chinese cleaners smarter than western professionals

here’s the latest re. the most recent pisa test results (various news outlets are reporting that the below also applies to the u.s. and canada – check google news for pisa+oecd):

“China’s poorest beat our best pupils”

“Children of factory workers and cleaners in Far East achieve better exam results than offspring of British lawyers and doctors, says OECD.

“British schoolchildren are lagging so far behind their peers in the Far East that even pupils from wealthy backgrounds are now performing worse in exams than the poorest students in China, an international study shows.

“The children of factory workers and cleaners in parts of the Far East are more than a year ahead of the offspring of British doctors and lawyers, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development….

“As part of the study, children were asked to name their parents’ occupation to determine its effect on pupil performance. Across the world, children whose parents work in professional careers generally outperform those in elementary jobs such as caterers, cleaners, factory workers and labourers.

“The study, involving more than 500,000 pupils worldwide, found children of elementary workers in many Far Eastern nations outperformed the sons and daughters of professional British children.

“The children of UK professionals scored an average of 526 points in maths. But this was overshadowed by an average score of 656 registered by the children of professionals in Shanghai-China and 569 among children of the country’s elementary workers. The children of parents in unskilled jobs in the UK scored an average of 461, the equivalent of two and a half years behind.

“Elementary workers’ children in Hong Kong (542), South Korea (538) and Singapore (534), also outperformed more affluent British peers. In Japan, Vietnam, Liechtenstein, Japan and China-Taipei, relatively poor children were only marginally behind the wealthiest British pupils.

“The report said: ‘In the United States and the United Kingdom, where professionals are among the highest-paid in the world, students whose parents work as professionals do not perform as well in mathematics as children of professionals in other countries — nor do they perform as we as the children in Shanghai-China and Singapore whose parents work in manual occupations….'”

no idea if any of these results were broken down by race, ethnicity, etc.

and a related story from a while back:

“Report: Chinese Third-Graders Falling Behind U.S. High School Students in Math, Science”

“According to an alarming new report published Wednesday by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, third-graders in China are beginning to lag behind U.S. high school students in math and science.

“The study, based on exam scores from thousands of students in 63 participating countries, confirmed that in mathematical and scientific literacy, American students from the ages of 14 to 18 have now actually pulled slightly ahead of their 8-year-old Chinese counterparts.

“‘This is certainly a wake-up call for China,’ said Dr. Michael Fornasier, an IEA senior fellow and coauthor of the report. ‘The test results unfortunately indicate that education standards in China have slipped to the extent that pre-teens are struggling to rank among even the average American high school student….'”


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the outbreeding project continues apace…

…in the united states! (just as you all suspected.) amongst white folks anyway (that’s who was included in the study below).

from a study published in 2009, Measures of Autozygosity in Decline: Globalization, Urbanization, and Its Implications for Medical Genetics:

This research has definitively shown the existence of a trend for decreasing autozygosity with younger chronological age in the North American population of European ancestry. The ROHs we identified, larger than 1 Mb, are clearly representative of autozygosity due to distant consanguinity in our outbred populations, and not chromosomal abnormalities or common copy number variants. Using our predictive models of decreasing Fld, we show a quantifiable decrease in consanguinity over the twentieth century. Based on data provided in Carothers et al, this decrease in Fld found in our discovery population is on the order of individuals transitioning from a single inbreeding loop 4–5 generations prior, to no inbreeding loops within <6 generations. We postulate that the increased mobility, urbanization and outbreeding in North America in the last century has led to less consanguinity (and thus less homozygosity and homogeneity) in younger individuals.”

the researchers looked at two different sets of genomes — one from the ninds repository @the coriell institute, the other from the baltimore longitudinal study of aging (blsa). the blsa is, obviously, biased towards people on the east coast of the u.s. (in and around baltimore). glancing through the list of submitters to ninds, there’s also something of an east coast bias there, although many samples do come from other areas of the country (see the list of locations at the end of this post).

