December 3, 2013

Overall PISA rankings, including America by race

Here are today's 2012 PISA average scores ranked by the mean across the three subjects. Americans' scores by race are broken out to make the comparisons less misleading. In summary, each race in America appears to average a little better than their racial cousins overseas. (By the way, in the following list, the italicized names refer to non-OECD places):

Country or "Economy" Reading Science Math Mean
OECD average              496 501 494 497
Shanghai-China            570 580 613 587
Singapore                 542 551 573 556
Hong Kong-China           545 555 561 554
Asian Americans 550 546 549 548
Korea, Republic of        536 538 554 542
Japan                     538 547 536 540
Chinese Taipei            523 523 560 535
Finland                   524 545 519 529
Estonia                   516 541 521 526
Liechtenstein             516 525 535 525
Massachusetts All Races 527 527 514 523
Macao-China               509 521 538 523
Canada                    523 525 518 522
Poland                    518 526 518 521
Netherlands               511 522 523 519
Switzerland               509 515 531 518
White Americans 519 528 506 518
Connecticut All Races 521 521 506 516
Vietnam                   508 528 511 516
Ireland                   523 522 501 516
Germany                   508 524 514 515
Australia                 512 521 504 512
Belgium                   509 505 515 510
New Zealand               512 516 500 509
Multiracial Americans 517 511 492 507
United Kingdom            499 514 494 502
Austria                   490 506 506 500
Czech Republic            493 508 499 500
France                    505 499 495 500
Slovenia                  481 514 501 499
Denmark                   496 498 500 498
Norway                    504 495 489 496
Latvia                    489 502 491 494
United States             498 497 481 492
Luxembourg                488 491 490 490
Spain                     488 496 484 490
Italy                     490 494 485 490
Portugal                  488 489 487 488
Hungary                   488 494 477 487
Iceland                   483 478 493 484
Lithuania                 477 496 479 484
Croatia                   485 491 471 482
Sweden                    483 485 478 482
Florida All Races 492 485 467 481
Russian Federation        475 486 482 481
Israel                    486 470 466 474
Slovak Republic           463 471 482 472
Greece                    477 467 453 466
Hispanic Americans 478 462 455 465
Turkey                    475 463 448 462
Serbia, Republic of       446 445 449 447
Cyprus                    449 438 440 442
United Arab Emirates      442 448 434 441
Bulgaria                  436 446 439 440
Romania                   438 439 445 440
Thailand                  441 444 427 437
Chile                     441 445 423 436
African Americans 443 439 421 434
Costa Rica                441 429 407 426
Mexico                    424 415 413 417
Kazakhstan                393 425 432 416
Montenegro, Republic of   422 410 410 414
Malaysia                  398 420 421 413
Uruguay                   411 416 409 412
Brazil                    410 405 391 402
Jordan                    399 409 386 398
Argentina                 396 406 388 397
Tunisia                   404 398 388 397
Albania                   394 397 394 395
Colombia                  403 399 376 393
Indonesia                 396 382 375 384
Qatar                     388 384 376 383
Peru                      384 373 368 375

Source: My previous PISA postings, which are based on federal NCES access to PISA scores.


Luke Lea said...

How do you explain Argentina?

JerseyGuy said...

Are there U.S. state rankings broken out by race. I would be interested in seeing the state rankings by whites.

Anonymous said...

How about dividing Canada by race--white canadians and asian canadians?

Anonymous said...

Expecting a lot of comments in denial.

As a health care worker, I often see such denial in terminally ill patients. Pity.

Alex said...

I worked in a Taiwanese high school for two years. The students were incredibly bright, motivated, and hard-working, and this was in a second-tier school in a second-tier city. Notably, although it was a public school, they had also already been winnowed down. , all the jackasses and retards and fuckups in the neighborhood were sent to a different school, right next door, where they learned trades and smoked and polished their motorcycles while skipping class. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that the ROC ministry of education has figured out a way of keeping them out of the national PISA score. I would like to see a journalist tackle this.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts or comment on the passing of HGTV's 'Curb Appeal' Host, Steve

"HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal’ Host Killed in Motorcycle Crash"

"Bill Beckwith, a contractor and carpenter who co-hosted HGTV’s “Curb Appeal,” died Tuesday in San Francisco after a motorcycle accident."

Anonymous said...

"Father, 41, behind the Doritos Locos Tacos dies of brain cancer - never having made a cent from idea"

" Todd Mills, 41, hit upon the genius idea while watching television in 2009
Approached Doritos and Taco Bell and was re-buffed
But in 2012 was invited to be one of the first to try the hybrid snack
The Doritos Locos Tacos brand has sold over 600 million units and turned around Taco Bell's fortunes to the tune of $1 billion in sales"

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Malaysia's scores broken out by race. My husband is Malaysian Chinese (so, ethnically identical to Singaporean Chinese; they used to be countrymen) and MCs live in an alternate reality from their Malay compatriots. I bet their score's track Singapore's.

