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Re: Scots are everywhere

Here's something that's probably old news to most of you, but maybe not.

Percent of U.S. Scottish ancestry households that are millionaire households:
20.8%; rank 2.

(Russian:   22.0%;  rank 1.)
(Hungarian: 15.1%;  rank 3.)
(English:    7.71%; rank 4.)

--Table 1-1, The Millionaire Next Door, Stanley and Danko, 1996

To quote the book, page 19:

 ``Thrifty Scots

 ``The Scottish ancestry group makes up only 1.7 percent of all
 households.  But it accounts for 9.3 percent of the millionaire
 households in America.  Thus, in terms of concentration, the Scottish
 ancestry group is more than five times (5.47) more likely to contain
 millionaire households than would be expected from its overall portion
 (1.7 percent) of American households.

 ``The Scottish ancestry group ranks second in terms of the percentage
 of its clan that are in the millionaire league.  Nearly twenty-one
 (20.8) in 100 of its households are millionaires.  What explains the
 Scottish ancestry group's high ranking?  It is true that many Scots were
 early immigrants to America.  But this is not the major reason for their
 economic productivity.  Remember that the English were among the earliest
 immigrants, yet their concentration numbers are far lower than those of
 the Scots.  Also consider that the Scots did not enjoy the same solid
 economic status that the English enjoyed during the years the nation
 was in its infancy.  Given these facts, one would think that the English
 ancestry group would account for a higher concentration of millionaire
 households than those in the Scottish group.  But just the opposite
 is the case.  Again, the Scottish ancestry group has a concentration
 level nearly three times that of the English group (5.47 versus 2.06).
 What then makes the Scottish ancestry group unique?''

The book goes on to say the Scottish secret isn't correlated with high
income, unlike every other ancestry group surveyed.  Instead, Scots
``often live in self-designed environments of relative scarcity.''
I.e., they don't spend as much as other ancestry groups: they're frugal.
Maybe there is something to some old stereotypes after all.  And they
become economically and emotionally independent early in life, yet they
tend to pass on wealth to the next generation.  They can do this because
they instill their values in the next generation.

One could even go so far as to hypothesize that Highland Games and
other Scottish cultural events and forums (The Highlander, The Family
Tree, etc.)  have practical longterm financial benefits, in that they
help pass on such values.  Less of a stretch would be to guess that one
reason that such games are so popular is that Scots can afford them,
and not only that, they're frugal entertainment.

I wonder if the same patterns occur in other countries.

John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
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