First drawn in 1935, Hu Line illustrates persistent demographic split – how Beijing deals with it will determine the country's future.
- In 1935, demographer Hu Huanyong drew a line across a map of China.
- The 'Hu Line' illustrated a remarkable divide in China's population distribution.
- That divide remains relevant, not just for China's present but also for its future.
Consequential feature<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY5OTQxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTk3ODY0OX0.8-1X8cQiYysVBCN8rHZOAN70tW-TCvhQTjeSwZVqnmY/img.jpg?width=980" id="daaf6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bcfc6ba1b3b3723fa0fb613987f83777" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="A woman stands on an embankment of the Amur river, with Chinese town of Heihe seen in the background, in the Russian far-eastern town of Blagoveshchensk, on August 17, 2020. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)" data-width="1024" data-height="683" />
A bather in Blagoveshchensk, on the Russian bank of the Amur. Across the river: the Chinese city of Heihe.
Credit: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images<p>The Hu Line is arguably the most consequential feature of China's geography, with demographic, economic, cultural, and political implications for the country's past, present, and future. Yet you won't find it on any official map of China, nor on the actual terrain of the People's Republic itself.</p><p>There are no monuments at its endpoints: not in Heihe in the north, just an icy swim across the Amur from Blagoveshchensk, in Russia's Far East; nor in Tengchong, the subtropical southern city set among the hills rolling into Myanmar. Nor indeed anywhere on the 2,330-mile (3,750-km) diagonal that connects both dots. The Hu Line is as invisible as it is imaginary.</p><p>Yet the point that the Hu Line makes is as relevant as when it was first imagined. Back in 1935, a Chinese demographer called Hu Huanyong used a hand-drawn map of the line to illustrate his article on 'The Distribution of China's Population' in the Chinese Journal of Geography.</p><p>The point of the article, and of the map: China's population is distributed unevenly, and not just a little, but a lot. Like, <em>a lot</em>.</p><ul><li>The area to the west of the line comprised 64 percent of China's territory but contained only 4 percent of the country's population.</li><li>Inversely, 96 percent of the Chinese lived east of the 'geo-demographic demarcation line', as Hu called it, on just 36 percent of the land.</li></ul><p>Much has changed in China in the intervening near-century. The weak post-imperial republic is now a highly centralized world power. Its population has nearly tripled, from around 500 million to almost 1.4 billion. But the fundamentals of the imbalance have remained virtually the same.</p><p>Even if China's territory has not: in 1946, China recognized the independence of Mongolia, shrinking the area west of the Hu Line. Still, in 2015, the distribution was as follows:</p><ul><li>West of the line, 6 percent of the population on 57 percent of the territory (average population density: 39.6 inhabitants per square mile (15.3/km2).</li><li>East of the line, 94 percent of the population on 43 percent of the territory (average population density: 815.3 inhabitants per square mile (314.8/km2).</li></ul>
Persistent dichotomy<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY5OTQyMC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDYzMjQwMH0.U6WZlL_YLrj2UWK54XMEszoVri9pW1rCN0k4Tp6uHD8/img.png?width=980" id="263c5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aca8cef9b29d250688bdb0c574339c7e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1500" data-height="1176" />
Hu Huanyong's original hand-drawn map of China, showing population density and the now-famous line (enhanced for visibility).
