Spanish Regional IQ and GRP per capita

Catalonia is richer and more intelligent than the Spanish average, but hardly any sort of huge outlier.

Could economic reasons really explain that much of their drive for independence?


PISA_2015 GDPcc_2010
Andalusia 95.9 $22,487
Aragon 100.7 $32,152
Asturias 99.6 $28,271
Balearic Islands 97.3 $31,876
Basque Country 98.3 $40,457
Canary Islands 95.5 $25,512
Cantabria 99.6 $30,315
Castile and Leon 102.4 $29,682
Castile-La Mancha 99.1 $22,766
Catalonia 100.2 $34,952
Comunidad Valenciana 98.9 $26,441
Extremadura 96.1 $21,742
Galicia 100.8 $26,283
La Rioja 99.7 $32,326
Madrid 102.0 $38,712
Murcia 97.0 $24,101
Navarre 102.2 $38,736
Spain 98.6 $29,810

The difference really is quite modest relative to the massive north/south disparity you see in Italy.


Just for added effect, here is Spain and Italy compared side by side (GRP per capita on the left, PISA 2009 results on the right).


I have heard from an Italian acquaintance that Northern seccessionist sentiment has died down in the past few years. Hardworking, clever northerners are now readier to tolerate lackadaisical southerners now that Merkel has inundated the place with far more foreign elements. But I suppose it didn’t work that way in Spain.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. The other high-performers economically excluding Madrid are Navarre and the Basque Country which are right next to Catalonia, and the latter of which has its own independence movement.

    I don’t know what the significance is of Navarrese and Castilians being the highest scorers, but Castile has traditionally not been much of an economic powerhouse and is not helped by the (relative) lack of tourist spots compared to the northern regions.

  2. It would be interesting to compare Italy’s and Spain’s IQ with cousin marriage data for regions of such countries, if such data actually exists. Indeed, I see that northern Spain–with less of a history of Muslim rule (wherever Muslims went, cousin marriage often followed)–has higher IQs than southern Spain–which had a longer history of Muslim rule.

    Also, are southern Italy’s low IQs the reason that countries such as Argentina and Uruguay perform pretty badly on PISA tests in comparison to other White people? Indeed, didn’t most Italians who emigrated in the past come from lower IQ southern Italy?

  3. Catalonia has a great many very special ties to Israel & Mossad, a huge amount of commercial & security links, police training, research projects, military export trade, thousands of Jewish students visiting … detailed by Aangirfan on her site in her article on the ‘Barcelona False Flag’. Also see article on Catalonia the Newest European Kosher State.

    Catalonia’s government website says, “From the Catalan Government Trade & Investment office in Tel-Aviv, you get tailor-made information & full support for a smooth, fast and successful set-up of operations in Catalonia from start to finish.”

    Netanyahu is playing very cleverly on the populist emotions in support of nationalist self-determination … with Viktor Orbán in Hungary, with the Kurds in Iraq-Syria-Iran-Turkey, with Catalonia in Spain … This is a very clever card to play, much more clever than the tiresome Soros themes

    Here, two photos, the first with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont & Jewish-Russian Billionaire Shimon Aminov, also including ‘Putin’s rabbi’ from Chabad, Berel Lazar, in the group; second photo is previous Catalan leader Artur Mas with Shimon Peres

  4. Navarre and the Basque country aren’t right next to Catalonia. Take a look at a map!

    One difference between both countries, is that most of Italy is a narrow strip of land in the Mediterranean while Northern Italy is really the southern part of Central Europe, if that makes any sense.

    On the hand, Spain is larger in all directions, and there’s not really a North-South polarity. Also, Spain is better understood in terms of four regions: South (Andalusia, Extremadure), Center (Castille), North (the northern Atlantic and part of the Pyrenees, from Galicia to Aragon), East (Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic Islands and Murcia).
    Most of the North, east of the Basque Country isn’t performing well economically.

    About Muslim domination, its effects are overplayed because most of modern Andalusia was conquered in the mid 13th century ( Seville 1248, Cordova 1236) with Grenade remaining a client state of Castille until Ferdinand and Isabella took over in 1492. Thus Muslim domination was shorter than people assume, with the Moors basically defeated in 1212 (battle of Las Navas de Tolosa near Jaen, in Andalusia).

