by the age of 4, it is 4.6 points behind, and by the age of 24, the gap is 16.6 points. This could be due to genes, but the steady rate after the age of 4 (about 0.6 IQ points lost every year) suggests otherwise, since genetically driven differences such as height differences between males and females tend to kick in at a certain age.”
    That “steady rate” sounds rather like the known linear rate of increase in the heritability of g. What “cultural” effects could produce such a continuous increase? What shared culture do 10 month old and 24 years old have? Racism you say? — white hillbillies sneaking into the rooms of Black toddlers and children all across the world and tickling their toes and whispering “bell curves” into their ears to disrupt their sleep and given them stereotype threat? Possibly, by why not back in the 60’s too?

    1. on thing that is still overlooked is the effect of a steroid hormone on the brain; one step of making vitamin D is for UVB light to hit the skin; dark skinned people are impaired in how much vitamin D they make if living in temperate zones and/or if they work indoors; Also this is important to the developing fetus.; there is vast information about this; go to for information ; see the review of vitamin D by Wacker and Holick.

      1. Agreed. It should be in the piece, but it isn’t. Also your reference to West et al seems not to exist. The link which says where you got the data from doesn’t have the data.

  2. No intelligent person from any group – racist or not – is seriously claiming there is a fixed 15 point gap between blacks and whites in the Western world. That may be claimed of African-Americans, since their scores are more or less in line with that gap over the last 50 or so years. But if you’re talking about recently immigrating blacks in any country, which is what you’re really referring to with UK blacks, this whole discussion is over before it even began. The discussion now becomes more about immigration policy than the ability of normal black folks. Think how African immigrants to the US are one of the most successful groups in America, but just like with Indian-Americans, they are not a representative sample of their native people. I know the latter group has a far higher IQ than its respective host country (and I can personally vouch for this, being a member of this ethnicity), and I reckon the same goes with African immigrants to the US. It’s called scooping up the cream of the crop. Brain drain. Whatever you want to call it. Even white nationalists acknowledge this effect and it certainly doesn’t hurt their arguments. When you get such unrepresentative black IQ scores, it does nothing to prove that blacks as a naturally or artificially created group are more intelligent than we thought before. It only proves that the best and brightest can compete with other ethnic groups – well, duh!
    The contribution of recent African immigrants to the black IQ is a reason you may soon find the black IQ rising – just know that by then, the mix in the black population may not be what it is today and, in my opinion, certainly wouldn’t be representative of the IQ blacks in America would have if our African immigrant pool consisted of average black men and women.
    Applying the same logic to the UK – British Africans and British Afro-Caribbeans may also be a result of some level of selective immigration policy, since most of them arrived within the last 50 years. Even on worker visas, there are screening measures that may have been employed. This is something that must be investigated before arriving at some inference about universal black ability. And that goes for whether you’re talking about their universal ability in the West, in Africa, across the world, etc.

  3. The parents and grandparents of these black British kids who came to Britain in the 60’s and 70’s were treated and talked about with a shocking degree of racism. They struggled to find a bedsit because of no blacks policies, there was massive discrimination by employers and they were systematically bullied by the police.
    Given these factors alone, they were bound to end up ghettoised, with poor council housing and high rates of unemployment, and feeling bitter or oppressed or hated or looked down upon or not accepted. I don’t know which as I’m not them but I can only imagine.
    Enter their children.
    Even in poor white areas, most of the kids don’t go off to university or have high aspirations or great prospects. But with the black kids, as well as the usual shit you have to put up with if you’re poor, they are even more profoundly alienated from the mainstream society. And they feel it and they know it every time they are stopped and searched by the police, which is a lot.
    Now add to that the fact that a lot of them don’t have fathers. Also add in the bad influence of American gangster rap (the glorification of violence, drugs, and misogyny and the promotion of gang life) and American black ghetto culture. Now throw in some weapons. And peer pressure and what your friends are doing. And the dangers of the streets if you aren’t in a gang. And the promise of money.
    Then we wonder why otherwise smart kids don’t live up to their potential and take to crime.

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