The US National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures cognitive competences in reading and mathematics of US students (last 2012 survey N = 50,000). The long-term development based on results from 1971 to 2012 allows a prediction of future cognitive trends. For predicting US averages also demographic trends have to be considered. The largest groups’ (White) average of 1978/80 was set at M = 100 and SD = 15 and was used as a benchmark. Based on two past NAEP development periods for 17-year-old students, 1978/80 to 2012 (more optimistic) and 1992 to 2012 (more pessimistic), and demographic projections from the US Census Bureau, cognitive trends until 2060 for the entire age cohort and ethnic groups were estimated. Estimated population averages for 2060 are 103 (optimistic) or 102 (pessimistic). The average rise per decade is dec = 0.76 or 0.45 IQ points. White-Black and White-Hispanic gaps are declining by half, Asian-White gaps treble. The catch-up of minorities (their faster ability growth) contributes around 2 IQ to the general rise of 3 IQ; however, their larger demographic increase reduces the general rise at about the similar amount (-1.4 IQ). Because minorities with faster ability growth also rise in their population proportion the interactive term is positive (around 1 IQ). Consequences for economic and societal development are discussed
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