IQ Bell Curves, Diasporas, Market-Dominant Minorities

The reason that some go on about Jewish financial dominance is that because in some sense it actually exists (although unlike the anti-Semites/ZOG’ers I see no evidence that it is achieved with under-handed, coordinated, or conscious methods on the part of Jews as a group). The blogger race/history/evolution notes recently compiled two tables analyzing the ethnicity of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. The first two columns describe their share of the Forbes 400 list in 1987 and 2010, while the third calculates their total wealth as a share of everyone on that list.

n% (1987) n% (2010) wealth% (2010)
Northwestern European 72 50.5 55.8
Jewish 23 36 35.4
Italian 2.25 4.25 2.6
East Asian 0.25 2.0 1.6
Middle Eastern 1.5 2.0 1.6
Greek 0.5 1.75 1.2
Eastern European 0.25 1.75 0.8
South Asian 0.0 1.0 0.4
Hispanic 0.25 0.5 0.2
Black 0.0 0.25 0.2

Immediately striking of course is the presence of American Jews, who constitute more than a third of The 0.0001% by both wealth and number. We know of course that there is a correlation between intelligence and income though it’s not overly strong (about 0.3). An IQ of 120 or at most 130 is typically assumed to be the cutoff point at which additional gains in intelligence cease to have much of an effect on earning power.

Of the US’ 6mn Jews, assuming an average IQ of 115 (other estimates, including Lynn’s, say 110) and SD of 15 there are about 1mn with an IQ of 130 or more. Of the US’ c. 150mn Northwest Europeans, assuming an average IQ of 100, there are about 3.5mn with an IQ of 130 or more. The “natural” ratio of NW European billionaires to Jewish is something like 3:1 or 4:1 (even using the higher estimates of Jewish IQ) whereas in reality it’s actually 14:10.

That said, this does not seem to be specific as such. Other diasporic peoples from the Med also do in excess of what their share of the high-IQ US population would seem to indicate. For instance, Greek Americans constitute about 0.5%-1% of the US population, but constitute 1.75% of the Forbes 400; Middle Easterners (Arabs and Iranians) constitute slightly more than 0.5% of the US population but also constitute 1.75% of the Forbes 400. It should be noted that the vast majority of Middle Easterners in the US are Arab Americans who in turn are Christians from the Levant, who have traditionally constituted market dominant minorities in the Near East along with Jews and Greeks. (Indeed, their reputation for trade and commerce goes back to Biblical times, i.e. Phoenicians).

It should also be noted that Greeks have an IQ of about 95 and Lebanon/Syria/Egypt of slightly more than 80. Although granted, the figures would be far higher for Arab Americans because of greater exposure to the Flynn Effect, and because they are Christian and as such, having lived under Christian laws, are unlikely to have had a long history of intensive consanguineous marriage as with the Muslims there. These caveats aside, it is still very likely that Greek Americans and Arab Americans have IQ’s lower than those of NW European Americans and as such their shares of the Forbes 400 is almost as impressive (if far less notably) in its way as that of the Jews.

Anyway, the pattern is clear. The share of billionaires by their ethnic groups appears to correlate very well with its share of the total high-IQ American population. The three major (upwards) outliers are Jews, Greek Americans, and Middle Easterners i.e. Christian Arab Americans. One wonders what it is about their culture (or genetic heritage? – they are all fairly close to each other on genetic maps) that make them outperform indigenous ethnic groups relative to their own average IQ’s and share of the population.

PS. From an earlier post, telling, Israelis and Greeks are some of the most materialistic peoples in the world in terms of considering wealth to be of importance. That might also be a factor why they produce more billionaires than one would expect them to.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. A cubicle drone like me pontificating about this is like a very fat black guy talking about the 100 m dash. And yet I’ll try.

    I remember seeing a quote by a classical author, perhaps Tacitus or even Caesar himself, about population density among the Germani. They lived on isolated family farms. The Roman author said that if a German was able to see the smoke from his closest neighbor’s chimney on the horizon, he felt that his neighborhood was too crowded and that it was time for him to move.

    In contrast largish cities (5k-10k population) have been commonplace in the Fertile Crescent for about 10,000 years. They’ve been commonplace in the European portion of the Mediterranean for a shorter, but still very long period of time.

