The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Topics/Categories Filter?
Foreign Policy Politics Western Media Russia Society Russophobes Western Hypocrisy Human Rights Economy USA Corruption Ukraine Ideology Opinion Poll Liberal Opposition Putin Demography International Relations Translations History Core Article Elections Military Humor Geopolitics Race/Ethnicity China Futurism IQ Psychometrics Democracy UK Blogging Georgia International Comparisons Moscow Crime Russian Media Convergence Human Biodiversity Sociology Economics Education Admin Miscellaneous Putin Derangement Syndrome Soviet Union United States Medvedev Public Health Science Germany Immigration NATO Energy Obama PISA Climate Change France Imperialism War Finance India Islam Baltics Belarus Islamism RealWorld Terrorism Wikileaks Chechnya Guardian Jews Syria The Economist US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel Culture Forecasts Nationalism Open Thread Syrian Civil War Translation Venezuela Inequality Islamophobia Israel Nick Eberstadt Poland Turkey Feminism Iran Kompromat Literacy Migration The AK Alcoholism BRICs Caucasus Conspiracy Theories Demographics Estonia Internet Population Growth Soviet History Communism Donald Trump Europe Fertility Rates Gender Relations Greece Law Mortality news-2008 Statistics War In Donbass Alexei Navalny Armenia Interviews Journalism Near Abroad Peak Oil SJWs Sociobiology Video Development East Asians Espionage Far Abroad Flynn Effect Living Standards Manufacturing Media Pax Americana Sweden AIDS Alcohol Arab Spring Big History Canada Crisis Economic History Finland Food John McCain Literature Mitt Romney Nuclear Weapons Technology TIMSS Trade Trump Derangement Syndrome Whites Al Jazeera Azerbaijan Brazil Color Revolution Death Penalty Environment Law Nutrition Obesity Philosophy Racism Rationality Richard Lynn Ron Unz Singapore Taiwan Ukrainian Crisis US Blacks US Elections 2016 Vladimir Putin World War II Anti-Semitism Censorship East Asian Exception Egypt Iceland Intelligence Levada Center Malthusianism Neocons Political Economy Poverty Projects Saudi Arabia Svidomy Transhumanism Trolling United Kingdom WSJ Academia Alexei Kudrin Apollo's Ascent Arctic Sea Ice Melting Bahrain California Central Asia Corruption Perceptions Index EROEI Freedom Green Guest Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Homosexuality Infrastructure Islamist-liberal Alliance Italy Japan Liberalism maps Mexico Middle East Military Technology Nazism North Korea Opposition R&D Russian Economy Russian Politics Sex Ratio Socialism Travel Tsarist Russia Agriculture Alt Right Ancestral Health Arabs Assange Berezovsky BigPost Cars Chinese History Dark Lord Of The Kremlin Edward Snowden Eurasia European Union Genetics Global Warming Hubbert's Peak Ideologies Islamic State kremlinology Languages Learning LGBT Norway Paper Review Paris Attacks Philosophy Pigs Prediction Psychology Ray Kurzweil Russian Far East Russian History Scandinavia South Korea stalin Superintelligence systems-modeling The Bell Curve The Russian Spectrum Thermoeconomics 2010 Census 2012 US Elections Afghanistan Aging Alexander Mercouris Anthropology Arctic Resources Blacks Bolivarian Revolution Capitalism Chinese IQ Chinese Language CNN CO2 Emissions Coal Crimea Czech Republic discussion Dmitry Medvedev Drugs Eastern Europe falsifiable-predictions Fantasy FEMEN Financial Times Football Foreign Policy Glenn Greenwald Great Powers Guardian Censorship Health Hindu Caste System Hispanics Human Achievement Illegal Immigration Indians Inequality IPCC Ireland Jared Diamond John Michael Greer Joseph Tainter Julian Assange Junta Latin America Libya life-expectancy Malnutrition Map Masculinity Milan Kundera Militarization Military History Money Moscow Mayoral Election 2013 NAMs Natural Gas navalny ngos Novorossiya race-realism Robert Ayres Romanticism Russia Debate Russian Demography Russian Orthodox Church sergey-zhuravlev Sex Social Media Space Sport Steven Pinker Switzerland Twitter Urbanization Yemen 2008-south-ossetia-war Abortion Administration AGW Denial Ahmadinejad Anatoly Karlin Andrei Korotayev Arctic Civilization Asian Americans Australia authoritarianism Beer Berkeley Cartoon CEC Charles Murray Chinese Economy Chinese People Christianity Cliodynamics collapse Copenhagen Summit Cousin Marriage Crispr Cuba Demoscope Dysgenic Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Earth Day Economist Democracy Index Ecuador Effective Altruism EMP Weapons Eugenics Genetic Engineering George Soros Gérard Depardieu Globalization Hanzi Healthcare Hist kai Hitler homicides human-capital Hungary immigrants inosmi Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program Iraq Islam Ivan Bloch Jorge Luis Borges Kenneth Pomeranz Kremlin Clans la-russophobe levada Libertarianism Life Limits To Growth Malthusian Loop Marxism Massive Ordnance Penetrator me Monarchy Navalny Affair Netherlands New York Times Niall Ferguson Nuclear Power Occupy Oil Diet PDVSA Peter Turchin Police Propaganda Protestantism Rape Razib Khan Review RFERL rise-of-the-rest RTS Stock Market Russian Military Russian Occupation Government Russian Reaction RussPol San Francisco Sci-Fi Scotland Debt Space Exploration Tamerlan Tsarnaev Taxes The Sublime Tim Ferriss UN Unemployment World War I Zoology 9/11 Aesthetics Affirmative Action Africa Age Of Malthusian Industrialism Airborne Laser Aircraft Carriers American Media Anarchism Antifa Apocalypse ARCS Of Progress Arctic Methane Release Argentina Arthur H. Smith Arthur Jensen Assad Assassinations Aubrey De Grey Austria Automation Bangladeshis Barbarians Bashar Al-Assad Books Boris Berezovsky Brahmans Brexit Brezhnev Brighter Brains Business Calisthenics Charlie Hebdo Chechens china-russia-relations Chinese Communist Party Chuck Schumer CIA Class Climate Cognitive Elitism Cold War Collapse Party Colmar Von Der Goltz Colombia Confucianism Marriage Conservatism Crimean Tatars Cuckoldry Cultural Marxism Cyprus David Moser Demographic Transition Digital Philosophy Dostoevsky Drought Dubai Elites Enemy Belligerent Act Of 2010 Ester Boserup Eurabia European History Evolution Family Fascism fat-diets FEL Weapons Fertility fertility-rate Fossil Fuels Free Speech Freedom Of Speech Friedrich List Gail The Actuary Gaza Flotilla Raid Genetic Load Geography George Friedman GMD Goldman Sachs Graham Turner grains Greeks Green Party USA Gregory Clark Guantanamo Guns Half Sigma Hank Pellissier Hashemi Rafsanjani HBDchick Himachal Pradesh Hong Kong HplusNRx Ibn Khaldun ICBMs Idiocracy IMF incarceration-rate Indian Economy Indian IQ industrialization Inflation interview IT James Kunstler James Lovelock Jennifer Rubin Jezebel Jim O'neill John Yoo Kant Karlinism Khamenei khodorkovsky konstantin-von-eggert Korean Cuisine Laissez-faire Lazy Glossophiliac limp-wristed-liberals Linguistics LNG london luke-harding Malthus Maoism mark-adomanis Matt Forney Max Weber Meme Middle Ages Moltke The Elder Muammar Gaddafi Muslims NCVS Neoreaction Nick Bostrom Nobel Prize Norman Finkelstein Novorossiya Sitrep NYT oligarchs open-discussion orientalism Orinoco Belt Orissa Orthodoxy Pakistan Palestine Patriot Missiles Paul Chefurka Pedophilia People's Liberation Army PIRLS PLAN Podcast Polar Regions Political Correctness Poll Productivity protests pussy-riot Race/IQ Reading RIA Novosti RossPress Russia-Germany Relations russian-cuisine Russian Society Schlieffen Plan schools Schopenhauer Science Fiction Serbia sergey-magnitsky Sergey Nefedov Shanghai Singularity Sisyphean Loop Slavoj Zizek SLBMs SM-3 sobornost Social Evolution Songun space-based-solar-power Spain Steve Sailer Strait Of Hormuz String Of Pearls Sublime Oblivion Suicide Supercomputers Survivalism Tamil Nadu THAAD The Bible The Guardian The Lancet The Matrix The Oil Drum War transparency-international UAE UAVs UC Berkeley Ugo Bardi UKIP Universities US Navy us-russia-relations vegetarianism Vekhi Velayat-e Faqih Vietnam Viktor Yushchenko Wall Street wealth-creation Welfare Willem Buiter william-burns William Catton Womyn's Studies World Health Organization World Values Survey Writing yulia-latynina Zombies
 Russian Reaction Blog / ImmigrationTeasers

Latest from Aftonbladet:

sweden-terrorist-uzbek

There were a grand total of 1,890 men of Uzbek nationality in Sweden in 2016.

This past week hasn’t been a good one for the Central Asians don’t do terrorism stereotype, what with the Saint-Petersburg bomber being Uzbek, and the Kazakh Islamist cell in Astrakhan.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Central Asia, Immigration, Sweden, Terrorism 

margarita-simonyan

In a recent, widely shared Facebook post, Margarita Simonyan, the ethnic Armenian chief editor of RT, has asked what exactly a Kyrgyz national of Uzbek ethnicity did to get Russian citizenship while ethnic Russians from the wartorn Donbass struggle to even get a residency permit:

The nurse of my children and her family, whom we evacuated from Donbass after having massed a vast thicket of queues, insults, delays, examinations, etc., can’t acquire a Russian residency permit after three years. This is despite my “administrative resource,” which, I freely admit, in this particular case I freely used. This family are simply Russian people with a Russian mentality, language, faith, biographies, and connection to the Motherland. Hard-working people who would be of GREAT USE to our country where, as is well known, there is a demographic crisis and a shortage of people. Fuck them, no residence permit! But here comes Akbarzhon Jalilov, who received Russian citizenship five years ago. CITIZENSHIP!

I have two questions in this regard:

1) Who, and under what circumstances, provided this citizenship. Perhaps at the time he was just a nice schoolboy, who had solid reasons for getting citizenship in my country. Or perhaps not, especially on account of consequent events. I don’t want to judge without first knowing all the details. But I do want an answer.

