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The population of the world’s major regions according to the UN’s World Population Prospects 2017 report.
|World Population Prospects (2017)||2015||2050||2100|
|MENA & C. Asia||551,964,576||850,895,914||1,045,856,658|
Assume the usual S.D.=15, and that their average IQs as of 2017 are as follows: Sub-Saharan Africa 70, East Asia 100, South Asia 80, South-East Asia 85, MENA & C. Asia 85, Europe 100, Latin America 85, North America 100, Oceania 90.
This should look plausible to people who’ve looked at the data. East Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) IQ tends to be higher than 100, usually around 103-105, but I am giving it as 100 because in practice, for unclear reasons, East Asian IQs also tend to be “worth” 5 points less than Euro-American ones so far as economic performance and human accomplishment go.
Anyhow, if we also assume that regional IQs will remain “fixed” for the rest of the century, then the world average IQ will drop from 87 today to 82 by 2100, primarily on account of the massive demographic expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa.
However, fortunately, the number of people belonging to smart fractions” – which I will denote as people with an IQ above 160 (the approximate level that you have to be at to be capable of contributing to elite scientific progress today) – will remain similar to today, though it will be negatively impacted by demographic decline in Europe and East Asia.
|Smart Fractions (No Flynn)||2015||2050||2100|
|MENA & C. Asia||158||244||300|
But what happens when we adjust for the FLynn effect? In his 2016 survey of psychometrists, Heiner Rindermann and co. compiled the following expert assessments.
This leads to a massive increase in the number of smart fractions, almost entirely on account of East Asia.
China as a now fully developed country drives global scientific progress pretty much single-handedly, like Europe did in the 19th century.
|IQ Flynn (Rindermann)||2015||2100|
|MENA & C. Asia||158||1,155|
That said, I don’t think those FLynn projects are realistic, in part because East Asia is projected to increase in IQ so incredibly fast even though it is already a reasonably well developed place.
China itself can still probably eke out 3-5 IQ points, but Chinese fertility has been dysgenic since the 1960s, so this won’t last. I suspect East Asia – which in demographic terms is pretty much just China – will remain at a consistent level, with FLynn and dysgenics canceling each other out over the course of the century.
What if we use the following estimates for IQ changes during the 21st century (broadly justified here):
- +10: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia
- +5: South-East Asia
- 0: East Asia, MENA & Central Asia, Latin America
- -5: Europe, North America
Resulting table of smart fractions in 2100:
|IQ Flynn (AK)||2015||2100|
|MENA & C. Asia||158||300|
So what has basically happened is that smart fractions plummet in the high-IQ world due to a combination of demographic decline, dysgenic fertility, and low-IQ mass immigration.
Meanwhile, the quantity of smart fractions from the Global South will rise, due to some FLynn catchup, but absolute numbers will remain modest.
Overall, this is a pretty catastrophic outcome.
Not only do we see a halving of 160+ IQ smart fractions, but it is also very likely that the threshold for new scientific discoveries will have risen in the meantime, since problems tend to get harder, not easier as you climb up the technological tree.
For instance, if by 2100 the new “discovery threshold” is at an IQ of 175, the people still capable of driving global science forwards might number in the mere hundreds, in a world of more than ten billion.
The likely end result of this would be an end to scientific progress, and eventually, the Age of Malthusian Industrialism once a technologically stagnant and progressively more fecund world bumps up against the limits of the industrial economy.