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IQ and Socioeconomic Variables in French Departements: Reanalysis and New Data

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


Published: 2015/12/01


Two sets of socioeconomic data for 90-96 French departements were analyzed. One dataset was found in Lynn (1980) and contained four socioeconomic variables. Mixed results were found for this dataset, both with regards to the factor structure and the relationship to cognitive ability. Another dataset with 53 variables was created by compiling variables from the official French statistics bureau (Insee). This dataset contained an impure general socioeconomic (S) factor (some undesirable variables loaded positively), but after controlling for the presence of immigrants, the S factor became purer. This was especially salient for crime, unemployment and poverty variables. The two S factors correlated at r = 0.66 [CI95: 0.52 – 0.76; N = 88]. The IQ scores from the 1950s dataset correlated at 0.33 [CI95: 0.13 – 0.51, N = 88] with the S factor from the 2010-2015 dataset.

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