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Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Arab IQ in Israel March 26, 2009

Posted by ethnicgenome in Jews.
Tags: , ,

From Sleep in response to my post on Israeli achievements and IQ:

“Im curious. What do you think the average intelligence might be of the following groups:

Jews in Israel of European origin (Ash/Seph or other)
Mizrahi Jews
Palestinian Arabs”


Let’s compare them to other Arab states. Egypt is 83. Lebanon is 86. Morocco is 85. Iraq is 87. Qatar is 78. That seems to be the Arab range: 78-87. I haven’t seen any Arab countries score in the 90s and only Qatar is in the 70s. The average of the 5 Arab countries listed by IQ and the Wealth of Nations is 83.8, so the Palestinians are probably around 85. Whether it’s a couple points more or less is irrelevant, just a margin of error, and at the same time, I doubt that they are above 90 because no other Arab country is.


The pure-blooded Ashkenazim score probably the same as they do elsewhere 112-115.

However, many Israelis identifying as Ashkenazi are half or at least a quarter Mizrahi. I would estimate that if you count anyone who self-identified as Ashkenazi, regardless of their ancestral mix, the Israeli “Ashkenazism” would be 108-110.

MIZRAHIM (Jews from Muslim nations who adopted the Sephardic religious traditions)

It is established that they score about a standard deviation lower than that of the Ashkenazi Jews. They also outscored their Arab neighbors, had more intellectually challenging jobs, and earned more money.

One test showed a gap of 14 points between the Ashkenazim and the Mizrahim in Israel. Note that the description is one of self-definition, so many of the Sephardim are partly Ashkenazi and the reverse.

My estimate for people of exclusively Mizrahi background would be about 90. If you include everyone who self-defines as Mizrahi, it would probably be about 95.

So if all Ashnkezim are 109 and the gap is 14 points, then the average self-defined Mizrahi is 95, which also coincides with other estimates (Israeli Ashkenazim being as smart as Ashkenazim elsewhere and Mizrahi being a little above the Arab average).

The Jewish average therefore becomes 102.

The average for all Israelis, including the Arabs would therefore become 99.

Note that this is a confusing and non-scientific way of doing it.

The mixed Ashkenazi-Mizrahi people shouldn’t be classified genetically as they choose, but instead should be part of the same group.

If you take them out, the gap between them grows from about 15 points to about 20-25, whereas the mixed Ashkenazi-Mizrahi people would average about 100.

The Israeli job market and education rates reflect it.



1. stan - March 29, 2009

Don’t forget that many of the Israelis who are immigrants from former USSR constitute mixed Russian-Ashkenazi families. But I would guess that this has no effect on average IQs of self-identified Ashkenazim due to assortative mating.

2. Sleep - March 29, 2009

Thank you for your reply and sorry I didnt get back sooner. My impression of Palestinians in America is that they are generally of high intelligence and education, but perhaps this only reflects a selective migration bias as we do see the same patterns with other Middle Eastern peoples.

3. onur - March 29, 2009

I am from Turkey, and I can say the same for the Turks of America, who are mostly intelligent people who migrated there to to read for a degree or to do a prestigious job. On the other hand, the Turks of Europe are mostly from worker families sent there for the restoration of Europe in the post-WWII period and have a lower average IQ than the Turkey average.

4. Marduk - April 14, 2009

What is this supposed to mean – Jews are more inteligent people or have better education?

5. ethnicgenome - April 15, 2009

Both. With a few exceptions, almost all intelligent people have more education.

6. Marduk - April 15, 2009

I agree with the fact that they have more education and maybe their brain is more trained than others (jews start to read at an early age) but to claim jews are more inteligent that other people sounds a bit racist to me. Reminds of the nazis. What do you think?

7. ethnicgenome - April 20, 2009

Just because the Nazis abused something doesn’t mean that we necessarily should completely reject it.

When terrorists abuse chemistry to make bombs, we don’t declare all chemistry a form of terrorism.

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