2) For how long will Russia continue to be embarassed to give citizenship to Russian people just on account of them being ethnic Russians. Like how it is done in “respectable” countries from Israel to Germany. I don’t understand.

This note of protest is especially striking in light of the fact that Margarita Simonyan is the quintessential Putinist Russian patriot, and as such, an object of loathing from the pro-Western liberal opposition, who simply hate Russia and Russians, to the more extreme Russian ethnonationalists, who hate her for her Armenian ancestry and for her status as a “stalwart of the regime.”

Putin once called Russians – specifically, ethnic Russians – the “biggest divided nation in the world.” But the time has come for back up his words with actions. He can now either take the side of the Russian people, or double down on the friendship of peoples project that will eventually lead to either Navalny or Greater Turkestan.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Nationalism, Russia, Russophobes 

Immigration statistics from the Ministry of Interior Affairs, 2016.

Total new citizenships: 265,319. (USA: 653,416 people in 2014, so about equal in per capita terms).

Ukraine: 100,696, up 49% from 2015. (Russians becoming Ukrainian citizens: About 2,000 per year).

It is utterly absurd that in per capita terms, there are as many Tajiks (0.27% of their population) getting RF citizenship as Ukrainians (0.24%), and three times as many Armenians (0.74% of their population). There is no humanitarian crisis in Tajikistan or in Armenia, whereas the population of just the LDNR – at war, under Ukrainian blockade – is greater than Armenia’s.

If Putin was truly the Putler of the Western imagination, Russia would be giving away RF passports like confetti in the LDNR. In reality, he is more of a Putlet.

***

TOTAL by country 265,319
Ukraine 100,696
Kazakhstan 37,837
Uzbekistan 23,216
Tajikistan 23,012
Armenia 22,264
Moldova, Republic of 17,397
PERSONS WITHOUT CITIZENSHIP 11,042
Azerbaijan 9,885
Kyrgyzstan 9,316
Belarus 3,582
Georgia 2,623
Turkmenistan 774
Turkey 500
Syrian Arab Republic 334
Afghanistan 300
Vietnam 287
Israel 170
Abkhazia 168
Lithuania 168
Germany 148
Egypt 142
Latvia 139
United States 92
Serbia 89
Bulgaria 84
Italy 71
China 66
South Ossetia 57
Bangladesh 53
Estonia 50
France 49
Greece 44
India 35
Iran, Islamic Republic of 33
Lebanon 33
Poland 31
Tunisia 31
Palestine, The State 30
Nigeria 28
Cuba 26
Morocco 24
Bosnia and Herzegovina 22
Iraq 22
Pakistan 22
Jordan 20
Algeria 17
United Kingdom (United Kingdom) 15
Cameroon 13
Montenegro 11
Australia 10
Yemen 10
Sudan 10
Belgium 9
Canada 9
Austria 8
Hungary 8
Spain 8
Colombia 8
Bolivia, a multinational state 7
Thailand 7
Brazil 6
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 6
Congo 6
Mongolia 6
Romania 6
Sri Lanka 6
South Africa 6
Nepal 5
Netherlands 5
Peru 5
Finland 5
Switzerland 5
Ecuador 5
The Republic of Macedonia 4
Mexico 4
Norway 4
Czech Republic 4
Sweden 4
Benin 3
Ghana 3
Guinea-Bissau 3
Denmark 3
Korea, Republic of 3
Somalia 3
Albania 2
Gambia 2
Zimbabwe 2
Indonesia 2
Cyprus 2
Libya 2
Niger 2
Slovenia 2
Croatia 2
Ethiopia 2
Japan 2
Angola 1
Argentina 1
Bermuda 1
Burundi 1
Dominican Republic 1
Zambia 1
Ireland 1
Comoros 1
North Korea (North Korea) 1
Costa Rica 1
Malawi 1
Mali 1
Myanmar 1
Nicaragua 1
New Zealand 1
United Arab Emirates 1
Portugal 1
Slovakia 1
Sierra Leone 1
Tanzania, United Republic of 1
Togo 1
Uruguay 1
Philippines 1
Chad 1
Chile 1

 

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Russia, Ukraine 

Here is why the US needs a Big Beautiful Wall in one graph:

usa-vs-central-american-births

Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are the top four source countries of illegal immigrants to the US.

The American White percentage of the population has been dropping relentlessly for more than half a century, in large part due to immigration itself.

Here is the same graph compared to just US Non-Hispanic Whites:

births-us-nonhispanic-whites-vs-central-america

Let’s play with some simple, easy to understand numbers (also the necessary autism-borne disclaimers: No radical life extension, no artificial wombs, no singularity, etc).

A very loose but useful rule of thumb in demographics is that the steady state future population (minus migration) equals the numbers of births per year times the life expectancy.

Life expectancy can be set to 80 for everyone.

The steady state population of the US, with around 4 million yearly births in recent years, is therefore around 320 million, which is exactly what it is today (this makes intuitive sense, since the TFR is around the replacement level rate).

Of that number, about 160 million will be Whites, down from 200 million today, and the other 160 million will be minorities, up from 120 million today.

With annual births stabilizing at around 2.5 million, there should eventually be around 200 million people in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, up by about 60 million people relative to today.

Trump’s Wall will play a big role in determining the geographic distribution of that future 200 million north or south of the Rio Grande.

 

world-map-iq-drop-due-to-immigration

Well, apart from the Gulf states – thanks in large part to coming from such a low base that even subcontinental coolies are an improvement over the natives.

Otherwise, the cognitive impact of immigration – at least as proxied by the differences in performance on the PISA tests between the national average, which includes immigrant children, versus only native children – is almost entirely negative for its supposed beneficiaries across the entire world.

Even those few countries with expressly “cognitively elitist” immigration policies see only the most modest of benefits: Singapore: +0.7; Canada: -0.1; Australia: -0.2.

Otherwise, the only countries not to be significantly affected are those which see little immigration in general, such as Japan and Korea. So perhaps the best way of “winning” the game to attract quality immigrants is to avoid playing it in the first place.

Western Europe is a complete disaster zone, getting a harder cognitive hit even though the immigrant share of their population is considerably smaller than the US, where they constitute almost a quarter of the PISA-taking population. The German national average takes an astounding 2.4 IQ point hit due to immigrants. Moreover, there is no full convergence between first and second generation immigrants. Although one can hope the children of all those Syrian “doctors and engineers” will go on to become productive and loyal citizens, past experience suggests that they will merely bolster the sullen ranks of a permanent, growing, ethnically distinct, and highly criminalized underclass.

The situation in the US is actually considerably better than in Europe – the low-IQ Central Americans, who are not sending their best, are counterbalanced by the millions of talented East Asians, Indians, and other intelligent and highly motivated people who still want to make America their home. Thanks to that the world’s biggest immigrant nation only loses 1.3 IQ points due to all the newcomers. Donald Trump is promising a big beautiful wall to stem the rising tide of color from the south, but even if he fails to come through, at least the mestizos have better tempers and aren’t wont to blow up like the Mohammedans. The choice between Eurabian dhimmitude or fusing with La Raza Cosmica isn’t exactly hard.

Russia only loses 0.4 IQ points due to immigration, which sounds surprising low, given that Central Asia appears to be a cognitive black hole – Kyrgyzstan, by far not the worst state in the region, came dead last in PISA 2012, and Lynn and Grigoriev have estimated the IQs of Kazakhs and Uzbeks in Kazakhstan to lie in the 80s (very comparable to the chasm between European America and Central America).

I suspect this is down to the following three big factors.

First, for all the nationalist rhetoric, in comparative terms the demographic inflow into Russia from the “Global South” is still rather modest; (official) annual immigration runs at about 300,000 souls per year, and a big part of that now accrues to Ukraine (in contrast, about 500,000 people immigrate to the UK every year, despite its population being more than twice lower than Russia’s). This is backed up by the PISA 2015 statistics, according to which only 7% of the Russian schoolchildren who sat the test have an immigrant background, versus 17% in both the UK and Germany, and 23% in the US.

Second, I assume that the children of the ethnic Russians who repatriated to Russia in the 1990s – in absolute numbers, they would still easily outnumber the Central Asians and Caucasians who came in the 2000s – are also counted as immigrants, and thus “dilute” the negative influence of the Uzbeks and Tajiks. Finally, it is also quite likely that the Central Asian “immigrant” Russians are brighter than the average Russian who never left: First, it was typically (genuine) doctors, engineers, and other specialists who were sent to develop Central Asia under the Soviet Union, and second, getting out of the place after the Soviet collapse was kind of an IQ test of its own. Both of these points may have served to artificially raise the quality of statistically-defined immigrants to Russia and to thus dilute the size of its hit on Russian national IQ.

The UK doesn’t do too badly – only a 0.9 IQ point hit – because the Anjem Choudarys are partially canceled out by talented and ambitious Europeans. Many of the finance and technological firms in the City of London are majority staffed by talented foreigners. There are 200,000 French citizens in London.

Given the strong dependence between national IQ and economic prosperity, the globalist open borders project presents a serious challenge to the long-term viability of the First World cognitive engines that drive the vast bulk of technological progress – progress that is already threatened by the dysgenic trends embedded in post-Malthusian society and the banal fact that problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you ascend the technological ladder. This is not to even mention the risk of “institutional contagion” from newcomers who are culturally and perhaps biologically incompatible with that unique blend of individualism and commitment to the commonweal that facilitated the rise of European civilization.

As the neoreactionaries have argued, to cultivate a garden, you first need to build a wall. We needed to have started building it yesterday, but late is better than never.

Sources: OECD PISA Data Explorer; PISA 2015 Results (Volume I) Excellence and Equity in Education.