Credit: Chinese Journal of Geography (1935) – public domain.<p>Why is this demographic dichotomy so persistent? In two words: climate and terrain. East of the line, the land is flatter and wetter, meaning it's easier to farm, hence easier to produce enough food for an ever-larger population. West of the line: deserts, mountains, and plateaus. Much harsher terrain with a drier climate to boot, making it much harder to sustain large amounts of people.</p><p>And where the people are, all the rest follows. East of the line is virtually all of China's infrastructure and economy. At night, satellites see the area to the east twinkle with lantern-like strings of light, while the west is a blanket of near total darkness, only occasionally pierced by signs of life. In China's 'Wild West', per-capita GDP is 15 percent lower on average than in the industrious east.</p><p>An additional factor typifies China's population divide: while the country overall is ethnically very homogenous – 92 percent are Han Chinese – most of the 8 percent that make up China's ethnic minorities live west of the line. This is notably the case in Tibet and Xinjiang, two nominally autonomous regions with non-Han ethnic majorities.</p><p>This combination of economic and ethnic imbalances means the Hu Line is not just a persistent quirk, but a potential problem – at least from Beijing's perspective. Culturally and geographically distant from the country's east, Tibetans and Uyghurs have registered strong opposition to China's centralizing tendencies, often resulting in heavy-handed repression. <br></p>
Long-term strategy<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY5OTQzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjI2MDM5Nn0.snaVUeTX38-YjR567pzTOSOUKBh320wrSD6mat90R-M/img.jpg?width=980" id="ce6bf" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="daeae9f5179eb1de69fd641c3fb5d1cf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="TENGCHONG COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 12: (CHINA OUT) A woman knits a sweater aside a street at Heshun Township on March 12, 2006 in Tengchong County of Yunnan Province, China. Heshun, the remote town on China's southern border, once had very close contacts with the outside world. Since ancient times, it has been a trade center due to neighboring Myanmar famous for jade. As many overseas Chinese ancestors lived in 600-year-old Heshun, almost every resident in the town has friends and relatives abroad. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)" data-width="1024" data-height="689" />
Street view in Tengchong, on China's border with Myanmar.
Credit: China Photos/Getty Images<p>But repression is not the central government's long-term strategy. Its plan is to pacify by progress. China's 'Manifest Destiny' has a name. In 1999, Jiang Zemin, then Secretary-General of the Chinese Communist Party, launched the 'Develop the West' campaign. The idea behind the slogan retains its political currency. In the last decade, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has repeatedly urged the country to "break through" the Hu Line, in order to modernize China's western half.</p><p><span></span>The development strategy has an economic angle – adding industry and infrastructure to raise the region's per-capita GDP to the nation's average. But the locals fear that progress will bring population change: an influx of enough internal migrants from the east to tip the local ethnic balance to their disadvantage.</p><p><span></span>China's ethnic minorities are officially recognized and enjoy certain rights; however, if they become minorities in their own regions, those will mean little more than the right to perform folklore songs and dances. The Soviets were past masters in this technique.</p><p>Will China follow the same path? That question will be answered if and when the Hu Line fades from relevance, by how much of the west's ethnic diversity will have been sacrificed for economic progress.</p><p><strong>Strange Maps #1071</strong><br></p><p><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a><em>.</em><br></p>
Legendary cartoonist John Groth's pictorial map captures LA's film factories in their Golden Age.
- Maps are the safest way to travel during the pandemic - old maps even allow for time travel.
- This 1930s view of Hollywood captures the film factories of Los Angeles in their Golden Age.
- But it's not all glitz and glamour: look to the margins for the hard work done by immigrants.
Maps as time machines<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzA4NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjgzNTAwMX0.et69OqWRgfcPBUgk89xFnCc6xqYaMZPU2em2PXqoK10/img.jpg?width=980" id="c2a50" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fb7e2271fb9f4de99dcca313cee4be42" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Portrait of dancer and actress Ginger Rogers on horseback, Hollywood, CA, December 20th 1937. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" data-width="441" data-height="594" />
Dancer and actress Ginger Rogers on horseback in Hollywood, 1937. Perhaps her galloping around town is why there are so many horses on this map.
