This essay will seek mainly to explore how global average Intelligence Quotient (IQ) levels have evolved since the beginning of the 20th century and where they will likely be by the end of the 21st and what impact this change will have on the progress of the modern world and what outcomes are likely to arise from this. It will also explore, though in lesser detail the evolution of relative population levels in different regions of the world.
The essay will argue the case that ultimately technological change, which is the only true source of economic growth in the long run as well as material improvement (the reader who wishes to see this assumption empirically proved can consult any number of economic essays and articles available online) is dependent upon the number of high IQ people that exist within a certain society, see here. From the data available and historical experience, it would appear that it is the number of people with an IQ in excess of 130 who determine the level of technological advancement a nation can reach as well as how fast it can progress or not progress.
In essence, this essay will claim that all technological development is liable to come to a stop if the number of high IQ individuals, here assumed to be those whose IQs in excess of 130 stops growing or begins to outright decline, and that this process will signal the ending of the modern world, as the modern economy cannot survive in a no growth environment, continuous growth is vital to its continued existence, owing to its very nature and such a result would effectively end our modern era as liberalism which is the defining ideology of the modern era cannot exist in a world where resources begin to become scare, liberalism being an ideology which can only survive in an environment where excess resources are present owing to its inefficient, parasitic and ultimately destructive nature, essentially it consumes up and destroys a nation’s ability to produce resources, the world here being used in the broadest sense, encompassing, cultural resources, intellectual resources, monetary resources etc. This is a point which deserves further discussion but is beyond the parameters of what this essay wishes to explore and as such no more will be said on it.
The essay will rely on three major sources for its data, firstly the work done by renowned economist Angus Maddison will be utilized to calculate population levels through to the beginning of the 20th century. Secondly, it will rely upon the work undertaken by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vahanen to calculate aggregate average ethnic and racial IQ level and from these average regional IQ levels. Thirdly, it will rely upon the 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects Division (UNWPPD) constant fertility population variant to look at how the populations of different groups and regions are likely to evolve through to the year 2100. The reason the constant fertility population variant is used is due to the fact that it most accurately projects forth future population levels as no assumptions need to be made about changing fertility levels.
Other minor sources will also include the Z-table to calculate percentiles of the Z-table over certain IQ thresholds, keeping in mind that the standard deviation (S.D.) of IQ in any population is 15, regardless of the population’s mean IQ level.
A caveat to note is that the essay will be focusing on the evolution of racial groups rather then regions as IQ has been found to be up to 80% heritable and thus determined largely by genetic factors, as such, the movement of one distinct racial group into another geographical zone will not mean that the mean IQ of the racial group in question will rise or fall to converge with the average IQ of the racial group(s) that are already present in that geographical zone due to environmental factors but will rather remain the same. However, since the UN does not provide population projections by racial group, the essay will convert the racial averages into regional averages.
Another caveat to note is that the average IQ levels of different racial groups will be assumed to be at their genetic maximums, i.e the essay will assume IQ levels will remain constant at the current levels in all racial groups.
Finally, the essay will assume there is no large scale migration of any racial group to another region, this of course is somewhat unrealistic but is crucial to being able to form a smooth prediction of future global IQ. Such migrations would have the impact of raising or lowering regional average IQs depending on whether the mean IQ level of the host population was higher or lower then that of the migrating population.
With the caveats out of the way, let us begin the analysis, first we will calculate the average IQ levels of all the different racial groups and from them, regional averages, the source for the data is linked above it anyone should wish to look at the data in its dis-aggregated nation by nation form. Below are listed the IQ averages of the different regions of the world.
- Continental Europe*: 98
- Anglo-Saxon offshoots: 100
- Western Asia: 87
- East Asia: 104
- South-East Asia:82
- South Asia*:76
- Americas: 85
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 71
*Continental Europe in this essay contains the British Isles.
*Central Asia is included as part of South Asia due to the extremely similar IQ levels in both regions.
The proportion of these regions in the 1900 in the global population as indicated by Maddison was as follows, the proportions have been multiplied by their mean IQ to get the contribution of each region to global IQ.
- Continental Europe: 25.2% x (98/100) = 24.696
- Anglo-Saxon offshoots: 5.5% x (100/100) = 5.5
- Western Asia: 4% x (87/100) = 3.48
- East Asia: 29.3% x (104/100) = 30.472
- South-East Asia: 6.7% x (82/100) = 5.561
- South Asia: 18.8% x (76/100) = 14.288
- Americas: 4.1% x (85/100) = 3.485
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 5% x (71/100) = 3.55
Global mean IQ in 1900 = 91.032
The mean maximum IQ level which could be achieved by humanity in 1900 therefore was 91.032, for the ease of calculation, the figure of 91 will be used owing to the statistically insignificant difference between 91.032 and 91.
In 1900, the global population was 1.563 billion people, based off the Z-table and a S.D. of 15, the number of individuals in 1900 whose IQs would have been in excess of 130 can be calculated to have totalled 7.346 million, indeed, such a small number seems surprising but I would urge the reader to consider how many scientists and advanced thinkers existed either in the year 1900 or exist now, it is not surprising that out of a population of nearly 1.6 billion, only barely over 7 million would be high IQ individuals, intelligence has always been rare in humanity and high levels doubly so. It is off this group of 7.346 million individuals that the progress of science and technology was based in the year 1900.