List:

Countries IQ Change
1 Qatar 6.35
2 United Arab Emirates 6.22
3 Macao (China) 1.41
4 Singapore 0.73
5 Kazakhstan -0.02
6 Romania -0.03
7 Hungary -0.06
8 Korea -0.07
9 Canada -0.09
10 Chinese Taipei -0.09
11 Montenegro -0.11
12 Viet Nam -0.12
13 Japan -0.12
14 Australia -0.15
15 Argentina -0.15
16 Poland -0.16
17 Algeria -0.19
18 Peru -0.20
19 Uruguay -0.23
20 Turkey -0.26
21 Latvia -0.26
22 Indonesia -0.27
23 Colombia -0.28
24 Kosovo -0.28
25 Lithuania -0.30
26 Czechia -0.31
27 Chile -0.31
28 Thailand -0.31
29 Moldova -0.31
30 Mexico -0.31
31 Malaysia -0.33
32 Cyprus -0.33
33 Portugal -0.33
34 Russia -0.38
35 Costa Rica -0.43
36 Ireland -0.44
37 B-S-J-G (China) -0.44
38 Jordan -0.48
39 Georgia -0.50
40 Malta -0.52
41 New Zealand -0.55
42 Croatia -0.56
43 Brazil -0.56
44 Finland -0.57
45 Tunisia -0.59
46 Estonia -0.62
47 FYROM -0.63
48 Dominican Republic -0.64
49 Bulgaria -0.68
50 Slovak Republic -0.69
51 Iceland -0.70
52 Italy -0.74
53 Hong Kong (China) -0.77
54 Israel -0.87
55 United Kingdom -0.88
56 Slovenia -0.90
57 Spain -0.92
58 Greece -0.98
59 Lebanon -1.03
60 Trinidad and Tobago -1.10
61 Netherlands -1.15
62 Norway -1.17
63 Denmark -1.17
64 United States -1.29
65 France -1.54
66 Sweden -2.00
67 Belgium -2.05
68 Austria -2.18
69 Germany -2.40
70 Switzerland -2.87
71 Luxembourg -3.21
Average -0.54
OECD average -0.92

PS. A list of native IQs converted from PISA according to calculations by commenter “m”:

pisa-2015-native-iqs

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Cognitive Elitism, Immigration, PISA 

ea-global-bio

 

Online version with hyperlinks: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ea-and-intelligence-theory/

I am a blogger and independent researcher who is interested in the intersections of intelligence theory, futurism, economics, and geopolitics.

Here is a summary of my ideas relevant to Effective Altruism:

Intelligence is central to explaining the wealth and poverty of nations, so a good understanding of it is central to formulating good EA-based policies.

  • Near universal agreement amongst psychologists on validity of general factor of intelligence (Gottfredson 1994; Jensen 1998). No replication crisis in psychometrics unlike the rest of psychology!
  • Solid positive correlations with incomes, job prestige, and virtually all measures of worldly success.
  • Excellent correlation between national IQ and GDP per capita (0.9!!) once you adjust for resource windfalls and Communist legacy (Karlin 2012). The economist Garett Jones calls this the “hive mind” thesis, and has shown that the causation is mostly from the former to the latter (Jones 2015). There is an approximately 3x increase in GDP per capita for every S.D. gain in average national IQ.
  • Despite popular but usually mistaken anecdotes, such as that of Feynman’s mediocre IQ, the elite scientists who drive scientific and technological progress are around 4 S.D. above the Western population mean (Roe 1952).
  • There is a case to be made – what I call the Apollo’s Ascent theory – that rising intelligence is indispensable for scientific and technological progress, since problems tend to get harder over time (Karlin 2015).

Important implications for EA follow from this, some obvious – some less so, and some outright controversial.

Obvious: The necessity of IQ-ameliorating interventions, especially in the developing world. There have already been resounding successes on this front historically (salt iodization). Work on micronutrient supplementation and deworming is extremely effective and should continue, as the EA community has long recognized.

Less Obvious: Improving IQ in the developed world, since it is so strongly associated with greater prosperity and performance across all metrics of civilization (which also results in less need for charity in the first place). Unfortunately, all schooling interventions tried to date have been shown to be inefficacious, so we need to be more ambitious. We need to throw more money and brainpower at the genetics of IQ; CRISPR/Cas9 and other gene editing techniques; and more speculatively, neural augs. There are many “intersectionalities” between EA and machine intelligence safety research; more intelligent humans will find it easier to understand the case for caution and help decrease the likelihood of a malevolent “breakout.”

Controversial: It is time to look more critically at the Open Borders orthodoxy within the EA community (Karlin 2015):

  • Hive Mind: Unfiltered immigrants from the developing world almost inevitably have lower average IQs than the recipient country (Rindermann 2014). Nor is there any evidence of long-term convergence. As such, the quality of the “hive mind” decreases, resulting in long-term decrease of the “equilibrium” level of GDP per capita relative to what it would otherwise be.
  • Cognitive Colonialism: You can have a “cognitively elitist” immigration policy, like Singapore or Australia, but it imposes a heavy burden upon the developing world by scouring it of the “smart fractions” they need for their own development (Karlin 2015).
  • Skills misallocations: The First World has no shortage of specialists. A doctor from Syria or D.R. Congo is more likely to end up as a taxi driver (or Uber now?) as to make relevant use of whatever professional qualifications he might have.
  • Loss of global arbitrage opportunities: George Soros, an outspoken proponent of open borders, has called the EU to spend almost $20,000 per immigrant during just their first year. But $1 of spending in Africa goes a lot further than $1 in Austria or America. For instance, a Syrian refugee doctor and his family can buy an oceanfront suite for $2,500 in the capital of Tanzania (a poor country which gets a useful specialist and economic investment at a fraction of the cost of hosting said doctor in Europe).
  • Other costs: Cultural incompatibility, decrease in social cohesion, and rise in xenophobic sentiments (cross out as per your ideological tilt).

Did you find any of this interesting, intriguing, or at least not completely bonkers?

If so please feel free to check out my blog (http://www.unz.com/akarlin/) and website (http://akarlin.com/).

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Effective Altruism, Futurism, Immigration 

It appears that the elites who have lobbied for cheap labor and lectured us on the benefits of vibrant diversity aren’t so keen on sticking around to enjoy the multicultural paradises they helped create.

At least, these are the obvious conclusions to be drawn from a recently released report by New World Wealth on millionaire migration in 2015.

millionaire-migration-2015

The country with the single largest outflow of millionaires is France, losing 3% of them last year alone. According to the report, these figures were “heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially in urban areas.” I suppose that is one way of putting it. These trends are predicted to accelerate in the next decade “as these tensions escalate,” and similar “religious tensions” are also expected to “negatively affect” countries such as Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and the UK “in the near future.” Where is Monsieur MoneyBags taking off to? “Tel Aviv had large inflows from Europe, especially France. Other Israeli cities such as Herzliya, Jerusalem and Netanya also experienced inflows.” Well, no wonder many French nationalists and anti-Zionists are so suspiciously Islamophilic.

London experienced a net inflow of 500 millionaires in 2015, a decrease over previous years because of the rising number of British-born millionaires leaving for other parts of England – “mainly to small towns in the London commuter belt along the Thames” – and to other parts of the Anglosphere such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. One would note that these countries tend to have lower tax rates, nicer climates, and if not a lack of diversity, then at least cognitively elitist immigration policies designed to only let the cleverer (or at least wealthier) sorts inside. In contrast, as noted in the New World Wealth report, millionaire arrivistes to London were almost entirely foreigners. It further predicts that “this may be a trend that continues in future as several wealthy UK born people that we spoke to said they were concerned about the way London and the UK in general had changed over the past decade or so.” We ever so wonder what they mean by that. “Australia seems to be their preferred destination.” Presumably, they would rather their children live in Singapore Down Under instead of AfroEurabia.

What’s particularly striking about all this is that France and Italy have more millionaire expats, even in percentage terms, than does Russia – a country whose apatride elites are infamous for buying up properties in London and Florida and sending their children off to British boarding schools. This is frequently cited in the Western media (and the Russian media too) as evidence of well-heeled Russians “voting with their feet” against the legal nihilism and and ideological bankruptcy under Putin, but if so what does it then say about those far richer Western countries where the numbers of fleeing millionaires are surging well past those of Putin’s “mafia state”?

This applies all the more so for China. Although there have likewise been numerous media reports of how rich Chinese are “fleeing” their country en masse – as with Russia, inevitably either to safeguard their hard-earned wealth from the rapacity of government bureaucrats or to stash away the misbegotten proceeds of corruption – the actual numbers for them (relative to the size of their millionaire pool) are actually very modest. It appears that relatively more Chinese millionaires are prepared to wait a few more years for China to resolve its air pollution problems than French millionaires are to wait a few more years for the French Socialists to make another go at introducing an 80% top bracket income tax rate to pay for the rising welfare and prison costs of all those incoming doctors and engineers.

If you are to treat the numbers of Chinese and Russian millionaires leaving as “pedal votes” against the corruption and political malfeasance of their countries, then logic and consistency likewise dictates that you apply the same judgmental approach to the even larger European millionaires fleeing the diversity their governments have been imposing on them. Ironically, of course, just as the elites in Russia or China are at least as much the enablers of the corruption and governance problems that afflict them as they are its victims, so the elite class in Europe has been instrumental in supporting policies that are now pushing them out of their own countries (not that we should be too sorry about their plight: Unlike them, the middle and working classes do not have the means to leave at all. But their money and human capital will be missed).

But for some reason, I don’t see the Western media using this as to bludgeon France or Sweden like they do with Russia or China. After all, the latter two are America’s geopolitical rivals, while the former are loyal servants of the globalist nation wreckers who rule the West.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Millionaires 

I came across this map of German performance in math, biology, physics, and chemistry in the IQB-Ländervergleich 2012, a test they hold once every few years in conjunction with PISA.

germany-2012-laendervergleich

With the sole exception of Berlin, which is close to rock bottom, the former GDR states along with Bavaria were consistently at the top of the ratings. 50-60 points difference correspond to two years’ worth of learning progress.

Saxony, home of Pegida and known in the Cold War as the “valley of the clueless” because its specific geography hampered Western radio and TV broadcasts, is at the very top.

germany-2009-pisa-results

This is confirmed by the regional PISA results for 2009.

What could possibly explain this?

germany-2006-pisa-results-migrants-vs-natives

Who could have imagined?

In reality, East Germans are nothing special academically; they are about mid-range compared to the average ethnic German elsewhere in Germany.

percentage-migrants-in-germany-2011

The key difference is that East Germans had yet to be really enriched back when these tests were carried out. The map above shows the percentage of immigrants in the German districts as of 2011.