Perspective said...

"How about dividing Canada by race--white canadians and asian canadians?"

If the Toronto District School board (TDSB) results are any indication, you would probably find Asians as group would score higher than whites overall, but the gap would be narrower than in the US. Overall, in Toronto at least, East Asians (Koreans, Japanese and Chinese) score higher than whites and South Asians score as high to slightly lower than whites. IIRC, the TDSB actually disaggregates in to very specific racial-ethnic categories. For example, whites are broken down in to Canadian white, Northern Euro white, East Euro white and south euro white.

Harold said...

An anonymous commenter wrote:
“Expecting a lot of comments in denial.”
Denial about what exactly?
Are you, perchance, the same Anonymous I replied to in the PISA maths post comments?

What is so hard about picking a fake name? Here are some you can use: John R. Frederickson, O, Jipopoloutolopop,
13kjl, Ben, Yan Zhang, iamamoron, Sylvia Wise, fooooooo, Anonymous9.

The Wobbly Guy said...


Malaysia scored lower than African Americans?!? I know their educational system sucks, and the cognitive potential of Malays is low, but... this is a real surprise.

The Wobbly Guy said...

I think it's been commented on that that the Asian American score could be due to selection effects - these are the elites who migrate to the US.

In addition, a similar bureaucratic effect could be in play in virtually all the East Asian nations - cherry picking schools that are apt to perform well.

For my own country of Singapore, they used a fair number of students for the survey, and the sample population seemed to be large enough that I don't think cherry picking was done.

With 167 participating secondary schools (out of a total of about 175?), already segregated by ability, it should be quite fair, unless they went out and cherry picked the top 5% of students from even the weakest schools.

The Wobbly Guy said...

Oops, one final note:

Singapore is not homogenous (70% chinese, rest is malay and indian). I think we're the highest ranked multi-culti country. Hmmm...

What would the results be if we tracked only the chinese?

Anonymous said...

Steve this is unfair and you know it. You cannot compare White Americans to everybody in Canada, Germany, UK, France, etc. If you broke it all down by race and country, you will still find that the White people of Canada, Scandinavia, Netherlands and Germany do better than White Americans. White Americans are only as good at academics as White English, Irish, French, and Belgians. White Americans will do better than White Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards.

Ichabod Crane said...

To compare apples to apples I'd like to see white Americans vs. white Germans.

Anonymous said...

The validity of this assessment is close to zero for to two simple reasons.First, the national PISA coordinators decide which schools participate. Second,the difficulty of the questions can differ dramatically between countries. I was really surprised when I compared the math questions that where handed out to Dutch students with the ones that German students had to solve. PISA has transformed into a pet program for bored bureaucrats. Today one of the saner German teaching union spokesmen quipped that the money spend on this nonsense would be better put into use by training and hiring qualified teachers. Regarding the finish education miracle,it has been stated a thousand times that finish students who suffer from dyslexia or other cognitive disorders do not participate in PISA because they are trained in separate institutions.

Anonymous said...

Alex's comment is interesting, although there may be an easy explanation. However, if Taiwan can keep its ne'erdowells out of its PISA scores, then I'm sure Singapore et al can as well.

I'm sure this has been addressed before, but is there a way to divide out white-Jewish-American scores from white-non-Jewish-American scores?

akarlin said...

To compare apples to apples I'd like to see white Americans vs. white Germans.

This is a good point.

The Germans do better (at least in 2009), but not by a great deal.

(Native Germans had average PISA score of 533, White Americans 525).

anon said...

"To compare apples to apples I'd like to see white Americans vs. white Germans."

Wouldn't a better apples to apples comparison be white British vs white Americans? In which case we seem to do better than them...

jody said...

"Steve this is unfair and you know it. You cannot compare White Americans to everybody in Canada, Germany, UK, France, etc. If you broke it all down by race and country, you will still find that the White people of Canada, Scandinavia, Netherlands and Germany do better than White Americans. White Americans are only as good at academics as White English, Irish, French, and Belgians. White Americans will do better than White Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards."

germans ARE the largest group of european americans. are people just pretending this is not the case? or is modern american propaganda to such a degree now that the very deep germanness of the united states has been almost completely expunged?

why do you think americans are putting up pine trees all over the place for christmas? where do you think that comes from?

also, as mentioned by another poster, if you take just the germans in germany, their scores go up a good amount, like 20 points. germany is only 81% germans. the rest are other groups, mostly eastern europeans and turks. there is also now a small but growing number of random third worlders - germany does not allow this to nearly the degree the other western european and north american nations do, but it has it just the same.

like all nations of the purported west, the younger you go in the demographic tree, the less german germany is. how german are the 15 year olds in germany?

a couple recent IQ surveys of germany put it at a mean IQ of 99, so taking those non-germans out raises it up to about 102, which probably where the germans are. this is about where the english are as well right now, 102, according to another recent, very large study of british public school students. so i wonder how much the deliberate multiculturalization of the british youth population has reduced test scores.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, the numbers are different from the link you posted previously on twitter

The Wobbly Guy said...