amongst the findings in this study are that 1) the number of runs of homozygosity (roh) has decreased in white americans over the last one hundred years or so, and 2) the lengths of the roh have shrunk as well. both of these are good indicators of outbreeding.

here are a couple of tables/charts from the paper (click on images for LARGER views):

measures of autozygosity in decline - table 02

measures of autozygosity in decline - percent of genome in roh

what’s interesting to contemplate, i think, is what this might mean wrt selection pressures on americans going forward? especially, what might it mean in light of european-americans encountering other, newer groups within american society that are not outbreeding so much (at least not at the moment) — newly arrived immigrants from many muslim countries, for example — or even, perhaps, latin americans (although i’m not 100% sure about how much they’ve been inbreeding over the past few hundred years or so — stay tuned!). how is that all going to play out? interesting times.

possibly related footnote — here is an abstract from the 2013 ashg conference:

“Reconstructing the Genetic Demography of the United States”

“The United States (U.S) is a complex, multiethnic society shaped by immigration and admixture, but the extent to which these forces influence the overall population genetic structure of the U.S is unknown. We utilized self-reported ancestry data collected from the decennial U.S Census 2010 and allele frequency data from over 2000 SNPs for over 40 of the most common ancestries in the U.S. that were available from the Pan Asian Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (PASNP), Population Reference Sample (POPRES), 1000 Genomes, and Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP) databases. We utilized the relative proportions of individuals of each ancestry within each county, state, region and nation and calculate the weighted average allele frequency in these areas. We reconstructed the genetic demography of the U.S by examining the geographic distribution of Wright’s Fst. Shannon’s diversity index, H was calculated to assess the apportionment of genetic diversity at the county, state, regional and national level. This analysis was repeated stratifying by race/ethnicity. We analyzed households with spouses, using the phi-coefficient as a measure of assortative mating for ancestry. This analysis was repeated stratifying by age of the spouses (older or younger than 50). Most of the genetic diversity is between ancestries within county, but this varies by race/ethnicity, and ranges from 95% for Whites to 43% for Hispanics illustrating that the White ancestries are relatively homogeneously scattered throughout the U.S whereas the Hispanic ancestries show significant clustering by geography. Analysis of the mating patterns show strong within ethnicity assortative mating for American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks, Hispanic, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and Whites, with φ = 0.30, 0.864, 0.92, 0.863, 0.478 and 0.832 respectively (P<1×10-324 for each) and significantly less correlation in the younger cohort. These results show demographic patterns of social homogamy which are slowly decreasing over time. One major implication is that data collected from different locations around the U.S are susceptible to both within- and between-location population genetic substructure, leading to potential biases in population-based association studies.”

origin cities of the ninds samples (from a quick-ish glance):

Burlington, VT
Lebanon, NH
Boston x 10
New York x 7
Rochester, NY x 4
New Haven x 3

Bethesda x 7
Baltimore x 5
Washington, D.C.

Winston-Salem, NC
Charleston, SC

Birmingham x 3

Jacksonville x 4

Cincinnati x 5
Indianapolis, IN
Ann Arbor

Chicago x 3
Springfield, IL
Rochester, MN
Englewood, CO
Kansas City

Houston x 4

Salt Lake City

Los Angeles
Irvine, CA
Fountain Valley, CA
San Diego x 2
San Francisco x 3

previously: runs of homozygosity and inbreeding (and outbreeding) and runs of homozygosity in the irish population and western europeans, runs of homozygosity (roh), and outbreeding and russians, eastern europeans, runs of homozygosity (roh), and inbreeding

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kandahar vs. levittown

the walled family compounds of kandahar


…vs. the invisible boundaries of levittown


previously: there’s no place like home

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guns and homicides

from brietbart (via drudge):

“Harvard Study: No Correlation Between Gun Control and Less Violent Crime”

“A Harvard Study titled ‘Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?’ [pdf] looks at figures for ‘intentional deaths’ throughout continental Europe and juxtaposes them with the U.S. to show that more gun control does not necessarily lead to lower death rates or violent crime.