Next, let us look at at the data for the year 2000:
- Continental Europe: 12.6% x (98/100) = 12.348
- Anglo-Saxon offshoots: 5.5% x (100/100) = 5.5
- Western Asia: 6.7% x (87/100) = 5.829
- East Asia: 24.1% x (104/100) = 25.064
- South-East Asia: 12.1% x (82/100) = 9.922
- South Asia: 21.9% x (76/100) = 16.644
- Americas: 8.6% x (85/100) = 7.31
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 10.9% x (71/100) = 7.739
Global mean IQ in 2000 = 90.446
As can be seen 2000, global mean IQ levels had dropped from 91 to 90.446, a slight drop, equivalent to 3.7% of a S.D.
By the year 2000, the global population had reached 6.076 billion, nearly 4x the level of 1900, doing the same calculation again with the IQ level of 2000, the number of high IQ individuals in the year 2000 can be put at 24.9 million. The expansion of the world population over the course of the 2oth century was such that despite a drop in mean IQ levels, overall the number of high IQ individual increased by a factor of 3.4x between 1900 and 2000, thus ensuring not only that the level of technological and scientific advancement existent in the year 1900 was maintained but rapidly expanded, thus the 20th century due to the expansion of the number of high IQ individuals saw also a massive expansion in the level of material advancement of humanity as a whole. Many countries being able to achieve such a level of material prosperity by the latter half of the century that they were able to start experimenting with new ideas which were extremely dangerous to the nations and cultures which began to accept them and incorporate them as part of their culture. No doubt the reader is aware of what I am referring to here.
Let us now look at the projections for the year 2100 based off the UN’s 2015 constant fertility forecast:
- Continental Europe: 2.2% x (98/100) = 2.156
- Anglo-Saxon offshoots: 2.1% x (100/100) = 2.1
- Western Asia: 8.3% x (87/100) = 7.221
- East Asia: 3.6% x (104/100) = 3.744
- South-East Asia: 4.7% x (82/100) = 3.854
- South Asia: 17.4% x (76/100) = 13.376
- Americas: 4.1% x (85/100) = 3.485
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 56.8% x (71/100) = 40.337
Global mean IQ in 2100: 76.306
By the year 2100, if fertility rates remain constant, global IQ levels will fall drastically, mainly owing to the rapid expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of population. the drop from 90.446 to 76.306 is equivalent to 94% of a S.D., an immense drop. Through to 2100, the world population is projected to expand to 25.966 billion if global fertility rates remain constant. The number of high IQ individuals is projected to be 4.41 million, despite the more then fourfold rise in population, so great will the decline in global IQ be as a result of the changing racial balance of the world that the number of high IQ individuals will shrink by a factor of 5.7x, it is indeed hard to see how technology will continue to advance, let alone remain at its current levels if such a reduction in the quantity of persons capable of innovation or even maintenance is seen.
Let us ponder now what the results of these changes are likely to be, firstly, ever lower IQ individuals will have to take on ever more complex roles which they simply cannot perform by virtue of their intellectual level, this is likely to lead to the degradation at first of economies, then societies, and finally whole nations. We are likely to see technological change slow down rapidly and eventually come to a halt, many nations and regions will begin to regress as they run out of high IQ individuals and in some cases, even outright disintegrate, the most racially diverse nation being most at risk of this occurrence as they need the best management to function well. It should be noted here that this essay has not addressed the issue of dysgenic tendencies within racial groups, taking that into account, the regression and eventual collapse may indeed be even faster.
In essence, it seems that we are currently in the heyday of the material and technological era, in the noontide of material progress. But beginning from around 2050, as declines in high IQ labor forces in much of the developed world begin to accelerate, we are likely to see a sharp fall. We are not on a trajectory towards some glorious future of continuous material improvement which many in the progressive camp announce, and even some in the reactionary camp who believe we are heading towards some kind of technological singularity but instead we are heading towards collapse. Indeed, even if we did not have IQ problems, the ever increasing costs of resource extraction and the shrinking amount of capacity which Earth’s ecosystems have to absorb more growth would doom us to decline by the latter half of the century.
Additionally, and on a somewhat unrelated note, I would invite the reader to look at the constant fertility variant located on page 35 of the UNWPPD 2015 outlook so the scale of demographic change that is likely to occur can be fully appreciated. Europe will have gone in just two centuries from containing over 25% of the world’s population to barely over 2%, a rate of change which has no precedents in world history, Sub-Saharan Africa will go from containing just 4% of the world’s population in 1900 to 56%, a rise of 14x in just two hundred years, and likely closer to 75% of all children. East Asia will go from containing 24.1% of the world’s population in 2000 to just 3.6% by 2100, a change in relative terms of 6.7x. Both major centers of high IQ populations are facing rapid population declines, indeed, unlike some say, if Europe becomes depopulated and its remaining population miscegenated out of existence which is a very probable outcome which could occur around the beginning of the 22nd century, East Asia will not take over, for East Asia too will be depopulating at a are which ensures its extinction as well by the early decades of the 22nd century.
In closing, the modern era with its supporting presuppositions and ideologies will begin to disintegrate post 2050 as it runs out of the people who can run the modern world economy as well as keep society functioning. Thus, we are likely to see, even barring any major catastrophe, or even before reaching limits to growth and resource extraction a collapse of modern civilization on a global scale. Also, we are likely to see based on current trends, the more or less extinction of the European and East Asian peoples by the dawn of the next century, an outcome which is deeply troubling owing to the immense contributions both peoples, in particular the former, have made to humanity as a whole.