On a historical note, it’s possible that the roots of the South German – that is, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg – dominance on the German cognitive scoreboard are pretty old.

printing-press-in-europe-1480

 

Thirty years after the printing press first appeared in Europe, you could already begin to discern three distinct clusters of concentration – Northern Italy, the Low Countries, and South Germany. (The first two, of course, were famous for their respective Renaissances). Back then, there was no independent Protestant pro-literacy effect, so we might expect to see a considerable correlation across Catholic Europe between literacy rates and IQ (though back then climatic factors would had a much bigger influence in suppressing literacy rates in the colder, less urbanized areas of Northern Europe). And it is reasonably to suppose that there was likewise a good correlation between literacy rates and the adoption of the printing press.

Furthermore, unlike the Low Countries and Italy, South Germany is a hilly inland area, an environment that tends to depress IQ (iodine deficiency – the European alpine areas used to be known for having many cases of goitre and cretinism), so their achievement in quickly accumulating such a high density of printing presses nonetheless must have already hinted at a very respectable genotypic IQ.

I seem to recall reading in National Literacy Campaigns and Movements, as in Sweden, there were ecclesiastical reglaments making marriage more difficult for illiterate people in southern Germany from the 18th century. If so this would have been a eugenic policy that helped maintain or increase further those high IQ levels, though the effect would have been attenuated by the Bavarians having one of Europe’s highest illegitimacy rates (something like 27% IIRC).

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Germany, Immigration, Psychometrics 

One of the problems critics of mass immigration face is that there aren’t that many concrete statistics on their crime rates (substantially thanks to European institutions being in the habit of forbidding the gathering of said race/ethnicity data).

But things do leak through every now and then and more often than not they tend to confirm the hateful stereotypes.

Latest example: The German Federal Criminal Office compiles data on “nationality of suspect” across different criminal categories current up to 2014 (see Table 62). In the last year before the Great Migration, immigrants – accounting for less than 10% of the population – were responsible for 18% of rapes and 30% of murders. One enterprising fellow who presumably prefers to remain anonymous compiled a big infographic combining the criminal and demographic data to produce estimates of criminality rates by different crime categories and country of origin. (The infographic is attached at the bottom of this post, which the stats for perhaps the two most important/topical indicators, homicide rates and rape rates, are reprinted).

Murder / 100,000

Country of Origin Murder Rates
Lebanon 23
Tunisia 14
Algeria 12
Afghanistan 9
Albania 8
Iraq 7
Somalia 6
Morocoo 6
Iran 6
Russia 6
Turkey 5
Serbia 5
Pakistan 4
Syria 3
Nigeria 3
Eritrea 3
Bosnia 3
Kosovo 3
Poland 2.9
Brazil 2.6
Greece 2
France 2
Vietnam 2
Romania 1
Italy 1
USA 0.9
Germany 0.8
Spain 0.6
UK 0.4
Netherlands 0
India 0
Thailand 0
China 0

Sexual Assault/Rape Rates / 100,000

Country of Origin Sexual Assault/Rape Rates
Algeria 36
Tunisia 32
Somalia 29
Aghanistan 24
Lebanon 24
Pakistan 21
Iraq 18
Nigeria 16.7
Albania 15
Eritrea 15
Iran 14
Morocco 13.4
Serbia 10
Romania 10
Syria 9.3
India 9
Turkey 8
Kosovo 7.4
Bosnia 7
USA 6
Brazil 5
Italy 5
Poland 4
Greece 4
Russia 3.9
Spain 3.6
Netherlands 3.5
Vietnam 3.5
Germany 3
France 3
Thailand 3
UK 3
China 2.5

 

Frankly even I was rather surprised by some of these figures – perhaps not so much the figures on rape, but I do find the killer performance of the likes of Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria in the homicide rates to be unduly impressive. After all, according to international homicide rate statistics, the Maghreb is actually rather civilized – 2.2/100,000 in Tunisia and Morocco, and a mere 0.7/100,000 in Algeria (lower than in Germany itself at 0.8/100,000). Lebanon for all its chaos is also at 2.2/100,000. Homicide rates are the one major type of crime that can be reliably measured across countries, so that actually makes them safer than large chunks of Eastern Europe, including Poland before the 2000s. But for some reason when they come to Europe their homicide rates soar by an order of magnitude.

What could be the cause? Lower migrant quality relative to their average population? Being overwhelmingly drawn from ethnic groups with a higher relative proposensity towards violence? (hbd*chick noticed that a disproportionate number of Muslim terrorists in the Paris Attacks had Berber backgrounds; does this extend to “ordinary” criminal violence?). Or perhaps this is one case where it is not so much a case of ethnicity as of culture – namely, traditional and/or authoritarian societies being better at keeping a lid on violent crime than the dissolute anomie of Western urbanism? I don’t know, but this discrepancy has to be explained.

Note that 70% of prisoners in French jails are Muslim. Of course most French Muslims are from the Maghreb. Originally I thought there might be some scintilla of truth to liberal claims that this proves that France is structurally racist towards its Muslim minorities because I was aware that the countries where French Muslims come from aren’t that violent overall so it’s strange so many of them would be in jail. But if they acquire the criminological profiles of American Negroes on coming to Europe, then the preponderance of French Muslims in orange becomes perfectly explainable.

It also becomes easier to see why the latest wave of immigration has been such a shock to Europe and elicited such strong headlines in the right-wing press. The current wave of migrants into Germany and Europe tend to have rape rates around 5x the native German norm according to its own police statistics. Moreover, this refers to presumably established migrant communities – with relatively more women and older people – whereas the current influx has generally been acknowledged to be primarily composed of young males. This means it is entirely plausible for even relatively “small” numbers of those immigrants (the million or so who came into Germany in 2015) to have a hugely disproportionate impact on crime rates that would be noticeable even in a country of 80 million.

 


germany-immigrant-crime-rates

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Crime, Germany, Immigration, Rape 

Leonid Bershidsky is a democratic journalist who immigrated to Germany from Russia when Putin triggered him one too many times in 2014. Most of his articles deal with Eastern Europe in general and the Eternal Collapse of Russia under Putin in specific (though to be fair he is far from the worst Russia journalist out there). He also regularly makes space on his Bloomberg blog for promoting various other fashionably progressive causes, which in the light of recent events is predictably dominated by immigration and open borders.

Open borders for Europe and especially Germany, anyway. He does not think the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia have to take in refugees because it would dilute the per capita value of their oil wealth and create the “potential for political, ethnic and sectarian tension.” Mass enrichment is a a joy and a blessing that only European countries are worthy of partaking in. Rape? What rape? All Putinist lies!

In short, he is a highly representative and articulate voice of the transatlantic globalist elites.

Last week, I was drawn into a debate with him due to a ReTweet of one of his

This is the main reason I have for preserving the “debate” I had on IQ and immigration with him last week on Twitter. Though every bit as tedious as you probably imagine it, it is useful to be reminded every so often of how utterly and willfully uninformed conventional elite opinion remains on these issues down to the banal recycling of the Steve Jobs argument.

Note in particular the struggles of poor Garett Jones (he of the Hive Mind) to communicate basic psychometric findings to Bershidsky while avoiding saying anything that could potentially get him fired.

Before clicking on the image below to enlarge, note that this is a fairly big file (2.5MB).

immigration-debate-with-bershidsky

Feel free to continue this “debate” in the comments section.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Elites, Immigration, Psychometrics, Trolling 

Here is one of the most popular feel-good #refugeeswelcome cartoons going round the Internets these past few days by the cartoonist John Cole:

john-cole-know-the-enemy

Of course, one not inconsiderable problem is that a disturbingly big percentage of Syrian refugees – some 13% of them, according to a November 2014 poll by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies – say they have a positive view of the Islamic State. Moreover, another 10% are negative towards them but only just to some extent.

So what we have is that almost precisely a quarter of Syrian refugees are either outright positive about ISIS, or have only moderate disagreements with them (they don’t want to get conscripted by them?).

doha-poll-2014-arab-support-for-islamic-state

So, informed by these demographic realities, and taking into account the tendency of second generation Muslim immigrations to radicalize, here is my modest suggestion for improving John Cole’s cartoon:

john-cole-know-the-enemy-fixed

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Cartoon, Immigration, Islamism, Trolling 

One constant theme in the immigration “debate” is that the world of Mutti Merkel and Sweden Yes! are just too stupid and/or WEIRD (capitalized) to get that it probably isn’t such a great idea to import millions of 80 IQ Third Worlders with a penchant for cultural enrichment. In fantasyland, they will help pay European pensions and provide workers; in practice, Germany and Sweden are cutting benefits, raising taxes, upping the retirement age, and kicking their own people out of social housing to provide lodgings for the Abduls and Jamals who will take good care of them.

But these two explanations are highly questionable. While the Eurocrat elites might be many things, one thing they are not is stupid. For that matter, Merkel herself is a cited physicist. Nor is it obvious to me that they are too WEIRD for their own good. Plenty of senior establishment figures have openly come out against mass immigration and they are not all called Viktor Orban. For that matter, Merkel herself in 2010 had said that European multiculturalism had failed and had no future. (This, fundamentally, is why back then I was so skeptical about the Eurabia concept. I still assumed that democracies at least to some extent answered to their people and that immigration would drastically slow down as political sentiment drifted against it. Instead, we are now seeing Sweden replacing more than 2% of its population annually, even as the “far right” Sweden Democrats climb to 25%+ in the polls. At such rates, what was once sci-fi has become a real demographic scenario).

What explains the volte face?

Maybe this particular stone just kills too many birds not to have been eventually thrown. At this point, perhaps more “conspiratorial” explanations can come to the fore.

(1) Suppress European nationalism, not just politically but eventually, demographically. It just so happens that nationalism – not socialism, social democracy, or even (especially) social justice – is also the greatest threat to oligarchic power. That is because the modern Left is too obsessed with vague notions of “social justice” to notice, while the Right only cares about making life easier for its big business sponsors in between satisfying its cuckoldry fetish.

(2) One way of doing this is to steadily stiffle freedom of speech on both the Internet and meatspace on the pretext of fighting racism and xenophobia. See the recent leaked Mutti-Zucky conversation on this:

(3) Incidentally, the SJWs and mainstream media are doing much of the “gruntwork” in this respect, so that’s an additional bonus. For instance, the Reddit regional default sub /r/europe under the benevolent guidance of /u/dClauzel is infamous for banning all real criticism of the immigration wave.