Credit: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images<p>If maps allow our imagination to travel without care or trouble, then maps of the past do one better: they are time machines into a different era. And pictorial maps, which offer the perspective and subjective detail that mere road maps or city plans don't, add a bit of couleur locale as extra seasoning. Like this one, of Hollywood in its Golden Age.</p><p><span></span>The humming of 1930s Hollywood street life almost bursts off the page – this is the age of the talkies, after all.</p><p>A vignette straddling Beverly and Vine sets the scene: <em>A slightly cockeyed map of that slightly cockeyed community, Hollywood, executed by that slightly cockeyed topographer ... John Groth.</em><br></p>
Brilliant career<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzA5MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTQzNzg5MX0.Np7qZiUU32AnsFaXKzIUp6pO9OB5JzeBAH67t1bTFHg/img.jpg?width=980" id="8b41f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e27a52399de7f91921885ae1eb2cfed4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1600" data-height="1143" />
A 'cockeyed' view of Golden-Age Hollywood.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>Chicago native Groth (1908-1988) was a cartoonist who became art director of Esquire in his twenties. He would go on to have a brilliant career as a war artist for the Chicago Sun. In 1944, he rode the first Allied jeep into newly liberated Paris. If he'd be any closer to the front, "he would have had to have sat in the Kraut's lap," joked Ernest Hemingway.</p><p>After WWII, he reported from Korea, the Belgian Congo, and Vietnam, among other places. But back in 1937, when he produced this map of Hollywood for Stage magazine, that was all still in the future.<br></p>
Familiar names<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEyMy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3Nzc5NTMxMn0.FuCZ5Njo7rg9_PjBhfexyvI1xaKq6_UtH4k95VdF4Xk/img.png?width=980" id="6ea31" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bb2649948071d1adb3313d629116409e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1773" data-height="1222" />
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>The 1930s was a time when Hollywood was dominated by the old studio system. Old? That's relative. To be fair, many of their names still sound familiar today. </p><ul><li>There's<strong> 20th Century Fox</strong>, on Pico Boulevard, right next to the West Side Tennis Club.</li><li>Just to the south is <strong>MGM</strong>, near Venice Boulevard. In between: a fair bit of golfing. And, inexplicably, a Bedouin leading a camel down the boulevard.</li><li><strong>Paramount</strong> can be found on the corner of Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Right next door are <strong>RKO</strong> and <strong>NBC</strong>. And right across Santa Monica Boulevard is <strong>Columbia</strong>.</li><li>Further down Santa Monica, there's <strong>United Artists,</strong> a more elaborate operation than <strong>Chaplin Studio</strong>, right across the street.</li><li>To the north, on the other side of the Beverly Hills, there's the gigantic <strong>Universal Studios</strong> on Cahuenga Boulevard. It's big enough to contain an entire village – and attract a herd of elephants, coming down the Santa Monica Mountains.</li><li><strong>Warner Brothers</strong> is also on the other side of the mountains – Mount Hollywood, as it so happens; no mention of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign (the LAND was dropped in 1949). It's also gigantic: they're filming a sea battle in the back lot. Astride the roof is a Warner Brothers 'g-man': a reference to movie detectives, or to the studio's real-life enforcers?</li></ul>
Fine dining<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEyOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MzUzNTg4OX0.RC4THQq5cwZ6x-qjseMulxyaYyI6SThSns94tVfFhu8/img.png?width=980" id="a6f95" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c89c6b8ae848e5c19530d90f5148eaaf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1975" data-height="1225" />
Fine dining options available, but perhaps not if you're a Mexican immigrant.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>If you liked fine dining, there were worse places to be than Golden-Age Hollywood. </p><ul><li>Halfway between 20th Century Fox and United Artists, there's the chefs of the <strong>Victor Hugo</strong> and the <strong>Beverly Wilshire</strong>, competing for your attention.</li><li>In the 1930s, <strong>Lamaze</strong> was a fancy Hollywood restaurant, not a child-birthing technique; right next door were the Trocadero and the Clover Club – all pretty close to the Hollywood Bowl. By the look on his face, the chef at the Lamaze may be going over to the Clover when his shift is over.</li><li>Other restaurants of note: <strong>Perinos</strong>, at Wilshire and Western; <strong>Levy's</strong>, at Santa Monica and Vine; and <strong>Lucey's</strong>, on Melrose. </li><li>Sprinkled across town were <strong>Brown Derby</strong> restaurants. Named after the first of the chain, which opened on Wilshire Boulevard in 1926 and was shaped like a semicircular derby hat, the restaurants were a fixture of Golden-Age Hollywood.</li></ul>