“Because the findings so clearly demonstrate that more gun laws may in fact increase death rates, the study says that ‘the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths’ is wrong.

“For example, when the study shows numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and corresponding murder rates, it is readily apparent that less guns to do not mean less death. In Russia, where the rate of gun ownership is 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate was 20.52 per 100,000 in 2002. That same year in Finland, where the rater of gun ownership is exceedingly higher — 39,000 per 100,000 — the murder rate was almost nill, at 1.98 per 100,000….

“And when the study focuses on intentional deaths by looking at the U.S. vs Continental Europe, the findings are no less revealing. The U.S., which is so often labeled as the most violent nation in the world by gun control proponents, comes in 7th — behind Russia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine — in murders. America also only ranks 22nd in suicides.

“The murder rate in Russia, where handguns are banned, is 30.6; the rate in the U.S. is 7.8….”

oops. =/

so, the official gun ownership rate in russia is low. could there be a large cache of illegal guns out there? still — much higher homicide rates in eastern europe than in western.

here’s a table from the report for you to enjoy:

european gun ownership and murder rates

and here are some bits about my favorite little country that could:

“A second misconception about the relationship between firearms and violence attributes Europe’s generally low homicide rates to stringent gun control. That attribution cannot be accurate since murder in Europe was at an all‐time low *before* the gun controls were introduced. For instance, virtually the only English gun control during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the practice that police patrolled without guns. During this period gun control prevailed far less in England or Europe than in certain American states which nevertheless had — and continue to have — murder rates that were and are comparatively very high….

“Stringent gun controls were not adopted in England and Western Europe until after World War I. Consistent with the outcomes of the recent American studies just mentioned, these strict controls did not stem the general trend of ever‐growing violent crime throughout the post‐WWII industrialized world including the United States and Russia. Professor Malcolm’s study of English gun law and violent crime summarizes that nation’s nineteenth and twentieth century experience as follows:

‘The peacefulness England used to enjoy was not the result of strict gun laws. When it had no firearms restrictions [nineteenth and early twentieth century] England had little violent crime, while the present extraordinarily stringent gun controls have not stopped the increase in violence or even the increase in armed violence.

“‘Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now become one. Handguns are banned but the Kingdom has millions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the decade after 1957, the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold.’

“In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law‐abiding enough to turn them in to authorities. Without suggesting this caused violence, the ban’s ineffectiveness was such that by the year 2000 violent crime had so increased that England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States….

“[T]he conclusions of the premier study of English gun control. Done by a senior English police official as his thesis at the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology and later published as a book, it found (as of the early 1970s), ‘Half a century of strict controls…has ended, perversely, with a far greater use of [handguns] in crime than ever before.’ The study also states that:

‘No matter how one approaches the figures, one is forced to the rather startling conclusion that the use of firearms in crime was very much less [in England before 1920] when there were no controls of any sort and when anyone, convicted criminal or lunatic, could buy any type of firearm without restriction….

hmmmm. i wonder what’s different about england now as opposed to back then?

read the whole report here [pdf] — you really should, because it’s chock-full of info. (harvard is certainly proving to be quite the den of politically incorrect thinking, isn’t it? (~_^) )

edit: see also Guns & Homicide, Map Form from jayman.

previously: outbreeding, self-control and lethal violence and what pinker missed

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civicness in the u.s. by sex

curt suggested that the apparent east-west divide in civicness in the u.s. has something to do with gender, i.e. more “selfish” techie guys on the west coast, more social chicks on the east coast. maybe. i’m digging around in the world values survey to see if i can find out.

first — civicness in the u.s. by sex. data taken from the 1995 and 2006 waves, the two years that americans were asked, “are you or are you not an active member of such-and-such a voluntary organization?” — or words to that effect (you can check out the exact questions on the world values survey site).

