españa al norte frente al sur

is there a north vs. south iq division in spain like there is in italy? i’ve never heard anyone mention it:


“(ANSAmed) – MADRID, MARCH 25 – The crisis has split Spain in two, with the north and south emerging from the economic downturn at completely different paces. The former has practically emerged from the tunnel of the recession, while the latter is having difficulty latching onto the economic recovery….”

update 03/30: i checked the data for spain in lynn & vanhanen’s “iq and the wealth of nations” (appendix i) to see if i could see any hints about a north-south divide in iq in the country. didn’t turn up anything, so we’re left hangin’ here….

(note: comments do not require an email.)


  1. I don’t know if there is an IQ difference, but I understand that all the great writers of Spanish literature either came from Galicia (in the North West) or nearby.

    Tacitus thought that the people we nowadays think of as the Welsh reminded him of people from Iberia.

    The Welsh (together with the Irish) have a deserved reputation for great poetry and literature. Wales is called Pays-De-Galles in French. GALicia, PortuGAL,Pays-de-GALles – do you see the connection?
    In 2007, Bryan Sykes produced an analysis of 6000 samples from the OGAP project in his book Blood of the Isles.[3] Later, Stephen Oppenheimer in his 2006 book The Origins of the British used the data from Weale et al. (2002), Capelli et al. (2003) and Rosser et al. (2000) for Europe. In opposition to Neolithic origin theories, which remain strong, Sykes and Oppenheimer argued for significant immigration from Iberia into Britain and Ireland.

    Also, although I can’t lay my hands on the map right now, I understand Iberia can be divided along genetic lines with the North West being distinct from the rest.

    Without reading your link, I would think the South is economically in the doldrums because of its reliance on construction, and selling houses and holidays to Northern Europeans.


  2. It’s probably also worth noting that the Spanish south (Andalucía, from al-Andalus) was the stronghold of the Moorish Emirates and Caliphates before the completion of the Reconquista. It’s hard to say whether that’s had any major genetic effects, but it’s certainly had cultural effects.


  3. George Orwell on Andalusians:
    There was a section of Andalusians next to us in the line now. I do not knowquite how they got to this front. The current explanation was that they had run away from Malaga so fast that they had forgotten to stop at Valencia; but this, of course, came from the Catalans, who professed to look down on the Andalusians as a race of semi-savages. Certainly the Andalusians were very ignorant. Few if any of them could read, and they seemed not even to know the one thing that everybody knows in Spain — which political party they belonged to. They thought they were Anarchists, but were not quite certain; perhaps they were Communists. They were gnarled, rustic-looking men, shepherds or labourers from the olive groves, perhaps, with faces deeply stained by the ferocious suns of farther south. They were very useful to us, for they had an extraordinary dexterity at rolling the dried-up Spanish tobacco into cigarettes. The issue of cigarettes had ceased, but in Monflorite it was occasionally possible to buy packets of the cheapest kind of tobacco, which in appearance and texture was very like chopped chaff. Its flavour was not bad, but it was so dry that even when you had succeeded in making a cigarette the tobacco promptly fell out and left an empty cylinder. The Andalusians, however, could roll admirable cigarettes and had a special technique for tucking the ends in.
    [–Homage to Catalonia]


  4. @english bloke – “GALicia, PortuGAL,Pays-de-GALles – do you see the connection?”

    i was familiar with galicia in nw spain, and the “celtic fringe” connection of wales and ireland, but i never put together portuGAL with those other gaelic places. seems so obvious now! (^_^)


  5. @hbdchick
    Also, the Spanish word for ‘Wales’ is ‘Gales’, and the Biblical Galatians were Celtic.

    Some years ago I attended a several Spanish language courses in Salamanca, Spain, and one of the classes taught us about Spain’s autonomous districts, their cultural differences, and the perceptions attached to them and their inhabitants by other Spanish people. I don’t remember all of them, but Catalans, Galicians and Basques were perceived as straightforward and industrious I believe, whereas Andalusians and other Southerners were seen as more easy-going.


  6. Just to add to the GAL etymological discussion/speculation, it’s worth noting that what the Romans called Gallia (in modern day, France, Benelux countries, and parts of northern Italy; in English: Gaul) was heavily populated by Celtic speakers in early Roman times, though certainly today, these areas are mostly Romance language-speaking.


  7. A good resource on this may be the 2009 PISA results, which are broken-down by autonomous community. Andalusia seems to consistently score the lowest of any of the mainland autonomous communities (that is, I’m not counting Ceuta and Melilla, which are on the north African coast, the Canary Islands, or the Balearic Islands). In case you’re wondering where I’m getting this from the array of links on that page, you can look at pages 241, 261, and 265 in the Volume I PDF file to see the scores for reading, math, and science respectively.

    I seem to remember seeing assurances that PISA is not an IQ test, but the fact that Andalusia consistently performs lower than the communities to its north suggests that you’re onto something here.


  8. @r.a. – oh, yeah! the pisa scores! i remember seeing someone link to them re. regional differences within countries before, but i totally forgot about that!

    rindermann (i think this is the correct article) thinks that the pisa tests are a good proxy for iq.

    edit: or maybe i’m thinking of volkmar weiss.


  9. […] This is a map that I have made of the average IQ of the European nations based on data assembled by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen (also here) as well data from the PISA test as complied by A Reluctant Apostate and hbd* chick. […]


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