It’s Important To Invest In The Coming Latino Majority

The Los Angeles Daily News reports Mar. 31, 2015:

While their growth has slowed in recent decades, Latinos will likely be the majority in Los Angeles County by 2020, experts say.

And since 2001, more than 60 percent of babies born in L.A. County have been Latino compared with more than 50 percent in the state. This generation is the future of California and thus it’s important to invest in it, said David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s School of Medicine.

“Their educational levels and their employment opportunities set the economic tone for this region,” Hayes-Bautista said. “If they do well, we all do well. If they do poorly, we all do poorly.”

And the disparities are clear. Nearly 11 percent of Latino adults in California ages 25 or older have earned at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 30 percent of all Californians, 39 percent of whites, 23 percent of African-Americans and about 48 percent of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data.

The Latino post-millennial demographic, which will soon be of voting age, has also been offended by anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiments espoused by some political groups and would likely express their opinions at the ballot box, Hayes-Bautista said.

Steve Sailer writes in 2005:

Everyone across the political spectrum admits that the white-black test score gap is a major social problem, but nobody is thinking about the white-Hispanic test score gap, even though we have much more influence through immigration policy over whether Hispanics will be a large or huge proportion of the American population in the future. Fortunately, the facts are available, but they take a lot of digging to uncover.

Here’s the best estimate I’ve yet seen: A 2001 meta-analysis of 39 studies covering a total 5,696,519 individuals in America (aged 14 and above) came up with an overall difference of 0.72 standard deviations in g (the “general factor” in cognitive ability) between “Anglo” whites and Hispanics. The 95% confidence range of the studies ran from .60 to .88 standard deviations, so there’s not a huge amount of disagreement among the studies.

One standard deviation equals 15 IQ points, so that’s a gap of 10.8 IQ points, or an IQ of 89 on the Lynn-Vanhanen scale where white Americans equal 100. That would imply the average Hispanic would fall at the 24th percentile of the white IQ distribution. This inequality gets worse at higher IQs Assuming a normal distribution, 4.8% of whites would fall above 125 IQ versus only 0.9% of Hispanics, which explains why Hispanics are given ethnic preferences in prestige college admissions.

In contrast, 105 studies of 6,246,729 individuals found an overall white-black gap of 1.10 standard deviations, or 16.5 points. (I typically round this down to 1.0 standard deviation and 15 points). So, the white-Hispanic gap appears to be about 65% as large as the notoriously depressing white-black gap. (Warning: this 65% number does not come from a perfect apples to apples comparison because more studies are used in calculating the white-black difference than the white-Hispanic difference.)

Source: Roth, P. L., Bevier, C. A., Bobko, P., Switzer III, F. S. & Tyler, P. (2001) “ Ethnic group differences in cognitive ability in employment and educational settings: a meta-analysis.” Personnel Psychology 54, 297–330.

This fits well with lots of other data. For example, Hispanics generally do almost as badly on the National Assessment of Educational Progress school achievement tests as blacks, but that average is dragged down by immigrant kids who have problems adjusting to English. The last time the NAEP asked about where the child was born was 1992, and Dr. Stefan Thernstrom of Harvard kindly provided me with the data from that examination. For foreign-born Hispanics, the typical gap versus non-Hispanic whites was 1.14 times as large as the black-white gap. But for American-born Hispanics, the gap between non-Hispanic whites and American-born Hispanics was 0.67 times as large as the gap between non-Hispanic whites and blacks, very similar to the 0.65 difference seen in the meta-analysis of IQs.

Steve Sailer writes in 2013: From the New York Times:

Paper on Immigrant I.Q. Dogs Critic of Overhaul

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The revelation that a co-author of a Heritage Foundation study critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal had recently argued that Hispanic immigrants are less intelligent than white Americans touched off a furor on Wednesday, undercutting the conservative foundation’s attempt to become a major force in the immigration debate.