Leisure and entertainment<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzYwNTY1M30.KH2RHgi6t0mt0htdruurQRo8K-vb3GW-MBs82dUIamI/img.png?width=980" id="02cda" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f8ae7a8dd9d6b4e80d6399d56ace1f65" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1813" data-height="1258" />
Warner Brothers is organising a sea battle in the back lot.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>Even outside the glamour of the studios and the high life of fine dining, Hollywood is portrayed as a city of leisure and entertainment.</p><ul><li>People in bathing suits are diving into the Pacific along the coast-hugging Speedway, from <strong>Malibu</strong> via the <strong>Bel Air Beach Club</strong> and <strong>Santa Monica</strong> all the way down to <strong>Santa Catalina</strong> island. </li><li>Masses of <strong>cyclists</strong>–yes, cyclists–are cruising down the city's boulevards and avenues. Could Thirties LA have been a cycling paradise?</li><li>But then what's with all the <strong>horses</strong>, not just polo-playing outside of town, but also racing through the center – their riders showing off with their hats in one hand? Surely, this can't have been a common sight.</li><li><strong>Buses</strong> overflowing with tourists are driving around town, perhaps already then being shown the homes of the stars.</li><li>Perhaps a star has been spotted near the <strong>Carthay</strong>; that would explain the rush of onlookers.</li></ul>
Marginal figures<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzE0OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjM1MDI4NH0.vjnbRZmBt2Kw0Xecq_xsIhgWL9RGFjXm2YN1QW9Cvhs/img.png?width=980" id="99062" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e29c5cdfb42366a44dc31610804f7f8c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1851" data-height="1215" />
Chinese laborers digging away behind the back of a movie director.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>In the northeast corner, the <strong>Santa Anita racetrack</strong> is giving punters a run for their money – literally. Closer by, <strong>Mickey Mouse </strong>waves to passers-by from his home on Riverside Drive, not far from a well spouting oil. Huge crowds gather at the <strong>American Legion stadium</strong> in the center. Elegant ladies and gentlemen striding around town complete the picture of a city as elegant and attractive as any in the world.</p><p>Yet Groth wouldn't be a perceptive–or 'cockeyed'–observer if he didn't also look beyond the glamour. Check the bottom right for a Native American couple and their child making their way into Hollywood, looking for opportunity. Two streets down, a Mexican immigrant is doing the same, his donkey laden with wares he will be hoping to sell. And on the corner of La Brea and Venice, Chinese laborers are moving earth right behind the back of a movie director, seated in the classic folding chair, loudspeaker in hand.</p><p>All these figures are placed near the edge of the map, a textbook demonstration of what it means to be 'marginal'. <br></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Map in the public domain; found </em><a href="https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/0tq57m" target="_blank">here</a><em> at the </em><a href="https://www.davidrumsey.com" target="_blank">David Rumsey Map Collection</a><em>.</em> </p><p><strong>Strange Maps #1070</strong></p><p><strong></strong><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.<br></p>
Despite overall increase over the past 20 years, share of women in science and engineering falls in some European countries
- Norway's 55% of women in science and engineering is a massive improvement over the past two decades.
- 20 years earlier, just over a third of Norwegian scientists and engineers were women.
- Europe overall progressed from 30% to 41%, but some countries saw a dramatic drop.
Stark differences<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY0OTU1MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Nzc1MzUxMX0.2BjC0TFV2k0nMsCp6l2BNTNNAXKxFP_3CbR-Cawp8kc/img.png?width=980" id="81cd4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="70bd347752880bb69e1359c81db5628b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Women scientists and engineers are in the majority in five countries across Europe." data-width="1663" data-height="1104" />
Women scientists and engineers are in the majority in five countries across Europe.