    What did northern European brains develop for? Presumably, mostly figuring out how to survive against the inanimate forces of nature. What did Middle Eastern and to some extent Mediterranean brains develop for? Presumably, partly for outwitting one’s numerous neighbors. Which of these two types of intelligence (object-oriented or human-oriented) is more likely to lead one to great wealth in the modern economy?

    It’s easy to come up with data points that don’t fit this theory. What’s more coldly-logical than higher mathematics? Nothing that I can think of at the moment. And yet there have been a lot of prominent Jewish mathematicians. And there ARE extremely successful businessmen of NW Euro background who’ve gotten rich mostly through what I’ll call the human-centric approach. Apple under Jobs dependably produced more innovative, higher quality products than MS under Gates.

    We’re talking about a trend, not about an absolute law of nature. Public stereotypes say that in everyday life northern Europeans are more inclined towards the coldly-logical, unemotional mode of thought than Mediterraneans or Middle Easterners in general or Jews in particular. I’ve never been rich, but I would think that great private wealth is generated mostly by outwitting other people, not by solving any technical or logical problems. These two modes of thought are very different – one is mostly intuitive and subconscious, the other is conscious. I think that logical thought mostly works on the conscious level. And sure, there have been nerdy billionaires – Jews, WASPs and others – and there are lots of nerdy Jews, but I’d expect the proportion of nerds among billionaires to be smaller than the proportion of nerds among the very smart.

    Clannishness could also be related to historical population density. If you’re going to compete against large numbers of people in a densely-populated area, you need allies. Kin are the most natural allies imaginable.

    • The argument that low density requires much more people skills is just as convincing.

    • A cubicle drone like me pontificating about this is like a very fat black guy talking about the 100 m dash. LOL.

      But I agree with what you say.

      The Chinese are very interesting in this respect. Having evolved in the sub-arctic, Mongoloids should be have the most cold-logical reasoning of all. And that seems to be kinda true (they are most dominant in visuo-spatial; mediocre at verbal). Nonetheless the Chinese or rather the South Chinese are extremely commercially successful too. I wonder if the South Chinese have evolved Med (Jewish, Greek, Levantine, Armenian) traits.

      Maybe so. On the other hand, it should be noted that South China was only settled relatively recently. And that in the countries where Chinese diasporas are wildly successful – Indonesia, Philippines, etc. – their market-dominance may well be explained by just their IQ superiority relative to the indigenes.

      • What about just their minority status. Even gypsies use their belonging to a minority group to become millionaires.

      • Jennifer Hor says

        Until the 1980s, the majority of Overseas Chinese came from or had roots in Fujian and Guangdong provinces. Southeast China used to be a hotbed of rebellion during Manchu rule; the Taiping rebellion in 1864 began in Guangxi province next door to Guangdong and there was a period in the first decade of the 1800s during which a lady called Madame Ching ruled a pirate kingdom over the Pearl River delta as far as Macau and was known to the British and Portuguese as well as the Qing rulers of the time.

        Cantonese migrants went to Anglophone countries through the port of Hong Kong once that was established by the British in the 1850s. Cantonese migration in the second half of the 1800s is usually associated with gold rushes in California and Australia, and railway construction in Canada and the US in the 1870s. It’s my understanding that after the 1800s, Chinese migrants in North America and Australia usually went into market gardening or running food shops, restaurants and laundries because among other things there were laws restricting their movements and what jobs or occupations they were allowed or not allowed to enter.

        Most Chinese migrants in SE Asia came from Fujian which I believe has always been poor and neglected by past governments in China. Former Philippine president Corazon Aquino came from the Cojuangco family whose origins are in Fujian. I wonder whether Chinese migrants were forbidden to buy and farm land in the countries where they settled – I believe most European governments forbade Jews from farming in mediaeval times.

  2. ironrailsironweights says

    And there ARE extremely successful businessmen of NW Euro background who’ve gotten rich mostly through what I’ll call the human-centric approach. Apple under Jobs dependably produced more innovative, higher quality products than MS under Gates.

    Steve Jobs was half Middle Eastern.

    • I know that. That’s why I contrasted him with Gates.