(4) This means real repressive actions, such as the endless legal cases against Marine Le Pen, can be kept at a relative minimum. That repressive reserve can be “saved up” for the real domestic enemies of NWO oligarchs, who mainly seem to be cryptoanarchists like Assange and Snowden, and those “radical” (as in, who remember their roots – their radix) Leftists like Jeremy Corbyn and various Southern European upstarts who want to substantially overhaul the entire current system of total global financial power. They are demonized in the MSM, sidelined out of power to the maximum extent possible while maintaining some semblance of democracy, and if that doesn’t work they are eventually made offers they cannot refuse, as happened to Syriza.

(5) Neoliberalism can be legally entrenched, with “reforms” such as higher retirement ages and lower minimum wages pushed through to help the surviving Aylans with $15,000 annually, as Soros suggested. The media, organized in a few oligarch-owned conglomerates, is and will of course continue to be fully on board with this plan. The TPP will merely accelerate and globalize this process.

(6) The surveillance state has all the justifications it needs to continue metastasizing without end. Not just on the grounds of preventing terrorism, which wouldn’t be much of an issue had mass immigration not happened in the first place, but also perhaps to detect and trace back all the vile racists and their hate speech. Dystopian sci-fi scenario of mass unemployment in which universal basic income depends on your social justice karma level? You heard it here first.

(7) Finally, the permanent refugee crisis itself – not to mention many other ills too numerous to count – can be ascribed by a compliant media to whoever happens to be not under the NWO’s thumb, and as such, its enemy. Putin in particular comes to mind. This in turn can be used as a pretext to foment ever more instability in the Middle East and Russia’s borderlands, leading to their continued destabilization, ever bigger refugee outflows, and the consolidation of the neoliberal/surveillance/social justice transnational Atlantic megastate.

No doubt there are many very powerful people who stand to benefit from all this.

I wonder to what extent this is an organized conspiracy as opposed to an emergent phenomenon. At one point, I used to think it was mostly or entirely the latter. But why not the former? (apart from the convenient notion promoted by the MSM that conspiracies aren’t real and people who credit any measure of truth to them are paranoid uneducated idiots)

goldberg-troll

He literally looks like a trollface.

Consider the recent case of Joshua Goldberg, an impressive Internet troll who managed to pose as a White Nationalist who wrote for The Daily Stormer, a Jewish supremacist calling for Palestinian extermination, a crazy feminist SJW against Gamergate, and an Islamist extremist who managed to unlock that most elusive of troll achievements: Convincing people to carry out a terrorist attack in meatspace.

One Goldberg – tens of online aliases, thousands of virtual discussions, hundreds of thousands of Likes, upvotes, and shares to Facebook and Twitter.

A few tens of Goldbergs (with some AI bots helping out) – thousands of online aliases, millions of virtual discussions, billions of Likes, upvotes, and shares to Facebook and Twitter.

Maybe with some highly illegal and sordid initiation rituals to serve as potential kompromat.

Maybe an Agent 47 or three to prevent too many people spilling too many beans in too short an interval of time.

Maybe with a few conspiratorial-looking fronts – the Bilderberg Club in particular comes to mind – to take the “heat” away from any real conspiracy.

Put that way, it doesn’t seem all that impossible, now does it?

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Conspiracy Theories, Immigration, RealWorld 

Fresh from helping wreck American cities, George Soros now offers his very valuable thoughts on European immigration policy.

First, the EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future. And, to do that, it must share the burden fairly – a principle that a qualified majority finally established at last Wednesday’s summit.

Adequate financing is critical. The EU should provide €15,000 ($16,800) per asylum-seeker for each of the first two years to help cover housing, health care, and education costs – and to make accepting refugees more appealing to member states. It can raise these funds by issuing long-term bonds using its largely untapped AAA borrowing capacity, which will have the added benefit of providing a justified fiscal stimulus to the European economy.

This comes to around €1,250 per migrant, monthly.

That is higher than the average salary in 14 of the EU’s 28 member states (and that’s not accounting for the fact that at least some of the migrants are children).

In total, the program as stated would add up to nearly $20 billion annually. I wonder what part of his own wealth (which happens to be in the same ballpark), if any, Soros is offering as a contribution.

Even from the (progressive) effective altruism angle, $20 billion is almost equivalent to the annual revenues of Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest and richest low income country. For that kind of money per immigrant, you could hire five to ten good doctors in the D.R. Congo.

Incidentally, Soros – a man who made his fortune in financial speculation – has a long record of making unsolicited suggestions on how European taxpayers should spend their hard-earned money…

Allocating 1 percent of the EU budget to the defense of Ukraine seems appropriate; this would allow the European Union to contribute as much as €14 billion annually to the IMF-led assistance program—a contribution that would be large enough to allow for the European Union to do “whatever it takes” to help Ukraine succeed.

… And that’s not even all:

With the EU’s “fiscal compact” and other rules limiting the scope of government assistance, innovative thinking is needed. The single most effective measure would be to offer free political risk insurance to those who invest in or do business with Ukraine. This would keep the economy running, despite the political turmoil, and it would signal to Ukrainians that the EU and the US – governments and private investors alike – are committed to them. Businesses would flock to a newly open and promising market if they were fully compensated for losses caused by political events beyond their control.

For his part Soros has merely said that he may invest $1 billion into Ukraine.

($100 million!? I don’t have $1o million. What do you need $1 million for anyway? Here’s $100,000. That should be enough to open another NGO in Kiev. Meanwhile, excuse me while I go and bet against the grivna).

If Soros is urging you to do something, it’s almost always a good idea to listen – and then proceed to do the precise opposite and kick his NGO stooges out of your country (like the mighty Orban did in 2014). Weathering the rage and fury of his Western neocon friends is a small price to pay in comparison.

 

Cartographic guide to the European immigration crisis with each country’s estimated cuck rating.

map-cucks-of-europe

Pink = Go back to your cuckshed, Sven!

Red = Very Cucked.

Light Red = Soon to get cucked.

Light Green = “So bad even wartorn refugees think it sucks,” according to the Taiwanese. Being based is good but is not that great of an achievement when nobody cares or wants to cuck you in the first place.

Green = Based.

Dark Green = Magyar Stronk!

Gray = Kebab.

Inspired by this. Thought today would be an appropriate day to post my version.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Cuckoldry, Europe, Humor, Immigration, Political Correctness 

Effective altruism (EA) is the fairly simple idea that in charitable giving as in financial investment, you should aim to put your money where it would do the most good – be it earning the highest returns, or helping the maximum number of people. It is a laudable enough goal, though the ideas behind it are hardly new or revolutionary – I recall Jeffrey Sachs touting the superiority of anti-malarial nets over other higher-profile forms of development aid on cost-effectiveness merits back in the mid-2000s, well before “effective altruism” was on anyone’s radar. And I agree with the approach in principle. How could anyone not? Because the core of EA is just helping people live better, richer, healthier lives in clever and cost-effective ways, e.g. anti-malarial nets over dams, $40 trichiasis operations over $40,000 guide-dogs for the blind, machine intelligence research to ensure our future robot overlords don’t kill us all, and – open borders.

Wait, what? Here is where we come to some “problematic” aspects of EA. On paper, it is all about being rationalist. In practice, it is composed of people. What kind of people? EA demographics overlap a lot with that of LessWrong, which has carried out detailed censuses of its members – only 2% of them describe themselves as conservatives, while another 2% describe themselves as neoreactionary (where else would you get that kind of breakdown?), while the other 95% are mostly liberals, libertarians, social democrats, and anarchists of various stripes. They are composed primarily of upper-middle class Americans more compelled to engage in passive aggressive status signalling than to reliably carry rationalism through to its logical conclusions, no matter how unpalatable they might be liberal sensibilities. A few are just outright sperglord level autists.

effective-altruism-immigration A good litmus test for this hypothesis would be to see their attitudes on the current immigration engulfing Europe. The LessWrong boards are almost dead, and as far as I can see all the most intensive discussions are occuring on Facebook. A Sailerite Ctrl-F on EA’s biggest Facebook group shows 33 results for “refugee” and 22 results for “migra” just this past September.

Even if we were not all evil racists who don’t want any filthy foreigners aroun… or, merely accept the validity of discounting the welfare of outside groups relative to that of our own countrymen, there would still be some very legitimate arguments against open borders fundamentalism even from a pure EA perspective.

Here are some of the obvious ones:

  • As anyone with eyes to see has noticed, and as even the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has admitted in a recent report, the overwhelming majority of the current migrant wave into European is composed of young adult males. Not women or children, who are typically the biggest war victims.
  • Of which only half are from Syria.
  • Will in general be people who can afford the ~$10,000 needed for the Mediteranean route in the first place, or the ~$5,000 route to Norway via Murmansk so it’s not clear how much in the way of cash and other material aid they really need in the first place.
  • So we are really talking about maximizing utility, so wouldn’t it be more logical to make this more targetted and efficient by importing a few million of the most destitute people in say the D.R. Congo as opposed to Syria or Iraq, which however wartorn they might be are still far more prosperous than most of Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • But where precisely do you stop? 640 million people want to emigrate around the world, most of them from the Third World to the First.
  • Will First World countries composed overwhelmingly of Third Worlders continue to remain First World? More importantly from an EA perspective, would they retain the ability to substantively help the teeming multitudes of the Third World, or even hold conferences on topics such as “effective altruism”? The answer to this question might seem obvious to Unz Review readers, but will likely only confuse and bewilder many self-styled rationalists and EA’ers, many of whom are cognitive and racial blank slatists (this includes their high prophet Eliezer Yudkowsky if his magnum opus HPMOR is anything to go by).

And some of the less so obvious ones:

ocean-front-suite

Ocean Front Suites for $2,500 in city center of Dar es Salaam.