Credit: NASA, CC BY 2.0 / Infographic: Ruland Kolen<p>In Norway, 55 percent of all scientists and engineers last year were women. That is more than in any other country in Europe (1). In 2019, only four other European countries had female majorities in science and engineering: Lithuania (just under 55 percent), Latvia (52.7 percent), Denmark (51.7 percent) and Bulgaria (just over 50 percent); <em>see graph</em>.</p><p><span></span>Throughout Europe, stark differences persist in the participation level of women in science and engineering; as this map of Europe's NUTS1 regions (2) demonstrates, those differences show up not just between but also within European nations – and not always where you'd expect them.</p><p>The worst-performing countries were Luxembourg (just below 28 percent), Finland (30.5 percent), Hungary (32.6 percent) and Germany (33.3 percent). But Germany contains both the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (45.6 percent), well above the EU27 average; and Baden-Württemberg (29.1 percent), the worst performing NUTS1 region in Europe outside Luxembourg. <br></p>
Women and Girls in Science<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY0OTU1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MjMwNzY2Mn0.0kvUV1GjRnKLMJwywhYSjvXkkb1KXTKC_VUJ5Syy6rs/img.jpg?width=980" id="82a0e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d61beeebbdaa8376f9eca2a0614ae090" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bShades of orange: less than 40% of women in science and engineering. Shades of blue: more than 40%. Dark blue: more than 50%." data-width="1701" data-height="1622" />
Shades of orange: less than 40% of women in science and engineering. Shades of blue: more than 40%. Dark blue: more than 50%.
Credit: Eurostat<p>This map was published by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, on February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Eurostat has data going back 20 years, showing serious progress towards gender parity in science and engineering across Europe, as well as some setbacks.</p><p><span></span>In 2002, the first year for which figures are available for the entirety of the current 27-member European Union (EU27), women scientists and engineers represented 30.3 percent of the total. Last year, after 17 years of steady rise, that figure had reached 41.1 percent. That represents 6.3 million women scientists and engineers, versus 9.1 million men working in those fields (adding up to a total of 15.4 million scientists and engineers in the EU).</p><p><span></span>The largest gains were made in:</p><ul><li>Switzerland, where the share of women scientists and engineers increased by 30.6 percentage points over 20 years, from just 10.7 percent in 1999 to 41.3 percent in 2019.</li><li>Denmark, which saw its share rise by 26.9 percentage points over the same period, from 24.8 percent.</li><li>Norway, where the share rose by 19.8 percent, from just 35.3 percent in 1999.</li><li>And France, which saw a 17.2-point increase from 28.9 percent in 1999 to 46.1 percent in 2019.</li></ul><p>However, increases were not the norm everywhere. In some countries, the share of women in science and engineering actually went down.</p><ul><li>Nowhere more than in Finland, where women had a slight majority in 1999 (50.9 percent) but fell back by 20.4 points to less than a third (30.5 percent) in 2019. </li><li>Estonian women also lost their majority in science and engineering, dropping from 52.4 percent in 1999 to 43.6 in 2019. </li><li>In Hungary, women lost 5.9 percentage points over two decades, falling from 38.5 percent to 32.6 percent.</li><li>And in Belgium, the female share of scientists and engineers fell back from 47.9 percent in 1999 to 44.8 percent in 2019.</li></ul>
Women underrepresented<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY0OTU2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjQyNDcwNH0.sbSSkGkilC3xX5yL-OsQJRY9PIIOB1qh0z0_sc0BogY/img.jpg?width=980" id="d1919" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="268bb5ae1c9bba68b29d29003960ebea" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bWomen scientists and engineers were least present in manufacturing (21%), while the services sector was much more balanced (46% women)." data-width="640" data-height="425" />
Women scientists and engineers were least present in manufacturing (21%), while the services sector was much more balanced (46% women).
