As a follow-up to the notorious IQ-by-Blue-State-v.-Red-State hoax that I exposed back in 2004, a reader wrote to me:
I know this is not really scientifically rigorous, but I thought you might find it interesting. And, no, I didn't pay for it! I took the Tickle IQ test for fun and several days later got an email saying I could get further analysis for free if I look at a couple of ads.
These Tickle state rankings (below) look pretty reasonable to me as estimates of the average non-Hispanic white IQ by state (I presume white people are the main market for online IQ tests, although I may be wrong), with scores boosted by about 10 points due to self-selection and/or grade inflation. Please note that states are not ranked within a particular score such as 114. Within each score, they are displayed (for some reason) in reverse alphabetical order.
Average Tickle IQ Scores By State
Over 30 million people have taken Tickle's Classic IQ Test. Here's a look at the average Tickle IQ scores, broken out by state.
|District of Columbia||115|
You'll note that the range is pretty narrow -- only 5 points separate Washington DC (115) and Mississippi (110). (I would guess that D.C.'s average IQ score is being dragged down a little by the District's large black majority -- it's small white ultra-yuppie population in the Northwest of DC is, I would guess, in a class by itself in average IQ compared to any full state).
In contrast, the IQ hoax data, which The Economist and tens of millions of Internet users fell for (The Economist later published an apology), claimed an absurd 28 point difference between the high and low states and even a 26 point gap between mostly white Connecticut and mostly white Utah.
These results go along pretty well with other data such as NAEP scores, education levels, 1960 Project Talent IQ scores, standard of living, and so forth. Colorado and Virginia have shown themselves over and over to be the pride of the Red States. Utah does a little better here than on other measures.
So, as I've said before, the 2004 blue states do seem to a little better on white IQ than red states, but the difference is not very large.
More direct measures, such as self-reported education levels on exit polls, show the parties being very similar, with Kerry voters having about 6 weeks more schooling than Bush voters in 2004, GOP House voters having more education in 2002, and Bush and Gore voters being virtually tied in 2000.