Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Yeah, I'd like to see these stats broken down to immigrants. I'd guess that the immigrants are actually leading the way.

My guess is that Canada is careful about selecting those allowed to migrate for education which helps a lot here.

Requirements for immigration is difficult and if everyone had to pass the same bar my family had to then it's almost guaranteed that most immigrants are well above average. Or put another way, the average of immigrants is probably higher than the average of native born citizens.

That said, the opposite is true for refugees. The only thing you need is to somehow get inside the country. If you can convince some judge that you have a moderately believable story about why you will be in danger if you go back to your country you can get refugee status.

So there's basically two classes of immigrants. Those that are selected with very high standards, and those who just get in with almost no standards.

I'm guessing the latter group does not even send their kids to Universities.

By definition of the word refugee, a refugee is expected to restart her life from scratch. Bootstrapping like that takes years and education in many cases becomes second priority. Comparing a refugee with an immigrant is unjust. One chooses to abandon her home town, the other is either forced to leave or escapes for survival.

That's not the real difference though.

Immigrants also have to restart from scratch. Everything in Canada is completely different from what we're used to in our countries of origin. Often, parents who were engineers in their home countries have to work blue collar jobs to make ends meet.

I think the actual difference is in average IQ and other desirable traits like industriousness.

Immigrants tend to be at the higher end while refugees tend to be at the lower end.

>I think the actual difference is in average IQ and other desirable traits like industriousness. Immigrants tend to be at the higher end while refugees tend to be at the lower end.

Why would people fleeing war zones be on average less industrious or less intelligent? That doesn't make any sense.

I'm 42, just old enough that many of my classmates in school (in the USA on the west coast) were at the tail end of the boat people refugee exodus of ethnic Chinese from Vietnam. Well, Chinese are always smart and hard working right? It was still true, somewhat, as that was their stereotype in Vietnam as well.

However, being a refugee means going through a much more traumatic process than being an immigrant. You are literally thrown from your home with little left and have gone through a difficult process to get out and resettled in a new country. So drug abuse, gang activity, crime, not doing well in school, depression, etc...were problems for that community even though given normal circumstances they would have been similar to other Chinese immigrants.

So you basically had the same observation as I had in a totally different community.

I'm not sure about your explanation though. Chinese people are not magical people. IQ is still distributed on a bell curve in China as well. If a chunk of people from a country exhibit characteristics that indicate they might be on the lower end of the bell curve, they might just be on the lower end.

Environment, environment, environment.

The Boat People had traumatic experiences, so why wouldn't you expect them to have issues when arriving in their new host country? War, rape, murder, starvation, that shit will screw with your head for maybe the rest of your life. There is no point in comparing refugee and non-refugee immigrant experiences.

Ethnic Chinese were successful in Vietnam, just like the rest of southeast asia, many of them were rich, college educated and so on, and still got messed up for a generation upon being kicked out during the Sino Vietnam war. We aren't talking about soso people who weren't successful in their previous countries. Heck, today, many of the refugees that make it to the west were relatively successful, or they simply wouldn't have had the resources to make it to the west.

Right, but that has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence or hard work.

You don't really know that. It could very well be the reason.

People are not all equally intelligent or hard working.

Whereas you really do know it? What's your evidence?

Because of Canada's immigration policy, most of the immigrants are highly educated, they wouldn't be an immigrant if they didn't finish high school. Refugees is everyone else who couldn't immigrate and had to go the other route. So you might have a Sudanese immigrants who are highly educated and Sudanese refugees who are more likely to be illiterate (a bit generalizing but still).

This is very different from US where you have a green card lottery and your typical immigrant is just an average population because everyone has the same chance of winning lottery, it doesn't matter if you are a farmer or aircraft engineer.

He mentioned IQ and industriousness, not level of education. There is only a weak correlation. (And you are not likely to successfully make it from Sudan to Canada if you are lazy and stupid.)

As far as I know, the correlation between IQ and education success is very strong. If it wasn't so, IQ would be totally meaningless.

Educational attainment is correlated with lots things. For example, there is a strong correlation between your parents' wealth and your educational attainment. Your argument would make sense if IQ were the only thing correlated with educational attainment, but it isn't.

What? There's no reason to think that educational success is a measure of one's parents wealth!

The above average people just establish a new life in a neighboring country.

Uh, no. I immigrated to Denmark. I went with a year's worth of savings, a place to live lined up when I arrived, a job and Danish lessons organized, and a fallback plan to return home if it doesn't work out. When you have time to plan, you start lightyears ahead of those who have to leave their homes on the run and go wherever fate takes them.

I would say refugees tend to be on the more average end, rather than lower end.

If what you mean by IQ is "opportunity to access quality education before immigration", then you may be right. But in that case IQ becomes a function of wealth which is not that common among refugees. Inequality is not genetically but sociologically inherited.

> Comparing a refugee with an immigrant is unjust

The refugee system in Canada is frequently abused. I hear anecdotes from my friends about kids from rich families in safe Easter European countries, that pay thousands to immigration lawyers and apply for refugee status simply because the partied too much and didn't manage to get enough points to go through the point based system. Such "refugees" can be safely compared with immigrants.

Eh, sounds a lot like the overblown "Welfare Queen" syndrome that so many in the US worry about so much. Yes, there are most likely people who abuse the system, but most people who get assistance are genuine refugees.

Our selection process is as follows: "Does your daddy have money?"

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact