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JSPES, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer 2013)
pp. 141-147

The Relation between Intelligence and Unemployment at the Individual and National Level

Richard Lynn

University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Garth Zietsman

Johannesburg, South Africa

It has been shown that there is an association between low intelligence and unemployment among individuals within nations. We explore the question of whether this relationship is present across nations. We find that national rates of unemployment for 107 nations, averaged for the years 2001 and 2008, are correlated with national IQs at r = -0.66, and national IQ therefore explains 43.5% of the national variance in unemployment. Corrected for unreliability of both variables, the correlation between national IQ and rates of unemployment is r = -0.756 and national IQ explains 57.2% of the national differences in unemployment. Variations in economic freedom independently account for another 12.9% of national rates of unemployment.