    Furthermore, the old Christian population in the South, those who didn’t convert to Islam, as many did and mixed with the Berbers, (called “Mozarabs”, of Iberian stock) mingled with the northern “reconquistadores”, northern settlers, poor peasants for the most part, so that even today there’s not a great difference in phenotype between North and South, perhaps not as strong as in Italy. The IQ gap isn’t that large either, it seems.
    Let’s not forget that the remaining Muslims, about 10% of the population in places like Aragon and Valencia, 5 to 0% in the rest, were expelled from Spain in 1613. (Much later than the Jews, mind you!).
    So, Spain and Italy are vastly different places. Most of Northern Spain is a backwater in south-western Europe but Northern Italy is right next door to Austria, Switzerland and France. And for many centuries, Cadiz and Seville were rich port cities, because of the New World colonies.

  5. Galicia = odd one out

    ”Galego” tend to mean someone who have lighter skin somewhat blue eyes and lighter hair in lusosphere.

  6. northerners are now readier to tolerate […] southerners now that Merkel has inundated the place with far more foreign elements

    This is the goat effect

    Rabbi told one Jew to move a goat into his apartment to reduce his annoyance with his mother in law bickering. It worked, in relative terms. But everybody ended up hating the goat.

  7. Impression that Galicia has been historically drained by higher levels of emigration. Madrid seems a artifact place because its political importance just like modern Rome and Brasilia.

    Interestingly south of Spain seems a hot place for tourism but still can’t follow better standard living of other regions. Relative to considerative lower levels of cognitive skills still don’t result in socially “incompetent” administration. No doubt the factor corruption and predictive genetic/personality factors can explain better why some regions are not just poor but dysfunctional.

  8. Buenos Aires mostly got settlers from southern Italy (to the extent that the dialect is a mixture of Spanish and Neopolitan) but overall it was an even mix. They seem to have been mostly really poor laborers.

  9. Keep in mind that the Portuguese are the darkest pigmented people in Europe.
    So anybody else would seem fairer to them.
    They’ve got less of the steppe (Yamnaya) component than Spaniards.

  10. Predictable that Navarre and Castille-Leon scored highest. The Navarrese are mostly real Basques and have none of the urban proletariat from the south that long ago migrated to the largest Basque cities. Castille-Leon has also lacked heavy industry.

  11. Keep in mind that the Portuguese are the darkest pigmented people in Europe.

    You are talking about eyes and hair colors isn’t*

    Because regards their skin color many them are pale as many spaniards.

  12. Yes, they are; they are in the extreme northeast of Spain, notwithstanding an intervening bit of Aragon. Some basic expectation of intelligence on the part of the people with whom you argue and use of the principle of charity would be welcome.

  13. That “intervening bit”might look small on a map but isn’t in real life. BTW Aragon used to be a kingdom, unlike Catalonia and the Basque Country. So was Navarre too, of course.

  14. Pigmentation in general. Notwithstanding exceptions, of course.

  15. Yes, and Catalonia was a principality thereof, having previously been a county (which persisted).

    Here is a map of the old kingdom of Aragon for those who might be unsure of what we are talking about (Navarre is to the northwest): .

    My point insofar as I had one which I admit was not all that far was that the historic Basque regions and Catalonia are both situated in the same general northeastern more or less Pyrenean area of Spain. They also share some cultural affinities, such as a strong Carlist presence in the 19th century.

  16. Off topic

    Blackafrican mega immigration = tutsunami ^.^

  17. The differences among Spanish regions seems more significant via culture/language than socio-economic factors. Catalonia as well Basque country “always” exist while Padania is a artificial purposeful country even still there are regional differences namely in german-speak and french-speak enclaves and Veneto. Indeed seems there are more similarities among central Italian regions as Lazio, Toscana e Emilia Romagna and maybe at some degree Lombardy than with this linguistic/cultural enclaves. Other odd one out is the Mezzogiorno, because its relative differentiated culture and ethnography but specially its socio economic issues. From Lazio to Lombardy we have a crescent “central-europeization” instead italic. Also would be interesting to compare national natives versus national migrant-descendents by region. The logical idea is that national natives namely in the richer regions will be better in scholastic or aptitudinal exams as well in socio economic issues, I mean a pure exemplars of lombardians versus those with non-local origins namely those on the Mezzogiorno.

  18. how did you get the IQ from the PISA scores?
    where can I get a list of all PISA IQs. (I only know of the scores not iqs).

  19. Most of the large cities in Catalonia lie on the Mediterranean. It’s a very Mediterranean region. Very similar to Valencia further South and to the Balearic Islands.

  20. In some ways it’s similar to Valencia, in some ways to the Balearics, in some ways to Navarre and to the Basque provinces (including have a strong regionalism tending even to independence).

    Fin, I should think.

  21. I would certainly have predicted that Navarre would do well but Castile-Leon surprised me. Probably it should not have (surprised me, that is).

