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Human biodiversity in Europe

Posted by JayMan on Thu Sep 8 01:01:02 2011

So I think by now most posters here are on board with racial and ethnic differences (and perhaps individual and gender differences as well) in a variety of traits—including psychological ones, such as intelligence and personality. And for those who aren't, you better rush out and buy The 10,000 Year Explosion and The Global Bell Curve. But now that this is clear, I want to talk about differences within major races, in this case Europeans.

Here is a map I drew graphing the differences in average IQ for the different European nations:

The color codes represent national IQs, rounded up. I split the UK, Spain, and Italy into their constituent regions to show the important regional diversity in those countries. I drew most of these values from not just Richard Lynn's and Tatu Vanhanen's works, but from various other sources to get a better picture of the national IQ's of some countries (especially those in Eastern Europe). Still, some of these are estimates.

But the thing that becomes obvious is that—despite a few oddball outliers (e.g, Lithuania, Slovenia)—most of these follow the lines of the major ethnic groups in Europe. Overall, the Germanic groups (English, Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians, Austrians, Swiss) do the best, all with average IQs upwards of 100. Next are the North Slavs (Russians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Belarusians, Ukrainians), who all have average IQs around 98. The Uralic groups (Finns, Hungarians, and Estonians)—originally from North Asia—also do well, as well as the Germans and Slavs, but they possess some Asian ancestry (something that is rather obvious when one looks at the Hungarian facial averages below).

Poorer showing are the Mediterranean countries, as evidenced by the poor scores of Portugal, southern Spain, southern Italy (with Sicily averaging an IQ of 90) and Greece. The Balkan region, populated by South Slavs, also fares poorly, but population genetics has shown these people are intermixed between the relatively new coming Slavs and the original Mediterranean peoples. And finally, the Celts: the Irish, Scots and Welsh—also fare relatively poorly (except the Welsh), with Ireland averaging 92, and Scotland coming in at about 96.

France, with it's very mixed history, of Celtic (the ancient Gauls), Mediterranean, and Germanic heritage comes in with an average IQ of 98.

The decline in IQ in Spain and Italy can be explained by racial differences in the population; the northern parts of both countries contain a more Germanic stock, whereas the southern parts are more Mediterranean in origin (and possess darker skin, rounder eyes, darker hair, as LuchAAA likes to point out). That the various European groups are separable into these ethnic subtypes becomes visible when you look at these facial averages:


English, Dutch, German, Austrian, Swiss, Swedish


Irish, Welsh

North Slavs:

Russian, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian


Finn, Hungarian

South Slavs:



Spanish, Italian, Greek

Genetic analyses also confirm these relationships.

With the ongoing fiscal troubles in Europe, this has obvious implications. Here's a breakdown of the unemployment rates, as current as I could find them, in the various European countries, grouped by ethnic family. Nothing saying that these numbers are truly comparable from country to country, as there is perhaps a wide variation in how they are derived, but it's still interesting to see:

Denmark: 7.1%
Sweden: 7.4%
Norway: 3.3%
Germany: 6.1%
Austria: 3.7%
Luxembourg: 4.6%
Netherlands: 4.3%
England: 7.8%

Lithuania: 15.6%
Latvia: 16.2%

Poland: 9.4%
Czech Republic: 6.4%
Slovakia: 8.4%
Russia: 6.5%
Ukraine: 9.5%
Slovenia: 8.4%
Croatia: 14.7%

Finland: 7.9%
Estonia: 12.8%
Hungary: 9.7%

Ireland: 14.5%
Scotland: 8.1%
Wales: 8.4%

Belgium: 7.5%
France: 9.9%

Spain: 21.2%
Italy: 8%
Greece: 15%
Portugal: 12.3%

Note that the Germanic countries are doing fairly well, way ahead of the struggling Mediterranean countries. The Slavic countries are somewhere in between, despite the fact that all have fairly recently adopted market economies. In short, the productivity of Southern Europe lags behind that of the North, and as the IQ data demonstrates, this problem is to an extent intractable.

This means that the European Union as it was envisioned can never be a truly common market with every member state on equal footing—or ever potentially so (I'm sure Olog will be happy about that). Rather the northern states will have to end up subsidizing the southern ones, and they must simply come to accept this. But hey, that's not so bad, because we have the exact same deal here in the States, where the wealthier northern states subsidize the poorer southern ones. Of course, the difference is, in Europe, the Mediterranean countries aren't screaming against higher taxes and calling for lower spending.

Part of this exercise is also to understand the origin of these differences. In lieu of The 10,000 Year Explosion, many ethnic and racial differences evolved recently, since the advent of agriculture. Indeed, it was the Greeks, and later the Romans (via the Etruscans), who were the first Europeans to embrace civilization, yet it seems it was the Germans and the Slavs—who embraced civilization later—who came to dominate Europe, especially since the fall of Rome. (The Balkan peoples, who remained continuously in civilization under the Byzantine and later the Ottoman Empire seems to have fallen short today.) But why? One could argue, in the vein that Harpending and Cochran would, that the Germans and the Slavs initially were not well adapted to civilization because after they arrived Europe was plunged into a Dark Age from which it didn't fully emerge until the Renaissance nearly 1000 years later. Perhaps the Germans possessed certain traits that, once shaped by civilization's pacifying influence, allowed them to dominate European history. These are interesting questions for research, now that we know that genes are inextricably linked to historical events.


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