Despite what the PISA scores say, programs and policies matter a great deal, and Germany's vocational programs do a great job with their lower ability kids, which greatly contributed to their economic success.

Are we therefore placing too much emphasis on the PISA results when policies to train and get gainful employment for the left hand side of the Bell Curve may be even more important?

As for Singapore, almost every child is in the system, in one school or another, even if it's in the dreaded lowest-of-the-low Normal(Technical) stream. Given that virtually every sec school in Sg was represented, that also means extremely lousy schools on the totem pole were included.

The question to ask: for the 167 sec schools used for the PISA survey, how were the students selected? The best students in each school? The strictly average? A smattering of each?

Pincher Martin said...

Anonymous at 9:14 PM,

"Steve this is unfair and you know it. You cannot compare White Americans to everybody in Canada, Germany, UK, France, etc. If you broke it all down by race and country, you will still find that the White people of Canada, Scandinavia, Netherlands and Germany do better than White Americans."

That's not true for some of the countries you listed.

Take Canada, for example. White Americans tested at 518, while Canadians of all races scored four points higher at 522.

Now from your comment above you seem to believe that Canada's minorities must be dragging that country's test average down just as they generally do in the U.S.

But Canada's demographics are quite different from those of the U.S. Asians, not blacks or Hispanics, comprise the single, largest visible minority in the Great White North, with Chinese and South Asian Canadians making up the two largest segments of that group.

Since those immigrant groups generally test much higher than native whites, you'll have to explain how Canada is being held back by its minorities.

I'd wager that whites in Britain and France are also not testing higher than whites in the U.S., but for somewhat different reasons.

Anonymous said...

"If you take just the germans in germany, their scores go up a good amount, like 20 points. germany is only 81% germans. the rest are other groups, mostly eastern europeans and turks."

Good point. In Germany's "Internal PISA" that largely mimicks the scoring system and methods of PISA. Every former East German state scores higher than every western state eventhough they're all poorer than the western states. The biggest reason? You guessed it, the Eastern states have a negligible number of immigrants compared to the Western states. The former East Gemrany, excluding Berlin, is about 97% ethnic German. In the West, it's less than 75%.

The former East Germany, excluding Berlin, scores similar to Finland. The highest scoring German state, Saxony (Dresden, Leipzig), scores similar to South Korea. If Germany didn't have the descendants of the millions of uneducated Turks and Southern Europeans who were let into West Germany from the 60's - 80's, the country would easily compete with Finland for #1 in Europe.

Bob Arctor said...

"germans ARE the largest group of european americans. are people just pretending this is not the case? or is modern american propaganda to such a degree now that the very deep germanness of the united states has been almost completely expunged?"

The number of British Americans greatly exceeds that of German Americans; there's whole regions of the country, like the South, Texas, the Lower Midwest, Appalachia, the Great Plains, Upper New England, and the Mountain West where at least 80% of White Americans are Anglo-Celtic. It doesn't show up on the Census because many of these people simply check off their ethnicity as "American" since many of their ancestors have been here since the 1600's or early 1700's.

Unknown said...

Steve: Your comparison is wrong. The term of Asian American is too broad. It includes decent of Chinese, Korean, Indian, Filipino, Thais, Afghanis and bunch of other race and ethnic groups. If you just compare Chinese American with students in Shanghai, we probably will beat Shanghai students, because the quality of Chinese immigrants in general, in terms of education or intelligence is higher than those in Shanghai.

In your comparison, you should average all the scores from Asian countries to make a comparison. I am sure that we will come out on top. I am sure that we will beat Germans with German American, English with Englo-American, Mexican with Mexican-American, Hebrew-Israelis with American Jews. We do better with every ethnic group and race than the original countries. The only problem we have is that we do not have the right mix. We have a demographic problem, not an educational one. IQ and heritage problems cannot be fixed with policy or money. However, these problems can be alleviated with immigration and incentive family planning policies. For example, tax reimbursement for low IQ couples to have fewer children or tax incentive to keep marriage intact. In terms of PISA scores, I think that we have seen our peak: No more improvement is possible, unless the population demographic has a big shift towards a more favorable direction.

The Wobbly Guy said...

Singapore's scores look better and better. Considering that we have only 70% chinese population, and probably held back by our malay and indian minorities, it's arguable the PISA score would be even higher if it only considered the ethnic chinese.