    • Jennifer Hor says

      @ ironrailsironweights, Glossy

      Just looked up Steve Jobs’s bio on Wikipedia because I was pretty sure he was adopted when he was young and that he didn’t have the benefit of an extended Syrian or Lebanese family network specialising in a particular business or set of businesses in the way that some Arab Americans or Arab Mexicans (like Carlos Slim the telecom billionaire) do. Jobs was indeed adopted by a couple who didn’t have college degrees; his adoptive dad only had a high school diploma but taught Jobs basic electronics in the family garage. (Interestingly the adoptive mum was ethnic Armenian and diaspora Armenians also have a reputation for entrepreneurship.) After bumming around for a while in his late teens (visiting ashrams, practising Zen Buddhism, dropping acid) he met Steve Wozniak who had similar tech interests and they set up Apple Computer in 1976.

      It would be fair to say that SJ succeeded the way he did because he met the right people at the right time in his life, the business environment was favourable (IBM at the time going into an insular cultural fug, rejecting the marketing and profit possibilities of personal PCs) and his interest in alternative culture gave him an outsider’s perspective which favours an entrepreneurial outlook.

      SJ’s biological parents did marry after giving him up for adoption and had a daughter Mona. The parents later divorced, mum remarried and Mona took her step-dad’s surname Simpson. Mona Simpson is a novelist and a university academic who was married for a while to a guy who wrote some scripts for The Simpsons and named Homer Simpson’s mother after his wife. Mona Simpson met SJ when they were both adults and SJ was searching for his biological parents.

      The brother and sister are related to Syrian pianist and composer Malek Jandali. Jandali would have been Steve and Mona’s surname if SJ hadn’t been adopted out and the parents not divorced. So there really is talent in the family after all! Hard to say though how SJ and Mona would have turned out if the family had stayed together as their father had had mixed fortunes in the restaurant business.

  3. ironrailsironweights says

    An IQ of 120 or at most 130 is typically assumed to be the cutoff point at which additional gains in intelligence cease to have much of an effect on earning power.

    If anything, an extremely high I.Q. (say 135+) depresses earnings power as people fall off the Nerd Cliff. Having an I.Q. score of 140 or 150 doesn’t help your earnings potential if you’re a pathologically introverted Beta with zero social skills, as is all too common among the extremely intelligent.

  4. A lot of the sucess of minority groups relative to population results from their shared sense of identity. Jews look out for Jews, Greeks for Greeks, and so on. So if a Jewish person is making a hiring decision, they’ll tend to discriminate. WASPs used to do the same thing for each other back in the days when they had sucess out of proportion to their numbers.

    An interesting experiment would be to stop applying discrimination laws against WASPs who hire other WASPs, or start applying them against minority groups. I have half a mind that only fear of being called an antisemite stops employment discrimination lawyers from getting many millions in judgements from Hollywood studios over their glass celings for gentiles.

    • Wasp didn’t hire other Wasp but other Wasp of their class. They discriminated just as much against lower class Wasp as against Jews. Minority groups don’t do that which makes minority groups so successful. The other advantage minority groups have is that Wasp billionaires go to the billionaires protestant church while Greek billionaires can go to billionaires Greek church (small single seat building) or to the Including-working-poor Greek church which means Wasp working poor don’t know any billionaires while the same is not true for the Greek poor.
      Minorities have better contacts in higher classes

  5. I don’t think this post is taking into account sufficiently how most fortunes were being made over the last few decades – primarily asset stripping & transferring it into movable capital, which is then sent constantly in search of the maximum return while looking to avoid any obligations other than profit.

    Well positioned minority groups which feel little obligation to the surrounding population/culture are the natural winners in this environment, as long as they have the right connections (moving capital, positioning in or around govt’ regulatory bodies, lobbying, etc.. These are fields US Jews are very well positioned to take advantage from.).

  6. High IQ is important but it can be argued high EQ (leadership, teamwork, communication in English) is more essential. Perhaps the answers for achieving high wealth can be derived from it’s deterrents. Certain religions and philosophies don’t contribute (Hinduism, Buddhism etc). Also, since the mid 1800’s, Western Laws (patents, protectionism) have favoured races in the Western Hemisphere. Ha Joon Chan’s ‘Kicking Away the Ladder’ springs to mind.

  7. Gregory Clark explained this.

    Middle Eastern Christians/Maronites or Iranian muslims etc come from well-to-do high-achieving families. You can’t compare their ‘moxie’/IQ to that of the general population they come from.