December 18, 2006

Is America Headed Toward Idiocracy?

My new column:

Is America headed toward Idiocracy?

To sum up, there are three trends that will lower the national average IQ:

1. More black (and possibly Hispanic) children are born to women with IQs below the black mean

2. Faster growth for racial/ethnic groups with lower average IQs

3. Shorter generation times for lower IQ mothers

Over the course of two generations, these three effects combined would drive down IQ by approaching four points. National average IQ would fall from a little under 97 in 2000 to around 93 by the middle of the century.

Bear in mind that this is not a complete forecast, just a model that simplifies some complicated trends. It no doubt leaves out other important changes, such as the potentially countervailing but poorly understood Flynn Effect of rising raw test scores.

A four point decline by the middle of the century is not catastrophic. So we can rest assured that 2055 won't look precisely like 2505 in "Idiocracy."

Yet, a three or four point decline would have broad, noticeable impacts. Call it Idiocracy Lite. As the population gets dumberer, entertainment will become even dopier than it is now. The population is likely to get surlier, less interested in higher culture. And the competence of the workforce will drop.

The irony is that white liberal elitists, who see themselves as better than the rest of America because (A) they loudly proclaim their belief in equality; and (B) they have above average IQs, are particularly likely to find disagreeable the new America that they have helped midwife through their support for open borders.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Steve Sailer said...

If you feel like trying to do your own calculation of the likely national average IQ trend, I strongly encourage you because it's a complicated problem, so multiple heads are better than just mine.

Anonymous said...

The obvious solution would seem to be for white liberals, the poor darlings, to have more children.

Unknown said...

You're a joke

Anonymous said...

There is a little hope for a pill that will make people smarter. NOTE There is already evidence that Ritalin makes children better students.

BTW wouldn't it be funny if a drug maker invented a pill that made people smarter but it worked much better on black people (maybe becuase they have better short term memory.).

Anonymous said...

Sir, I believe that the white liberals you refer to would move to selected countries in Europe where the racial balance was more to there liking. Gwyneth Paltrow for example. Alec Baldwin has hinted at doing the same. Johnny Depp as well.

Anonymous said...

I computed, based on analysis of the General Social Survey, that intelligence is decreasing by 1/10 of a standard deviation each generation. That's 1.5 IQ points per generation (because IQ was arbitrarily set to have a standard deviation of 15).

I mentioned the 1/10 number, as well as a bioevolutionary reason for it in my blog post:

If you follow the links from that post, you will see that I also did analysis of GSS respondents born before 1911, so they were having children in the 1920s and 1930s, and the same dysgenic breeding patters were observable way back then.

Anonymous said...

The link which should have been in the above post.

Vol-in-Law said...

I think lower-IQ groups have always had more children than higher-IQ, but in the past the two strategies were comparably effective because more low-IQ children died before reproducing. The welfare state changes the balance of fitness to favour the higher reproduction strategy, but this is likely self-correcting as the welfare state will not be able to maintain itself indefinitely as median IQ falls and the burden on remaining high-IQ population becomes heavier & heavier. The Lynn/Flynn effect may delay this, but eventually there will be a correction, similar to the end of the Roman civilisation.

Vol-in-Law said...

So, there will definitely never be a situation akin to "Idiocracy"; by the time median IQ in the developed nations has fallen 20 or so points I suspect the collapse will be well underway; the lowest median IQs in successfully industrialised nations are around 90, though 85 is probably sustainable.

If IQ is dropping only 1.5 per 25 years and a 20 point fall is necessary for civilisational collapse, that looks like a collapse could take over 300 years, which coincidentally is about how long the western Roman empire endured after its peak under Trajan.

Anonymous said...

I can confirm the lower talent entering production in industry from our new hires over the past few years. We no longer get many folks with "a couple of years of college" or "some tech school". We get more and more folks that just made it through high school. They are usually a little less talented and motivated, and more mistake-prone (but not always). I think talented people are going to avoid any type of vocation that can possibly be outsourced or have cheaper labor insourced to do it. Its just common sense.

I, like Sailer, never get over the fact that wealthy pro-immigration elites, hardly ever have anything personally to do with the people that they are so anxious to "insource". I expect there to be more and more gated community-type developments on the high end, and more small condos and trailers on the low end in America over the next few decades until demographics put the Dems firmly in power. Then who-in-the-world knows what will be next when they are the "drivers" politically. Anything could happen then. Progress is not a given with humanity. Rome moved backwards as time went on, and so can we. We sure as hell could benefit from a great public educational system, but I dont see that happening any time soon. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I loved Idiocracy! I managed to see it... the hundred or so folks who showed up loved it too!