Credit: NASA, CC BY 2.0<p>At the regional level, the discrepancies are even more pronounced.</p><ul><li>Three NUTS1 regions have higher shares of female scientists and engineers than Norway: the Portuguese region of Madeira (56.8 percent), North and Southeast Bulgaria (56.6 percent) and Northern Sweden (56.4 percent).</li><li>Spain only just misses out on reaching half overall, but has five regions that pass the mark: North-East (53.2 percent), East (52.1 percent), Canary Islands (51.9 percent) North-West (51.7 percent), and Centre (51 percent).</li><li>Poland, slightly lower, manages two regions over 50 percent: East (54.5 percent) and Central (50.9 percent).</li><li>Even further down the list, Turkey nevertheless has three regions which also score over half: Orta Anadolu (51.9 percent), Akdeniz (50.9 percent) and Kuzeydogu Anadolu (50 percent).</li><li>Contrasting with the balanced scores in these sub-regions are the NUTS1 regions in western Europe where women are underrepresented, notably the whole of Italy (<40 percent) and the western half of Germany (<35 percent).</li></ul><p>Considering the various economic sectors, Eurostat notes that women scientists and engineers were least present in manufacturing (21 percent), while the services sector was much more balanced (46 percent women).</p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Map and data found <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurosta..." target="_blank">here</a> at <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat" target="_blank">Eurostat</a>.</em></p><p><em></em><strong>Strange Maps #1069</strong></p><p><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a><em>.</em></p><p>(1) For the purpose of this map, 'Europe' comprises the EU plus a number of adjacent states: Iceland, Norway, the UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey.</p><p>(2) NUTS stands for <em>Nomenclature d'unités territoriales statistiques</em>, French for 'Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics', an EU-developed standard with three geographical levels. The first one is large enough to include smaller countries in their entirety. Luxembourg is small enough to be a single NUTS region on all three levels. <br></p>
More than a century after the end of hostilities in 1918, some battlefields of WWI are still deadly enough to kill you.
- More than a century after the end of WWI, an area the size of Paris is still off limits.
- This archipelago of Red Zones remains pockmarked with deadly explosives and chemicals.
- They are silent witnesses to the long-lasting environmental impact of modern warfare.
War on the moon<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYxODM0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODQ0Mjc0OH0.3h4bXytJBrOKb1rL0unQ3XMPFScwZnzvkk6e4j-xXdE/img.jpg?width=980" id="39433" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c7f4a19cb32ff2ac97871f41a6789553" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917. The leading soldier is Gunner James Fulton and the second soldier is Lieutenant Anthony Devine. The men belong to a battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade. Australian War Memorial collection number E01220." data-width="1600" data-height="1227" />
Australian soldiers passing through Chateau Wood near Ypres, 29 October 1917. The picture is from Belgium, but the level of devastation was similar in large parts of France.
Credit: Frank Hurley, public domain.<p>In some parts of France, World War I has never ended. These are the <em>Zones rouges</em> – an archipelago of former battlegrounds so pockmarked and polluted by war that, more than a century after the end of hostilities, they remain unfit to live or even farm on.</p><p>WWI was the first industrial war, and a laboratory for all kinds of military innovations, including the first use of tanks and poison gas. Both the German and the Allied war machines belched out deadly explosives and lethal chemicals on a massive scale. It is estimated that around 60 million shells rained down near Verdun during the fierce battles over that city in 1916 – of which 15 million didn't explode upon impact.</p><p>Four years of war stripped a zone on either side of the largely immobile frontline of any sign of life. Roads and bridges, canals and railways were destroyed. Cities were pummeled into dust. Entire villages 'died for France' and were wiped off the map for good.</p><p>Bombardments were so thorough that even grass and trees disappeared. When the war ended in November 1918, a large swathe of northern to eastern France was so cratered up and chewed out that it looked like a moonscape. In all, about 7 percent of French territory was destroyed during the war, in a zone stretching over 4,000 municipalities across 13 departments, from the Nord at the coast to the Bas-Rhin on the Swiss border.</p><p>By 1919, the French Ministry for the Liberated Territories had divided the afflicted areas into three zones, depending on the degree of destruction:</p><ul><li><em>Zones vertes</em> ('Green Zones'), with minimal damage;</li><li><em>Zones jaunes</em> ('Yellow Zones'), with heavy but limited damage; and</li><li><em>Zones rouges</em> ('Red Zones'), usually closest to the former front lines, which were completely destroyed.</li></ul><p>The primary task was to clear the affected areas of ammunition and corpses. This involved the efforts of German PoWs, foreign workers from as far afield as China, and Quaker volunteers, among others.</p><p>Massive amounts of unidentified human remains were gathered in places like the Douaumont Ossuary, the last resting place of 130,000 German and French soldiers who fell at Verdun. Soldier bones continue to turn up. As recently as April 2012, authorities were able to identify the remains of a French soldier named Albert Dadure.<br></p>
700 years to clear<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYxODM0NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODQ3NDYxOH0.3hCUijohuNB2OJ-nUo69s81A2kPvMQj5nF-tY2pcmVI/img.png?width=980" id="16177" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3642918770d15c9bd8753db657a17dd8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Cartographie des zones bleues, rouges et jaunes telles que d\u00e9cid\u00e9es ou n\u00e9goci\u00e9es apr\u00e8s la fin de la Premi\u00e8re Guerre mondiale (d'apr\u00e8s Guicherd, J., & Matriot, C. (1921). La terre des r\u00e9gions d\u00e9vast\u00e9es'. Journal d'Agriculture Pratique, 34, 154-6.)." data-width="1578" data-height="1059" />
The total area of the Red Zones has shrunk since 1919, but they still add up to the size of Paris.