  • One dollar of spending money goes about five times further in poor countries than it does in First World countries due to purchasing power differences. (And that’s without considering the “extras” in the form of extra policing, language courses, welfare spending, etc. that First World nations would have to provide in order to pay for all the new vibrant diversity). If conditions in Syria are so utterly unacceptable that young males have no choice but to emigrate, surely it would be more effectively altruistic to encourage them to settle elsewhere in the Third World – say, why not a relatively stable and Islamic but poor country, like Tanzania, Senegal, or Bangladesh? The $10,000 they pay the Italian or Greek mafias to smuggle them into Europe would probably be enough to buy a nice house there!
  • European EA’ers could even subsidize them with a few $1,000s for the first few years to help them settle in their new homelands and encourage them to stay put. A Syrian doctor or engineer would be a great boon to a typical $1,000-$2,000 GDP per capita African country, where there are very few such specialists in the first place. In a European country, there are no substantive shortages of high IQ specialists, and your Syrian doctor or engineer would be just as likely to end up as a taxi driver (or would it be Uber now?) as to make relevant use of whatever professional qualifications he might have. There are 4 physicians per 1,000 people in Germany, compared to 1.5 in Syria and just 0.4 in Bangladesh, 0.1 in Senegal, and 0.0 in Tanzania. Having a Syrian doctor be a taxi driver in Germany is a bad skills misallocation on the global level, one that easily incurs an opportunity cost in the $10,000s, and it should elicit howls of outrage from any truly rationalist EA’er.
  • Or how about at least channeling some of this money to the few million real refugees stuck in drab refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey? Those people at least won’t be throwing food away like the desperate starving illegals at Calais:

  • When a Syrian migrates to Germany or Sweden, he effectively triples his carbon dioxide emissions. When he migrates to the US, he almost doubles it again. If we are talking about an Eritrean instead, the increase is more on the order of a hundredfold. Exploding populations in the First World means carbon dioxide emissions increasing much more rapidly than if it had taken place in a relatively poor country like Syria, let alone in the most destitute countries like Eritrea. More carbon dioxide emissions means more rapid global warming which in turns means even greater challenges to increasing prosperity in the countries of the Global South. AGW is a topic typically beloved of by progressives, but for some reason they don’t tend to mention it much in the context of immigration debates.
  • How about just stop funding Islamist crazies and support Assad, who according to opinion polls enjoys the most legitimacy of any political force in Syria? That would be not just the EA’iest but also literally the easiest low-effort, high-impact action of them all.
  • Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen, since the people opposing this are considerably more powerful than the Left’s anti-immigration racist bogeymen and most rationalists appear to have lapped up their propaganda as readily as most other Westerners.

Now some of the comments on immigration in the Effective Altruism Facebook discussion group are within the rationalist spirit of EA and are intelligent and relevant even if they fail to challenge the broader “open borders” dogma. (I see no reason to blank out names since this is a public group).

refugees-effective-altruism Others however are just your typical status signalling do-gooders and moralistic exhibitionists.

refugees-effective-altruism-2

Ines Ve sounds like a nice enough if naive person. Let’s hope she doesn’t get too disabused of her notions, like this fellow did:

And predictably you have the SJWs, down to the non-ironic use of “problematic” in casual conversation. I can’t even!

refugees-effective-altruism-3

Highly authoritarian and typically of only fairly modest intelligence, they are the death of any mildly interesting or intellectual movement that embraces them. I would not bet much on EA’s future.

 

Can be closed with the help of Taiwanese immigrants.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Immigration, RealWorld, Taiwan 

Foreign Policy reports on a massive opinion poll of International Relations experts on immigration, the wisdom of leaving Iraq, and the likelihood of war between the US and China or Russia. Here is the PDF. In some cases, their answers are compared to those of the public at large.

For the most part, it’s all pretty sane and predictable.

Most people, especially the scholars, think leaving Iraq was a good idea. They are unsure whether or not the US and Russia are headed back to a Cold War (neither am I). Henry Kissinger is rated as the most effective US Secretary of State in the past 50 years. And in an amusing example of Dunning-Kruger, far more scholars answer “I don’t know” for every question than does the general public.

The risk of war with Russia (2.55/10) or China (1.91/10) over the next decade is rated as low.

This is correct. The Chinese navy is still nowhere near as strong as even the US Pacific Fleet, though it is expanding fast. So long as the disparity remains this big, China will do its utmost not to risk outright war.

As for Russia, the US will not fight it for Ukraine – period; only the most svidomy Ukrainian and a certain subgroup of paranoid Russian nationalists believe otherwise. And deranged neocon ramblings aside, Russia would be idiotic to open up a front against the NATO Baltics even if it was interested in so doing (which it isn’t).

war-russia-china-poll

Where there is a substantial difference between public and expert opinion is in their attitudes towards immigration.

immigration-poll-ir-experts-vs-public

This is clearly primarily a class thing. For IR experts, more immigrants means cheap Hispanic workers and a vague personal sense of moral superiority. For the average population, it means downwards pressure on low-skill wages and a strong personal sense of cultural inundation.

Of course, do take all this with the requisite amount of salt. So far as foreign relations and immigration are concerned, since everyone is an expert and there are no real sanctions to being wrong (no skin in the game as Nassim N. Taleb would say), almost all but the most vague predictions turn out to be wrong. Of course this would apply to myself too.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Futurism, Immigration, Opinion Poll 

Sergey Zhuravlev is a Russian economist who runs a wonky but eminently readable and very useful, interesting blog and writes for Expert (author profile), which I may add is an excellent publication. You have met him previously on my blog as the inventor of a clever – if, in my opinion, flawed – argument that the 2011 Duma elections were marred by 5%-6% fraud, but were clean in Moscow; and if you read the Russia blogs, you may also have come across Mark Adomanis’ translation of one his articles about Russian regional inequality. Now I am presenting a translation of his Feb 13 article on what I called as the end of Russia’s demographic crisis: The Reversal of the Russian Cross. In my opinion, it has a few weaknesses; in particular, he is too cavalier about dismissing the “alcohol hypothesis” about post-Soviet Russia’s “supermortality”. But overall it is a brilliant and deeply informative survey of the origins of the Russian Cross – the crossover of the births and deaths graphs in 1992 – as well as of its recent reversal, to the extent that natural population decline is now almost stabilized and the overall population is able to grow due to net migrants.

The Reversal Of The Russian Cross

Last year our country’s population increased, for the first time in 20 years. Although positive growth in aggregate was only enabled by immigration from the Near Abroad, existing trends in rising fertility and falling mortality were maintained.

If we are to go by Rosstat’s figures, in the past year Russia’s population – for the first time in virtually the entire twenty years of Russia’s existence as a sovereign state – increased, exceeding 143 million people. The maximum population size was reached in 1992, at 148.56 millions, and has since decreased at a practically monotone rate. That said, it should be added that small population growth was previously observed in 1994 and 2009, and that the population fall in 2010 was, most likely, explained by cumulative errors over the period since the 2002 Census, and by the abnormal mortality during that summer’s heatwave [AK: There were c.56,000 excess deaths during the anomalous 2010 heatwave, which is basically equivalent to population decline of 48,300. Furthermore, the 2010 Census showed there to be 143.9 million Russians, which was one million higher than projections based on the 2002 Census; this implied that during the period, net immigration was underestimated by more than 100,000 per year. So its likely that even despite the heatwave, Russia's population still eked out an increase in 2010].

Caucasian Mountains only bested by Urals Mountains

The aggregate growth in our country’s permanent population was 165,000 for the past year [AK: This was a preliminary estimate that seems to have discounted December's migration stats; the final figure is population growth of 189,000]. Although overall positive growth is only enabled by migrants – net immigration is estimated at 296,000 for this year – the rate of natural population decrease continued to decline at a fast pace. Whereas in 2005 there were 828,000 more deaths than there were births, this past year it declined to 131,000.

Russia’s population is substantially affected by the effects of migration from the former Soviet Union. In the 22 years after 1990 – the year when ethnic problems in the former USSR exploded – some 7 million people have moved to Russia for permanent residency. This figure is in net terms, accounting for reverse flows from Russia, and discounting temporary labor migrants. Although net population outflow from Russia into countries of the Far Abroad constituted 80,000 annually throughout the 1990′s – in total, 1,050,000 Russians have officially moved into countries of the Far Abroad for permanent residency since 1990 – it has practically ceased from 2006 [AK: The Far Abroad is the world outside the former USSR, minus the Baltics and (recently) Georgia. Note also that Russia's "brain drain" came to a dripping halt at precisely the time when hacks in the Western media began to propagandize it].

Russia hosts the world’s second largest migrant population, after the US; it slightly exceeds Germany in this respect, and doubly so the next five largest migrant centers: Saudi Arabia, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, and France. A third of Russia’s migrant inflow from 1990 to 2010 from the former Soviet bloc accrued to Kazakhstan. But in the noughties Kazakhstan ceded leadership as a source of migrants to Uzbekistan, and after the Orange Revolution Ukraine caught up with them, and Kyrgyzstan after the Tulip Revolution [AK: Zhuravlev has a separate blog post noting that emigration waves typically accompany revolutions in the former Soviet space. I guess its something to look forwards to if the White Ribbon crowd seizes power.]

The only former Soviet republic with which Russia has had a negative migration balance these past 21 years – in which more people left than came in – is Belarus. That said, it should be noted that starting from 2005 the migration balance with Belarus too has turned positive, albeit it remains modest (net immigration from Belarus constitutes less than 8,000 people over the past six years). It is unclear why more people left for Belarus before this date; perhaps because the Russian provinces neighboring Belarus, such as Belarus, aren’t exactly the richest ones. Maybe it was tied to family reunification – parents returning to their children, or Belorussians returning to their homeland, for instance from Komsomol construction projects. Perhaps for this same reason Russia had a net outflow of migrants into Ukraine in the very early 1990′s.

As regards internal migration, the statistics do not reveal any special revelations that could refute or even complement intuition. There are three main destinations for internal migrants: The city of Moscow and Moscow oblast (in the past year the entire agglomeration absorbed 125,000 people, or three quarters of Russia’s population growth), and St.-Petersburg (33,000 migrants in the past year). There is also substantial migration into the Southern Federal District (in significant part from the neighboring North Caucasus) and into the Urals Federal District.

An important caveat is that in the two latter cases, population growth carries an exclusively point-like character. In the Urals Federal District, it is almost entirely concentrated around Tyumen oblast, the richest province in Russia today. Due to the high levels of social support in Tyumen oblast, fertility is also high: Young families get generous housing benefits, there are special programs for families with children. On its part the situation is similar for the Southern Federal District, which grows entirely thanks to Krasnodar krai, which is also understandable: Sochi.

