Are the Swedes getting stupider?
The number of adults diagnosed with mild intellectual disability is increasing sharply in Sweden according to the National Board of Health and Welfare. The number of adult patients has increased by 143 percent between 2008 and 2020 and the increase is also found in children. For example, the proportion of children in special schools has increased in Stockholm by 30 percent since 2016. The largest change between 2008 and 2020 is seen in Örebro County, where the increase is as much as 617 percent.
The reason behind the increase may be that individuals with an intelligence quota below 70 are no longer automatically classified as intellectually disabled. But among the residents in Örebro County, are immigrants from around 165 different countries.
Another equally logical and controversial explanation can be found in the warnings that researchers have come up with for years; it is not the Swedes who become stupider – instead, it is mass immigration from certain countries that lowers the average intelligence and increases the proportion of intellectually disabled people in society.
However, it looks very different in the country’s different counties when it comes to how big the increase has been. The Örebro County region, for example, stands out with an increase of as much as 617 percent since 2008. The increase can have several explanations, says Peter Salmi, investigator in psychiatry at the National Board of Health and Welfare.
“We have not analyzed the figures in more detail, but now that I look, the large local differences raise questions,” Salmi told Psykologtidningen.
“In some regions, the increase occurs in connection with the update of the diagnostic manual. Before the update in 2013, an intelligence quota below 70 meant that you were automatically classified as having a mild intellectual disability. With the update, they released some focus on this figure and instead put more focus on how to function in everyday life.”
According to him, this means that one can now have an intelligence quota over 70 and still be diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability.
More children in special schools
In Stockholm County, the proportion of students admitted to special schools has increased by just over thirty percent since 2016 from 0,9 to 1,2 percent. Monica Kierkegaard supervises Stockholm City’s school psychologists and told Psykologtidningen that she believes that the parameters have been expanded too much and that more individuals who are borderline, between an intelligence quota of 70 and 80 can be diagnosed as such.
“Based on what I see and hear and what the psychologists say, we seem to have started to push the boundaries too much. This especially applies to external investigation units. We do not have good instruments for the adaptive so the assessment becomes absolutely more subjective.”
A psychologist who thinks that the increase is within expectations is Harald Schulz, who works in the reception team in the city of Stockholm.
“We must have at least one percent of the students in the special school, so 1.2 percent for 2020 is a good figure. Going to special school is a right,” he told Psykologtidningen.
“Previously, psychologists assumed that a 70 IQ was an absolute limit. Nowadays, the diagnosis could be made at 74, 75 and probably 76 also if everything in the clinical assessment indicates disabilities.
Scandinavia is seeing an overall decline
The fact that more individuals are being diagnosed with mild intellectual disability in Sweden comes in the wake of research that shows that IQ is falling markedly in the Scandinavian countries.
Norway, Finland and Denmark have lost an average of 0,23 IQ points per year since the 1990s. It has a strong effect in the long run, said the well-reputed, but politically correct, highly controversial, researcher James Flynn from New Zealand. Sweden lacks data from recent years and is therefore not included in the survey, but according to Flynn, the results should be similar to those of the other Scandinavian countries.
“It is clear that all Scandinavian countries have a declining trend since 1995. It seems that the factors that have increased IQ have lost their power,” he said to the journal Forskning och Framsteg.
In other European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, there are also signs of stagnation when it comes to IQ among the populations. It is a development that he is not alone in noticing and worrying about.
Kyösti Tarvainen, PhD, associate professor emeritus in systems analysis at Aalto University, Helsinki, warned last year, for example, that Sweden’s average IQ will fall below 90 in the next century as demographics change and ethnic Swedes will inevitably turn into a minority. in their own country. His previous research showed that this will happen by 2065.
A larger study from 2017 that was published in the journal Intelligence used data from Norway, Finland and Denmark, as well as from other developed countries. This study also forecasts that the average IQ in the Nordic countries, at today’s rate, will have fallen as much as almost seven units by 2025.
An obvious partial explanation for why IQ has fallen in Scandinavia recently after a long period of increase is immigration that has taken place in recent decades. This is because, contrary to the politically correct view spread by the media and politicians, there is a clear link between ethnicity and intelligence at the population level.
East Asians (Japanese, Koreans and Chinese), have an average IQ of about 105. For individuals from the Middle East, it is in the range of 80- 90. White Europeans have an average intelligence around 100. For Sweden, these figures were previously in the range 103–105 according to various studies, but in IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002) the result had already dropped to 101.
Not a single serious researcher in the world has claimed that IQ differences between different peoples do not exist even if they differ on how big these differences are. What is discussed in the academic world is instead to what extent these differences are genetically determined and to what extent they are due to mental stimulation during childhood, nutritional intake and other environmental factors.
Studies published in peer-reviewed journals (Snyderman and Rothman, American Psychologist, 1987, 1988; Rindermann, Becker and Coyle, Frontiers in Psychology, 2016), show that intelligence researchers consider genetic differences to be the main cause of differences between different nations’ average IQs, followed by education and health.
Only 15 and 7 percent, respectively, of the researchers in the two studies believed that genetic differences had no effect at all on differences between different peoples’ average IQ.
The vast majority of experts therefore believe that the differences are partly due to genes and partly to the environment, based on the fact that lower IQ people who grew up with higher IQ adoptive parents have a significantly higher IQ than their ethnic group.
A controversial subject
It is a controversial subject, so much so that even intellectual giants such as the world-famous geneticist and Nobel laureate James D. Watson have had to endure being cancelled for not backing down from his decades-long research. Watson was stripped of all his honorary titles in 2019, as Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus and Honorary Trustee, at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Institute in New York, where he held a leading role for decades.
The reason is that Watson in an interview broadcast on January 2, 2019 on a direct question refused to distance himself from his previous statements that intelligence is largely genetically determined and thus something that is affected by ethnicity:
In an interview with The Times of London in October 2007, he said: “There is no reasonable reason to assume that the intellectual ability of people who have been evolutionarily separated geographically would have developed identically. Our desire to regard everyone’s equal thinking ability as some kind of universal human heritage is not enough for it to really be so.”
Many of the countries from which Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have received immigrants have populations where people have a significantly lower average level of intelligence.
This does not mean that all individuals from these countries have a lower intelligence, but it shows that a considerably larger proportion struggle to manage systems to which they are not adapted.
According to researchers at Karolinska Institute, those with an intellectual disability are considerably more likely to commit sexual offenses than the average – as much as 6,5 times more according to the study.
Another example of this problem comes from Swedish Radio. In a report, SFI teacher Johanna Karlman in Borlänge told Swedish Radio’s reporter how adult immigrants were unable to interpret signs and image symbols, something that can often be linked to intelligence.
“The students do not even have the tradition of reading signs. Do not look at symbols, image interpretation is very difficult, numbers and learning the clock is very complicated,” she said.
It is a gloomy development, not only because societies with lower average intelligence worldwide function less well, but these societies are also affected by more violence and sexual crimes.
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