IQ and socio-economic development across local authorities of the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in



Noah Carl

Publication date


Cross-regional correlations between average IQ and socio-economic development have been reported for many different countries. This paper analyses data on average IQ and a range of socio-economic variables at the local authority level in the UK. Local authorities are administrative bodies in local government; there are over 400 in the UK, and they contain anywhere from tens of thousands to more than a million people. The paper finds that local authority IQ is positively related to indicators of health, socio-economic status and tertiary industrial activity; and is negatively related to indicators of disability, unemployment and single parenthood. A general socio-economic factor is correlated with local authority IQ at r = .56. This correlation increases to r = .65 when correcting for measurement error in the estimates of IQ.

Volume and page numbers

55, 90-94





Disability, Area Effects, Psychology, Lone Parents, Social Development, Unemployment, Government, Health and Social Stratification