  22. I lived in southern Brasil for a year and never heard “Galego” to mean more Nordic looking. “Alemão,” yes – unsurprising given all the German immigration there.

  23. It’s a old expression and more common in places with luso colonization. In northeast Brazil seems still a common expression.

  24. Greasy William says

    how is the Euro media reacting to the NFL thing?

  25. Right, hence “Moortugal.”

  26. Mao Cheng Ji says

    Could economic reasons really explain that much of their drive for independence?

    Economics for sure, but also recent developments in Europe: softening/weakening of national governments (in the EU context), and, I believe, the seeming unlikeliness of a European war (the main reason for consolidation in the past).

  27. I’d never heard that one!

  28. In Hispanic countries, “gallego” means Spaniard, particularly the FOB type. It’s vaguely derogative.

  29. Greasy William says

    German Reader: Just wanted you to know that American liberals are really upset about AfD’s performance in the election

  30. yaqub the mad scientist says

    This owes partially to the Gallic (Welsh) people who left Britain during the Saxon advance in the 6th century. People tend to know about the Breton settlement. Less people know that several went to Spain.

  31. German_reader says

    I’m surprised they’ve even noticed…shouldn’t they be more concerned about the threat of war with NK (which might in the very worst case even lead to nuclear weapons being used)?
    Anyway, I’m rather tired right now, and it’s all pretty confusing (no idea what this result will mean in the end; short-term Merkel will certainly hang on to power, probably with a CDU/CSU coalition with the FDP liberals and the Greens), but for those who are interested some observations:
    1. The AfD did really well in East Germany and became the 2nd strongest party there after the CDU with somewhat above 20%. This will accentuate East-West polarization in Germany and be used by the West German media establishment to roll out their established narratives about the democratic deficiencies of East Germans.
    2. The AfD also seems to have done well in Bavaria however, with around 12%. The CSU lost pretty badly (down from 49,3% last time to about 38,5%). This is clearly a result of the migration crisis and of the CSU’s indecisive stance towards it (making a lot of noise and criticizing Merkel, but not really acting on it). It will be interesting to see how the CSU reacts to this and if their party leader Seehofer can survive this politically. There are state elections in Bavaria next year, so the stakes are pretty high for the CSU.
    3. Worst part of this evening: The Greens (who are demented multiculturalist fanatics pushing for “family reunification” for refugees) still got more than 9%, which is pretty shocking after the events of the last few years imo. And probably they’ll be part of the next government 🙁

  32. To BB753

    I was in Portugal last summer and the Portuguese are not dark at all. Their skin tone looked very white to me. They do have dark hair but it isn’t black hair (I mean the color black). Their hair color is a curious kind of dark ash brown. It’s not really black but it’s not really brown either. They looked very European to me.

  33. Years ago we vacationed in Italy … crossing from Austria and driving through the country up and down both coasts. We were scammed and cheated in Rome, Naples, and Monte Cassino … but nowhere in northern Italy.

    A desk clerk at a hotel in northern Italy tried to sort this out for us. He said that Italians from Rome south were really Africans. As an Italian, that was his view of things.

  34. One of the great split between north and south Italy is the proportion and intensity of introversion (ambiversion) and extroversion. North Italy is much more into the introversion or introverted ambiversion while south italy is much more into the extroversion or extroverted ambiversion. It’s not just a Italian thing. Indeed seems there are a straight correlation between personality traits namely this very important types as introversion-extroversion spectrum and socio economic outcomes. The most extroverted of all nations and people’s, generally speaking, tend to be also the poorest, just look at macro-races and within this macro-races?!! Seems extroversion is a biomarker of lower intelligence at least in some very important psychological aspects. Too much introversion at general terms also seems it’s not advantageous either.

    In social classes extroverted tend to be common in both extremes, upper (social dominance) and on the bottom (social/psychological impulsivity) namely in nations where introverted ambiversion tend to be the majority of population.

    Ashkenazis seems the odd one out because they tend to be considerably extroverted, on avg, or have a higher proportion of highly extroverted but cognitively intelligent individuals and this tend to result in huge advantage in social competition and social group dominance and may explain partially why a very few Jews were capable to dominate entire Nordic nations, not just a question of “guilt culture” but also this personality differences.

    “Extroversion is a biomarker of lower intelligence”, I mean too much.

    Seems majority of reasonably higher IQ people are extrovertedly ambiverted or more centrically ambiverted.

    In my view almost of human conflicts, religious, ideological, cultural, racial, indeed have a psychological nature in their roots and or can be determined as psychological conflicts per se, in indirect (racial) of in direct (ideological) ways.

  35. I didn’t say Portuguese didn’t look European. I merely said that they were the darkest Europeans.