IQ and socioeconomic development across regions of the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Biosocial Science


Noah Carl

Publication date


Cross-regional correlations between average IQ and socioeconomic development have been documented in many different countries. This paper presents new IQ estimates for the twelve regions of the UK. These are weakly correlated (r=0.24) with the regional IQs assembled by Lynn (1979). Assuming the two sets of estimates are accurate and comparable, this finding suggests that the relative IQs of different UK regions have changed since the 1950s, most likely due to differentials in the magnitude of the Flynn effect, the selectivity of external migration, the selectivity of internal migration or the strength of the relationship between IQ and fertility. The paper provides evidence for the validity of the regional IQs by showing that IQ estimates for UK nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) derived from the same data are strongly correlated with national PISA scores (r=0.99). It finds that regional IQ is positively related to income, longevity and technological accomplishment; and is negatively related to poverty, deprivation and unemployment. A general factor of socioeconomic development is correlated with regional IQ at r=0.72.

Volume and page numbers

48, 406-417





Area Effects, Psychology and Social Development


Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only