turns out, women are slightly more likely than the u.s. average to be active members of voluntary associations, while american men are slightly less likely than average to be so:

men score above average in being active members of: sports/recreation groups, political parties, professional organizations and labor unions.

women score above average in being active members of: well, put it this way — there are a LOT of church ladies! women are also above average in being active members of charities/humanitarian organizations, art/music/educational groups and environmental groups.

in the previous post on civicness in the u.s. by region, i only looked at the data from 1999. since then, i’ve discovered that the 2006 data is available by region, so i’m gonna go back and look at civicness by region in the u.s. again and look at the 1999 and 2006 waves together. the more data the better, right? then i’ll take a look at any differences between the genders between the different regions.

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii and civicness in the u.s. (by region) and civicness in the u.s. by race

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civicness in the u.s. (by region)

it looks like this (sorry, i’ve only got the lower 48 here):

the lighter the shading the greater the civicness; the darker the shading, the least civicness.

heh. i’m going to enjoy this all weekend. the pacific northwest — where all those sanctimonious swpls live up there in portland and seattle — they are the LEAST civic people in the nation. heh!

mind you, the numbers for each of the regions are not all that different. americans are generally pretty civic-minded. here are the averages for all of the civic behaviors considered (listed separately below):

West North Central = 24.41%
New England = 23.54%
Rocky Mountain States = 23.31%
South Atlantic = 23.28%
East North Central = 22.38%
Mid-Atlantic States = 22.21%
West South Central = 20.63%
East South Central = 20.53%
California = 18.81%
Northwest = 16.39%

the data are taken from the world values survey 1999. i used the 1999 survey because it’s possible to break down the results by regions for that year. civicness, once again, is determined by membership or activity in various volunteer organizations. in other waves of the survey, the data is broken down by active and inactive membership; unfortunately, for 1999, it’s only broken down into member or non-member. so, all the figures you see here are the percentages of respondents who answered that they were, indeed, a member of such-and-such a volunteer group (including the elusive “other”). i used the same 1999 wave for my germany/poland post if you want to compare and contrast.

here are all the results for different volunteer group types broken down by u.s. region. the pacific northwest is only above the national average in three instances: professional group, labor union, and third world development/human rights. the first two are decidedly self-centered; the last one is, let’s face it, pretty trendy. most of the time, washington state and oregon are at the bottom of the list along with california. they’re even at the bottom of the political parties/groups category. waaaay at the bottom!

ok. here we go…

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii and “civicness” in germany and poland and civicness in poland – redux

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religious affiliation of international migrants

from pew (pew! pew!): Faith on the Move.

nearly three-quarters of all immigrants in the u.s. today (er, well, 2010) are christians (that’s ’cause we’ve got so many mexicans):

39% of immigrants in the e.u. originating from outside the e.u. are muslim:

one-quarter of all jews in the world today have migrated to a new country (a lot of them to israel):

“Of the seven groups considered in this study, Jews have by far the highest level of migration, in percentage terms. About one-quarter of Jews alive today (25%) have left the country in which they were born and now live somewhere else. The proportions of Christians (5%) and Muslims (4%) who have migrated across borders also exceed the global average of 3%.”

370,000 foreign-born jews live in the united states.

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democracy and military takeover

heh. here’s a good one! again, from the world values survey, 2005-2008:

Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: The army takes over when government is incompetent.

here are the 10s:

5.3% of americans think that an ESSENTIAL characteristic of democracy is that the army should take over when the government is incompetent?! wtf?? that’s about 5% too many, afaiac. (at least we scored better than burkina faso, tho.)

southerners (not texans) and folks in the nw think this way more than those in other parts of the country. you southerners — you’re always causing trouble! (~_^)

btw. there’s something wrong with the data from sweden — there are no figures for responses three through nine, so i wouldn’t believe that 17% number.

previously: dēmos kratos and democracy and civil rights and democracy and the redistribution of wealth and libyans on democracy: meh and what egyptians want

(note: comments do not require an email. hmmmm. nope. can’t see the bit about the military taking over if necessary….)