I doubt the US Chinese American population, even if composed of the elite, can compare with ours. :p

Our teaching methods are just plain better. And no, it's not rote memorization. Our students only WISH it was so.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve
You mentioned somewhere that Azerbaijan was caught cheating on one of these PISA testing cycles
do you have a link or something to this?
Many Thanks

Ttw said...

Hi Steve
i read that you mentioned Azerbaijan was caught cheating in one PISA cycle
do you have a link to further OECD comment or any evidence on this? Would be extremely helpful for a project I'm doing.

Many Thanks

Steve Sailer said...

See p. 253 of "PISA 2009 Technical Report" for the 4 reasons they were suspicious of Azerbaijan's results, but decided to let them slide.

YourHusband said...

Most Germans will be white anyways. In US, almost 30 percent of the population is Latin or black, and they score much lower than the US overall average. Germany doesn't have a demographic equivalent to this one. About 5 percent of Germany is Turkish, but they wouldn't necessarily bring down the overall German average

YourHusband said...

Looks like Asians in America are smarter than the white people in all other countries :)

YourHusband said...

@The Wobbly Guy

Um, the Asian American demographic also consists of non-Chinese groups that do not score as well as Chinese Americans, and some of these groups likely perform even worse than malays and Indians in Singapore. If you only tested Chinese Americans, they would likely score better than Chinese Singaporeans

Unknown said...

Chinese scores in Singapore held back by Indian minority ? Indians in Singapore outperform Chinese and Malays in GCSE A level maths exams which is far tougher than PISA.

"93% of Indians received 2 'A' and 2 'AO' level passes, compared with 92.6% among Chinese students, and 92.3% nationally."


Unknown said...

Singapore PISA scores are available by race:-
This is Singapore government document on TIMMS score of Malays. Malays score at par with Japan on TIMMS behind average by 50 points.
Malay PISA score: 506.
Indians will have higher reading scores than Chinese by 20 points, lower science scores by 25 points, lower maths score by 35 points.
Indian PISA score: 540.
Chinese PISA score: 565

J Chong said...

@Your Husband

Personally, I do not care about America (USA) much. Just let it be known that the recent (2016) OECD PISA scores do not reflect positively on the alleged capabilities or scores of the Chinese in USA. Your assertion is not reliable. All the indicators are that the Chinese in America are not more than 40% as intellectually capable as the Chinese in Singapore.

I believe it is fairly easy to conclude that no single ethnic minority community in the United States comes anywhere close to the performance levels of the Singaporean Chinese community, which are the single highest performing community the world over across a broad range of measurable and objective intellectual indicators.


It has traditionally been the case that Malay, Indian and "Others" (which as the name suggests lumps together all other ethnic and racial groups under one umbrella) performs academically and intellectually at a lower level than the ethnic Chinese of Singapore.

Since it has become somewhat of a fad to count the singular ethnic group scores, what sort of a lead might you imagine the ethnic Chinese in Singapore take over their counterparts elsewhere in the world (anywhere in the world, really, be it in East Asia, West Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, Europe or whatever) if you count the Ethnic Chinese Singaporean scores separately?

If you think it is only at secondary or high school level that East Asians, led by the Chinese in Singapore, shine, then you are wrong.

Unknown said...

Ok. So how did Chinese in Singapore manage to have lower household incomes than Indians in Singapore despite having all indicators behind their back ?

I already showed you that Malays in Singapore scored at par with Japan on TIMSS. Indians will have disputable scores as Chinese (can be higher or lower).

PISA scores of immigrants all over the globe:-

Indians in Australia score 576 on maths and 566 on reading in PISA.

Indians in New Zealand score 529 reading and 534 on maths in PISA.

Indians in Scotland score 504 reading and 525 on maths in PISA.

Indians in Ireland score 496 reading and 496 on maths in PISA.

As a comparison,

Chinese in Australia score 569 on maths and 541 on reading in PISA.

Chinese in New Zealand score 506 reading and 555 on maths in PISA.

Chinese in Scotland score 498 reading and 555 on maths in PISA.

Chinese in Ireland score 430 reading and 475 on maths in PISA.

Mean scores of Chinese and Indians living in Anglo-sphere:-

Chinese: 563 maths, 526 reading.

Indians: 561 maths, 552 reading.

Bangladeshis in Scotland, UK score 583 maths, 561 reading.

Indians outperform Chinese on PISA all over the world since 2003. Other than indigenous Indian population.

YourHusband said...

@J Chong

Nope, Chinese students in US still do better than those in Singapore there is greater disparity between Chinese and other asian groups like viet/filipino americans than there is between chinese and indian/malay singaporeans. But yes, chinese singaporeans do work harder and are more driven, although natural intellect may be less