Couple of points:

1) I understand how a shorter generation gap can increase population growth, but doesn't that only make sense if fertility is above replacement? I'd expect that if it was below replacement, it would actually cause a faster population decline eventually. (A bunch of women having their one child at 20 rather than 30 would mean the generation 20 years later is half as big for the 20-year-old mothers, but two-thirds as big for 30-year-old mothers.)

2) When the survey showed that 50% of white births were to white mothers below the average white IQ, was this real European "white" or actually "white+Hispanic"? In many stats, if there's only "white" and "black" (without specifying "non-Hispanic white") they lump in the Hispanics with the whites. If they in fact did this, it would suggest that high-IQ whites actually reproduce considerably more than their share.

3) I expect U.S. Hispanic fertility is actually substantially lower than 2.88 due to a vast undercount in the number of Hispanics in the U.S., whereas the number of births are probably about accurate due to our having to give Hispanics free medical care. (Rough point: 950,000 births for 45 million Hispanics would give a larger birth rate than 950,000 births for 40 million Hispanics.)

Anonymous said...

P.S. I got that last sentence in parentheses backwards; change "larger" to "smaller".

Steve Sailer said...

Good questions, Corvinus:

1. The national Total Fertility Rate is right about 2.05, and the replacement rate is around 2.07, so that shouldn't be a big problem in making the shorter generation calculations.

2. Murray's 50% figure is, I believe, for non-Hispanic whites.

3. The Hispanic Total Fertility Rate was reduced after the 2000 Census found 10% more Hispanics than expected. So, much of the reduction in Hispanic TFR that you predict has already taken place.

Overall, It's kind of a six of one, half dozen of the other situation for predicting Hispanic total population in the future. If there are more illegel immigrants here than we know about, then the TFR is lower than we think, but the number of adults is higher, so overall it's a wash.

Steve Sailer said...

Hey, how do you insert links into these comments?

Gerald Hibbs said...

[A HREF="put url here"]Link name here[/A]

replace ] with >
replace [ with <

Anonymous said...

Rascism so blatant even the Google text ads know it.

Anonymous said...

Entertainment is fragmenting and will continue to do so. No loss there. You will find what you want as a sliver of a demographic.

IMHO, the significant concern is per capita economic contribution--you know, all those bricks that when piled-up form a structure.

It's a cliche, but we live in an information economy; an economy that is rapidly filleting the middle class into success and success-nots. The arbiter of the cut is IQ.

True College level work requires an IQ of about 115. An info-economy requires college level skills. There will always be a need for manual labor--labor that does not require a degree. And shifting the population IQ down a couple of notches might be negligible in an age where your brawn brought home the bacon. But not today. Get below a certain IQ threshold and you are functionally retarded, competing against a virtual sea of similar souls for the shrinking handful of menial jobs that have not been automated. Given current immigration policy, the trend will inevitably continue.

Who picks up the slack in such a world? Who will support the institutions that allow society the luxury of acting humane, institutions that civilize civilization. If you look at the third world, the answer is pretty clear. There are no such niceties. Walled compounds, violence and the kind of security once given only to Heads-of-State are the norm.

No communal bonds, no boundaries, no law, no allegiance except to the clan.

Interesting times ahead for America. I don't think the body of the country will take these changes in stride. There's no precedent in America for the "oh-well" mindset. The pattern of our culture has always been populist upheaval--from the very beginning. Seems like we're due for another history lesson.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your analysis, Steve. Some people might take an elitist view of your projections and believe that the few high-IQ descendants that they have will benefit from the overall IQ decline. Therefore, I would like to point out the negative health and genetic consequences to high-IQ descendants from older maternal and paternal ages, such as poorer Apgar scores, premature births, and shorter lifespans. I recall reading that children of older parents likely inherit more point mutations. You have already pointed out how Griggs vs. Duke Power Co. made education the accepted manner of demonstrating IQ to potential employers, which also pushed up the age of childbirth for high-IQ couples. I am concerned that we are not merely becoming a society stratified as either "dim" or "bright," but rather one stratified as either intellectually-gifted or physically-gifted. Perhaps such a society might mock the values of those who are pathetically gifted only intellectually.

Anonymous said...

Here are links for the claims I just made:

Apgar score
premature births
shorter lifespans

The end of this presentation discusses the relationship between paternal age and offspring point mutations.