In a 2009 dissertation for a public-policy doctorate at Harvard University, Jason Richwine, the co-author, wrote that Hispanic immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was “substantially lower than that of the white native population” — and that the lower intelligence of immigrants should be considered when drafting immigration policy. 

“Immigrants living in the U.S. today do not have the same level of cognitive ability as natives,” wrote Dr. Richwine, who is a senior policy analyst at Heritage. “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach I.Q. parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-I.Q. children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” …

In response, the New York Times counter-argued: “… [cough] … [cricket chirp].” Oh, well, I guess it is difficult to argue against. But it’s easy to point-and-sputter:

“Whether you agree or disagree with the Heritage study, what their co-author believes is downright insulting and shameful,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a group that has mobilized support for the bill. “Heritage has really become an outlier. The rest of the country is having a 21st-century conversation about immigration reform, and Heritage is caught in 1800. I really think their entire credibility is in question.”

The disclosure of the dissertation written by Dr. Richwine, who could not be reached for comment, threatened to undermine Heritage’s push for influence even as the foundation distanced itself from Dr. Richwine’s outside writing.

You can read Dr. Richwine’s Harvard Ph.D. dissertation, IQ and Immigration Policy, for yourself.
The three Harvard scholars who signed off on it are:

– George Borjas is the leading immigration economist. His Harvard Kennedy school bio reads:

George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy. He received his PhD in economics from Columbia. His teaching and research interests focus on the impact of government regulations on labor markets, with an emphasis on the economic impact of immigration. He is the author of Wage Policy in the Federal Bureaucracy; Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy; Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy; and the textbook Labor Economics. He also edited Immigration and the Work Force; Issues in the Economics of Immigration; and Poverty, International Migration and Asylum. 

– Richard J. Zeckhauser, whose Kennedy School of Government bio reads:

Richard Zeckhauser is the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy. Much of his conceptual research examines possibilities for democratic, decentralized allocation procedures. … He has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Sciences and as a member of the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences). … He serves as a Trustee for The Commonwealth School and as a member of NBER, the Russell Sage Roundtable in Behavioral Economics, the Academic Advisory Committee, American Enterprise Institute, and the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Large-Scale Catastrophes. …  He holds a BA (summa cum laude) and a PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Christopher Jencks, who has been perhaps the leading left-of-center social scientist of his era. My first published work was a letter-to-the-editor that appeared in National Review over 40 years ago making a joke about Jencks’ meta-analysis of the Coleman Report, his 1972 book Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America. Jencks characterized himself in that books as a “socialist.” Jencks has contributed two dozen pieces to the New York Review of Books since 1964. Jencks’ book The Black-White Test Score Gap was the most scholarly left-of-center response to The Bell Curve.

In other words, these three guys are social science heavyweights. Jencks, for example, knows vastly more about IQ than everybody screaming at Richwine put together.

This is an example of how the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill is a trap for all but the most politically correct, for anybody with a sense of realism. When Dave Leonhardt of the New York Times, who is really a pretty good guy (he publicized the Hoxby-Avery study, for example), writes about “Hispanics, the New Italians,” he’s probably not being intentionally disingenuous, he’s just being East Coast ignorant. From his bio:

Mr. Leonhardt studied applied mathematics at Yale.  He is a third-generation native of New York.

What does a third-generation native of New York who studied applied math at Yale know from Mexican-Americans? Nothing.

On the other hand, if you are from L.A., like me, it’s hard not to notice that there is, on average, an IQ gap and that it doesn’t go away, and that has all sorts of implications for education, real estate, immigration, mortgages, and so forth and so on.

One of the goals the Democrats have in inviting in more illegal immigrants by amnestying the ones already here is to rub the noses of more white people in the facts of diversity, so that they have to choose between being Evil or being Complicit.

And nobody hates us Evil folks like the Complicit.

For data from Generations of Exclusion on Hispanic educational attainment through five generations of assimilation within families, click here.

For data from Roth et al on test score gaps between whites and Hispanics, click here.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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