It is clear that Russia’s demographic situation has improved in substantial part on account of the Northern Caucasus, where a strengthening baby boom started from about 2005. The other more or less demographically balanced Russian region, experiencing positive natural population growth, is the Urals Federal District thanks in turn to Tyumen. But contrary, perhaps, to popular belief, the Northern Caucasus isn’t the main source of migrants to the Central Federal District. In 2010, the most recent year for which internal migration data is available, only 16,000 people from the North Caucasus got permanent residence in the Center. This is but a drop in the ocean to the 19 million population of the Moscow region.

The biggest “donors” to the Moscow agglomeration are the Center itself and the Volga Federal District. These two regions, which constitute the primordial Russia as it developed in the 16th-17th centuries, experience not only the maximum natural population decrease in Russia but also the maximum mechanical loss of population, which in its turn is getting fairly intensively replaced by migrants from Central Asia (and in Siberia, apparently, from China [AK: Here I disagree with Zhuravlev. While there are significant numbers of Chinese labor migrants and shuttle traders in the Far East, very few of them choose to stay. This is not the case for Central Asians.])

Wartime Losses in Peacetime

Russia’s natural population decrease has declined as a result of a significant improvement in mortality, as well as a modest increase in fertility. The fall in mortality, just as its rise earlier in the 1990′s and early 2000′s, for the most part affected men, and substantially affected their expected life expectancy. From a remarkably low level for a civilized country of 58.9 years six years ago (the minimum was 57.4 years in 1994) it has now improved to 63.6 years. This is still far from a result to write home about, but at least it is now almost equal to the best Soviet-era indicators in the early 1960′s and late 1980′s. As for mortality among under 40′s, which has always been the scourge of Russian men, the current curves are even better than the Soviet ones (granted, the share of men living to 35-40 years is now higher mostly thanks to significantly lower infant and child mortality rates).

The phenomenon of “supermortality” from 1991 to 2009 – the 6.24 million excess deaths in the past 19 years, of which 3.2 million accrue to the 1990′s, that would not have occurred had age-specific mortality rates remained fixed at 1990 levels – has yet, in my opinion, to be endowed with a rational explanation [AK: This is the weakest point of Zhuravlev's essay. Yes, there is a rational and very convincing reason: Alcohol. There is a very close correlation between alcohol consumption and mortality since the late Soviet period, when an anti-alcohol campaign reduced consumption and improved life expectancy, to local peaks in consumption - and mortality - around 1994 and the early 2000's, to the past few years, when mortality reductions have occurred in lockstep with less boozing. There are similar correlations between alcohol consumption and mortality by geography, sex, and socio-economic sex; see the evidence here.]

Despite the hugeness of the number itself. It is equal to or even exceeds the “supermortality” caused by collectivization, is almost an order of magnitude greater than the number of victims of the Great Terror, and has the same order of magnitude as the rear losses of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War.

Falling living standards? This fit the maximum in 1994, but not the second local maximum in 2003, when normality was returning. And on the whole, while living standards fell during the transition period and reattained Soviet levels only in 2003-2005, the depth of the fall was nowhere near deep enough to explain this “supermortality” as during the war years with reasons such as malnutrition, poor sanitation, and the unbearable conditions of mobilized labor. The “supermortality” of the past twenty years carried some war front characteristics: Excess mortality among males from 25 to 44 years of age in percentage terms relative to Soviet norms was maximal, at 57%. As if Russia had a war.

To this day another very popular explanation is the “alcohol hypothesis.” Booze became more accessible, people got more free time on their hands, and parasitism was no longer a jailing offense. It is probable that more accessible spirits, and especially drugs – which were little known in the USSR – played their role. However, during the period, people didn’t start to buy fewer spirits; it remained at a constant 9-10 liters of ethanol per capita annually (the contribution of homemade moonshine is purely evaluative, often they add on about 10 liters of ethanol per capital, but who’s doing the counting?).

Be that as it may, the reduction in external (“non-natural”) causes of death in the past few years was very significant and was visibly faster than the reduction in mortality from all other causes. For instance, if aggregate mortality declined by 2.9% in 2011, for non-natural causes – homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning – it fell by 9%-17%. Albeit, mortality from traffic accidents did increase by 1.3%.

The causes for this reduction in “non-natural” mortality should probably not be sought for beyond rising living standards. Especially revealing in this context is a comparison between large megapolises, especially Moscow, with the rest of Russia. In the capital, the numbers of murders and suicides, not to even mention alcohol poisonings by counterfeit vodka, are many times lower – by up to five to ten times lower – than in the rest of the country.

In aggregate drunkenness, banditry, the increasing number of auto accidents, and the war in Chechnya explain much less than 100,000 of the annual number of abnormal deaths, which in some years have reached up to 600,000 in the past decade. Furthermore the rise in mortality also affected women, albeit to a lesser extent, for whom the chances of meeting one of the deaths described above are much less characteristic.

The melancholy arising from a career loss is surely an important factor, especially when it comes to people near the end of it. But then its unclear why mortality increases afflicted 25 year old youths; there are cases of suicide even among party and Komsomol activists of this age, even though they fit perfectly into the new capitalist economy.

The mere fact of the demise of the state of “Kuzmich” could hardly have caused such an overpowering depression, as to invoke the desire to end it lethally [AK: Кузьмичи refers to a person who grew up on Soviet kitsch and later became disillusioned by it, but was forced to continue living the lie to retain his power. This cynicism and obscurantism described the Soviet nomenklatura by the 1970's-80's.] To be honest, it was sooner the other way round: They had annoyed everyone by then. One final consideration: We may be dealing with a statistical artifact from Soviet times. It’s well known that to a Soviet economic statistics were just rubbish to a significant extent. Is it possible that similar techniques were applies to mortality statistics, even though its more difficult? [AK: I very much doubt it, not only because falsifying demographic stats is more difficult but because the picture they reveal is damning nonetheless: Stagnant life expectancy (an overall decline for men) and an infant mortality rate that actually, unique among industrialized countries in peacetime, that actually increased under the late Brezhnev period.]

Girls, Ask your Girl Friends

The shifts taking place in fertility were no less interesting. In the 1990′s, the quantity of children per woman younger than 25 years nearly halved. This decrease barely affected older women; however, because it was specifically “youth fertility” that was high in the USSR, the aggregate result was dramatic. The total fertility rate (TFR) – the number of children a woman can expect to have in her lifetime – fell from 1.89 children in 1990 to 1.16 (!) in 1999, which is, of course, very far from level required to assure population replacement. Although the noughties observed an increasing TFR on account of more births among older women – in 2009, the TFR reached 1.54 children – the total “shortfall” of births from the reduction in “youth fertility” during the 1991 to 2009 period consisted of 11.292 people.

Up until 2007, the influence of these changes on the crude birth rate – the numbers of births per 1000 people – was slightly offset by the increase in the numbers of women in their childbearing age.

In the graph below, it is clear that in this indicator, adjusted for changes in age-specific mortality, was actually growing in the 1990′s and the first half of the 2000′s. This is not surprising, as fertility was mostly formulated on account of women born in 1975 or younger, when we had a repeat demographic spurt (an echo of the baby boom of the 1950′s). After 2007, the crude birth rate is starting to be affected by the echo of its own collapse in the 1990′s and by population aging. That is why the birth rate has remained almost flat since that year, despite the number of children per woman markedly increasing. This “echo effect” is going to influence fertility in the coming decade, since women from the small 1990′s cohort will be reaching child-bearing age.

It is difficult to say with certainty what caused this fertility shift towards women of greater age. In the Soviet period, a significant contributory factor to early childbearing was that it was figured as a condition for registration for the provision of housing. Apparently, postponed childbearing was enabled by growing income inequality (as a result of which, women began to take more care in choosing a mate, with economic factors playing a significant role in the process), new opportunities for international migration, or something else.

It’s clear that under the Soviet Union, the presence of kindergartens, schools, the Constitution’s guarantee – which was more or less followed in practice – of free housing constituted significant social supports, which enabled high fertility rates. One can also add that many Soviet cities – maybe, all of them – were developed like a “company town”, with social and housing infrastructures closely tied to the town-forming enterprise. When markets were introduced, and it became clear that nobody wanted so many tractors or so many tanks and the revenues of these enterprises dried up, all this infrastructure were left hanging in thin air. There was nothing left to finance the kindergartens and nurseries, no funds to build housing. And the destruction and uncertainty, of course, also influenced decisions on having children.

The economic stabilization of the 2000′s, and especially the new social support measures introduced in 2006-2007 – maternity capital, credit programs, etc. – launched a “delayed fertility” effect, a shift of births towards older women. In general fertility has matured, albeit one shouldn’t exclude the possibility that further concerted efforts to provide social support for families and children will return TFR back to Soviet levels. In any case, more than half of the movement back is already behind us.

(Reprinted from Sublime Oblivion by permission of author or representative)
 

It is now increasingly evident that Russia’s population has settled on a small but decidedly firm upwards growth trend. I have been vindicated.

According to the latest data, in the first eight months of the year births fell by 1.4% (12.5/1000 to 12.3/1000) and deaths fell by 6.2% (from 14.6/1000 to 13.7/1000) relative to the same period last year. The rate of natural population decrease eased from -198,3000 to -128,800. The big fall in the death rate is due to two factors: (1) the continuing secular increase in life expectancy, due to decreasing alcohol consumption and more healthcare spending; (2) specific to 2011, the “high base” effect of the mortality spike during the Great Russian Heatwave last year.

This natural decrease was more than compensated for by 200,255 net migrants during the same period, making for a population increase of 71,500 this year to August. This more than cancels out the population decrease of 48,300 for the whole of 2010, and let it be reminded that it rose by 23,300 in 2009. In other words, in stark contrast to the avalanche of doom-mongering articles that continue to be written in the Western press about “dying Russia” – of which two of the most egregious examples are this and this – the reality is that today in net terms Russia’s population is now larger than it was in 2009.

