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Mathematical Ability of Norwegian Immigrants Is Predictable from Country of Origin

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


Published: 2023/12/01


Scores for country-of-origin immigrant groups on mandatory 5th and 8th grade mathematics tests in Norway were published in a 2015 report, covering 47 origins. We studied whether these could be predicted by country-of-origin average intelligence. All data concerned second-generation immigrants (defined as those born in Norway), and included a variety of controls for parental characteristics. Results show that national average intelligence predicts the differences among groups fairly well, r = .64. A structural equation model fit to account for the sampling error in the variables suggested a true correlation of r = .76. Results are discussed in a cognitive capital framework. Keywords: Mathematics, Immigration, Norway, Country of origin, Intelligence, Inequality

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