Anonymous said...

I just came across a news article
about former Mayor Marion Barry, current DC politician. He was arrested again and is considering suing for "racial profiling."

The funny part were the automatic related links generated at the bottom of the article:

Previous Stories:
November 14, 2006: Barry Pleads Not Guilty To DUI
September 11, 2006: Marion Barry Detained By Police
August 7, 2006: Barry Facing More Legal Woes
May 12, 2006: Police: Former Mayor Fails Field Sobriety Test
March 9, 2006: Marion Barry Sentenced On Tax Charges
February 27, 2006: Barry Shows Off Gasifier Machine
February 8, 2006: Federal Judge Postpones Barry Sentencing
February 7, 2006: Marion Barry Heads Back To Court
January 11, 2006: Marion Barry Fails Drug Test
January 3, 2006: Marion Barry Robbed At Gunpoint
November 11, 2005: Gasification Machine Removed From Anacostia Parking Lot
November 10, 2005: Energy Machine Demonstration Held Without Fireworks
November 10, 2005: D.C. Leaders Almost Go Toe-To-Toe
October 28, 2005: Marion Barry Pleads Guilty To Tax Charges
October 5, 2005: Mayor Offers Words Of Support For Barry
October 4, 2005: Barry To Plead Guilty For Failing To File Tax Returns

Idiocracy in action now, and a taste of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Then again, isn't America having a lower average IQ a small price to pay for having illegal immigrants to do the work that Americans won't do? Oh. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

George Bush has a cunning plan to avert this IQ freefall.With his campaign to bring democracy to the Middle East and elsewhere,a hefty slice of the left bell curve will be sheared off with each generation,as low IQ boys get drafted and the smarter ones go to college to avoid just that.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously a racist idiot. You probably watched that stupid movie "idiocracy", and with your keen white supremist observation skills, noticed that there was a large amount of minorities in it. In which you decided to come up with this blog to lay out your "FACTS" about minorities "dumbing down" the nation's IQ average. I will tell you what, I live an an area where the minority is white and they are some trailer park, Jerry Springer, meth addicted idoits. Now I am not saying that all white people are that way, but I am saying that you have nonsense from all races.

Anonymous said...

Since The Industry does the Governmenting, it's the Industries Amusement Park that is the tool to making "the people" into amused milking cows. Natural Evolution will do the rest.

This is capitalism brought to it's extremes.

Take it or leave it.

I say there's more flavours in the world than the ones we're being presented.

Anonymous said...'re leaving out multiple variable. Over 1 million tons of toxic waste has been spewed out by factories in the first five weeks of this year.

When you factor in GM foods, electromagnetic pollution, plastic leeching into our bodies, pesticides, herbicides, 90,000+ synthetic chemicals introduced into the environment, uranium radiation, heavy metals, tainted air, water, and get a dumbing down of the people, chemically, and energetically.

Our dna is mutating at unfathomable rates. Autism has increased many folds. Oh yes, militarized mycoplasma has infected the general population.

It's not just education which is dumbing us down. I was the kid who went to class once or twice a week, was sent to the ISS box, did all the assignments and tests at once, aced most of them, then left to smoke joints the rest of the day.

Education has been dumbed down for a reason. To keep us dependent on the state. Hell, we don't even get an education anymore, it's propaganda. It's bullshit that's designed to keep us socially compliant, and complacent. I knew this before I hit puberty!

The thing is, I became dull before hitting 18. It was mainly my diet. Once I stopped eating sodas, starting filtering my water of fluoride specifically, and started taking various nutrients, probiotics, herbs, and adaptogens, my IQ shot back up. I tested for the asvab last year and hit 97th percentile. That's coming from someone who dropped at 17, and had very little college.

What I'm trying to get at is that people should be looking to internal (diet) / external (gaia) environments when trying to figure the rate at which Americans are becoming idiots.

I think idiocracy is already here. Seriously, it's all around. People are clueless to what's going on outside of their general area. They don't understand that they've been had by the bankers. That wars are nonsense. That religion is a means of control. That govern-ment's two latin roots mean control, authority ; mind thought. It literally translates as authority of thought, or mind control!

People are brainwashed to the Nth degree. The tele should be a factor as well. The easiest way to enter mindlessness is to watch the 99%+ immoral nonsense which is called t.v. PROGRAMMING.

Wake up, guys. We're being dumbed down on purpose, and the reason is to keep us sheep in line.