At this point an important methodological point has to be made. This year, Rosstat switched to only accounting for immigrants who “register at the place of residence” in their population updates, as opposed to the previous method of accounting for anyone who enters the country with a permit to stay for a year or more. The former number is much smaller than the latter: whereas there were the aforementioned 200,255 net immigrants by the old method, Rosstat’s registration method only shows 68,822 (with the result that Rosstat says that Russia’s population actually decreased by 60,000 in the first eight months of this year). However, as Sergey Slobodyan (a frequent guest blogger here) noted at the JRL, this was an opaque and rather bizarre switch. For a start, even using the first method in the years before 2011, which gives far more emigrants than the by residency method, Rosstat still under-counted the numbers of migrants in Russia by one million – the 2010 Census showed there to be 142.9 million Russians, as opposed to the 142.0 million estimated by Rosstat on the basis of projections from the 2002 Census. And even on an intuitive level, doesn’t it seem obvious that far from every migrant to Russia will immediately bother (or be able to afford!) registering at a place of residence? Slobodyan speculates that the reason the new methodology was adopted was because of nationalist tensions over immigration levels in the run-up to the upcoming elections, which may have pressed the Kremlin into pressuring Rosstat, at least for the time being, into purposefully under-counting immigrants; hence the unexplained switch in methodology.

Particularly encouraging in the statistics for this year is that “mortality from vices” continues to fall very rapidly – things such as homicides, suicides, poisonings, etc., that have a much higher than average negative impact on life expectancy (because people who die those deaths tend to be younger) and the social problems they are typically associated with. Note that all of these figures are already lower than in 1990, the last year of Soviet normality (more or less). The same trend can be seen for deaths from accidents. Now to be accurate these death rates are still very high by global standards: whereas Russia’s total numbers of deaths from “external causes” (suicides, homicides, accidents, etc.) was 134 / 100,000, thus dipping below the levels of 1990, it is still far from the 40 / 100,000 types of figures in countries like Australia. No-one doubts that there is still a lot of work to be done on the health and safety front.

Predictably, none of this gets mentioned in the Western media, which is still replete with tropes about the mass emigration of Russia’s middle classes (debunked here multiple times), non-existent population collapse, and citations of outdated CIA World Factbook figures which are cited in lieu of official Rosstat ones. To the contrary, the population has stabilized, and the “brain drain” is now a mere trickle (only 400 Russian R&D specialists emigrated abroad for an undefined amount of time in the first half of 2011, which is a drop in the ocean besides its population of 143 million). Meanwhile, they have missed the true demographic apocalypse that is occurring not in Russia itself, but in one of its neighbors, Latvia, long lauded as a pro-Western and economically liberal “Baltic tiger”: almost as many people are now leaving Latvia every year as leaving Russia. But Latvia’s population is 75 times lower!

S/O, vindicated

Three years ago, based on my own demographic models, I predicted that Russia’s demographic future will be either one of stabilization, or slow population growth. In late 2009, I wrote that even under undemanding assumptions, “the population size will remain basically stagnant, going from 142mn to 143mn by 2023 before slowly slipping down to 138mn by 2050.” This was highly counter-consensus, even scandalous, at the time, given that the debate was dominated by the likes of Nick Eberstadt and most of the main demographics agencies believed a decline to the low 130 millions was likely by 2025. For instance, in the professionally titled Spring 09 article Drunken Nation, Dr. Eberstadt wrote: “UNPD projections for the year 2025 range from a high of about 136 million to a low of about 121 million… The Census Bureau’s projections for the Russian Federation’s population in 2025 are 128 million.”

Now the big demographics agencies are recognizing that things have fundamentally turned around. For instance, in its most recent 2011 World Population Data Sheet, the PRB’s Medium forecast for Russia’s population in 2025 is now 139.0 million. In the 2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects by the UN Population Division has Russia’s population falling to 139.0mn in 2025, with the High forecast being 144.5mn in 2025. Russian statistics agency Rosstat forecasts 140.9 million in 2025, the High version being 146.7 million (note that they still use the base population of 142.0 million for this estimate, not the 142.9 million revealed by the recent Census; in reality, once this is accounted for, their 2025 would logically be by a million bigger).

Whither now? I believe the current Low scenarios, envisaging a drop to the low 130 millions by 2025, have become very unlikely – they assume that many of the trends we see today, such as falling mortality, and net emigration, almost completely stall. In the light of the government’s campaign against excessive alcohol drinking – the primary cause of Russia’s high mortality rates – and the historical successes that tend to accompany such campaigns (e.g. Karelian Finland in the 1970′s and 1980′s), not to mention the more recent Baltic experience; as well as continued economic growth that will enable more resources to be diverted to healthcare and for consumers to pursue healthier lifestyle choices; means that life expectancy will continue rising relatively quickly. Meanwhile, as long as there remains a substantial income gap between Russia and the Caucasus and Central Asia, immigrants will continue to come. Some commentators have argued that fertility convergence in those regions will reduce the number of potential migrants to Russia in the years to come. Perhaps. On the other hand, as Moldova and the Baltic nations show, even being in demographic straits of their own does not necessarily lead to diminishing supplies of emigrants from economically-behind countries.

The above graph is a set of Low, Medium and High projections from Rosstat in 2000, with the High version (green) being a stabilization at 142.7 million people in 2011. As one can see, the mere fact that Russia’s population is at 142.9 million is a surprise to the upside as viewed from a decade ago. If things go well – the economy continues growing, mortality rates keep falling, etc. – then it is entirely possible that Russia’s population will follow today’s mainstream High projections (144-147 million) or even surpass 150 million (as in my original High projection) by 2025.

EDIT: This article has been translated into Russian at Inosmi.ru (Российская демография: развенчивая мифы).

(Reprinted from Sublime Oblivion by permission of author or representative)
 

As we’re now approaching mid-2011, I suppose its time to give my traditional update on Russia’s demography. So here’s the lay-down:

1. In February, I predicted a population decline of c. 50,000 in 2010 (after a 23,000 rise in 2009). This was due to the excess deaths of the Great Russian Heatwave of 2010, and a substantial fall in immigration. The latest figures confirm it: population declined by 48,300. As of January 2011, it stood at 142,914,136 people (this is by the new Census estimates).

2. Three years ago, I predicted – going against 90%+ of “experts” – that the medium-term future of Russia’s demography is stagnation or small increase. In late 2009, I wrote that even under undemanding assumptions, “the population size will remain basically stagnant, going from 142mn to 143mn by 2023 before slowly slipping down to 138mn by 2050.” To give an example, the 2008 World Population Prospects of the UN Population Division predicted Russia’s population would fall to 132.3mn in 2025 and 116.1mn in 2050. As of their 2010 Revision, Russia’s population is projected to be 139.0mn in 2025 and 126.2mn in 2050 (High: 144.5mn in 2025; 145.3mn in 2050). What a difference two years make! In any case, “official” predictions are now beginning to converge with my own (not to mention Rosstat’s).

2010 UN population projection for Russia.

2010 UN population projection for Russia.

In large part, the pessimism of the earlier projections had a lot to do with the fact that the “experts” were slow to react to real-life trends, such as the improving healthcare and rising confidence that began reversing Russia’s demographic decline. For instance, going back to that same 2008 UN Population Division report – I’m not even going to talk of professional doomers such as Nick Eberstadt – note that they assumed a TFR of 1.47 for 2010-15 and 1.53 for 2015-20 (when it was already 1.49 in 2008, and 1.54 in 2009), and a life expectancy of 67.9 for 2010-15 (when it was already at that point in 2008, rising to 68.7 in 2009 and 69.0 in 2010). Though its effect was pretty minor, their assumptions for infant mortality were truly hilarious: they predicted it would only drop to 7.3/1000 by 2045-50, whereas in fact it is already below that level at 7.1/1000 for Q1 2011.

3. Speaking of 2011, the outlook is mixed. Net immigration in the first quarter slightly increased from 52,000 in 2010 to 61,000 in 2011 (but below 2009). According to the latest data for January-April, births fell from 572,000 to 557,900 (-2.5%) but deaths fell from 679,000 to 658,700 (-3.4%). This carries a number of implications. First, is the fall in births a blip or a trend? Quite possibly, it’s now the latter. The effects of the big post-Soviet fertility fall-off are now being felt in rapidly decreasing numbers of women entering their childbearing years – in 2010, there were 1.68mn 17-year olds, 1.84mn 18-year olds, 2.23mn 20-year olds, and 2.56mn 22-year olds which means that there will be a growing downward pressure on birth rates (though to some extent this is dampened by the rising average age of motherhood). OTOH, the continuing fall in mortality is encouraging; in fact, it will in all likelihood – barring a repeat of last year’s apocalyptic drought with its 44,700 excess deaths – accelerate in summer due to the effects of a higher base. According to my back of the envelope projections, it is basically a coin flip as to whether Russia will see slightly positive or slightly negative population growth this year.

4. A roundup of demography news from the rest of the former USSR (use this post as reference). Reflecting its economic crisis, births fell and deaths increased in Belarus for Jan-Apr. In Ukraine for Jan-Mar, deaths fell slightly and births remained stagnant (after falling in 2010). Those pundits who keep focusing on Russia’s imminent demographic apocalypse may find better targets elsewhere. The recent Lithuania Census indicated that the Baltic country’s population declined by about 10% in the past decade. But even that’s normal news compared to Latvia…

In the wake of its economic crisis, Latvia has seen a faster collapse in its demographic indicators than even in the years following the Soviet Union. In the first four months of 2011, a quarter fewer Latvians were born relative to the same period in 2008. That year marked the post-Soviet peak of its TFR at 1.45 children per woman, meaning that it is now at around 1.1 children per woman. In the meantime, deaths only fell by 5%. As a result, the rate of natural decrease rose from 7,100 in 2008 to 10,000 in 2010, and may register a small rise again this year. And that’s not all. Net emigration rose from 4,700 in 2009 to 7,900 in 2010, and has already reached 4,400 as of this April. From this February, more than a thousand Latvians have been leaving their country each month.

5. Check out Russian Demographics – Something Stirring in the East by Claus Vistesen at demography.matters and related discussion.

6. The past two years have been good ones for censuses. India’s population rose to 1.21bn in 2011 (181mn increase since 2001), with a worsening in the child sex ratio to 109 boys per 100 girls and a rise in literacy from 65% to 74%.

China’s population rose to 1.34bn in 2010 (74mn increase since 2000), a less than expected increase that implies its fertility rate has shrank to about 1.4 children per woman in the last decade. Furthermore, the continually big child sex disparity – there are 118 boys to 100 girls – means that the effective fertility rate is even lower. Literacy is now practically universal at 96%, the share of the population with a college degree doubled to 8.5%, and there is now an even divide between rural and urban inhabitants.

The 2010 US Census had no surprises or matters of particular interest, you can read about it here.

(Reprinted from Sublime Oblivion by permission of author or representative)
 
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.