Credit: Guicherd, J. & Matriot, C.: La terre des régions dévastées – Journal d'Agriculture Pratique 34 (1921). CC BY-SA 2.5
The War to End All War<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYxODM0OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODQ3MjgxM30.0bReJm_7EMD-ectbdF8QOPOHhN2aPPqNGL9oY_rwC1Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="b87e9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fd6a6e2706d8ba3a6fa962ca1ebec357" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Foreground: Verdun battlefield kept clear of vegetation to show the battle scars on the landscape. Background: Verdun Forest, as it has emerged after WWI." data-width="1600" data-height="996" />
Foreground: Verdun battlefield kept clear of vegetation to show the battle scars on the landscape. Background: Verdun Forest, as it has emerged after WWI.
Credit: F. Lamiot, CC BY-SA 2.5<p>WWI was supposed to be the 'War to End All War'. That went… less well than could have been hoped for. One of the lessons not learned from that conflict is that modern wars have long-lasting impacts on health and the environment. The issue has remained largely dormant, resurfacing only in the 1990s, when more than 1 in 3 U.S. veterans of the First Gulf War reported a range of symptoms ascribed to exposure to toxic substances.</p><p><span></span>Even in France itself, not much thought is given to the lingering effects of WWI, or to the remaining Zones rouges – perhaps because so much of the affected areas were left to the trees, becoming so-called forêts de guerre (war forests), notably in the Champagne region. Yet the invisible environmental legacy of the Great War has very real consequences.</p><ul> <li>In 2012, the consumption of locally sourced drinking water was prohibited in 544 municipalities, due to high levels of perchlorate, which was used to make WWI ammo. All of those municipalities are located close to former battlefield zones.</li><li>Experts warn that mushrooms, game meat, and even food cooked over wood collected in red zones or former red zones might be a source of toxins.</li><li>It has been established that the livers of wild boars roaming the forests around Verdun contain abnormally high levels of lead.</li><li>And the relatively elevated levels of lead in certain French wines may result from the wood of the barrels in which they matured, from oak harvested in former red zones. </li></ul><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>Strange Maps #1069</strong><br></p><p><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"></a><em>.</em></p>
In Germany and France, having an Anglo-Saxon first name is a good predictor of extreme voting behavior.
- Kevin (1), Cindy and other 'Anglo' first names are especially popular in some areas of France and Germany.
- These also happen to be the regions where far-right parties are very successful.
- The link: working-class whites, inspired by English-language pop culture and disaffected from mainstream politics.
Demonstration in Paris against French president Macron, by the so-called 'Gilets Jaunes' ('Yellow Vests'). According to a prominent French pollster, the fact that many of these have 'Anglo-Saxon' first names is sociologically relevant.
Credit: Stéphane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images<p>We need to talk about Kevin. No, this is not about <a href="https://www.salon.com/2003/05/08/kevin/" target="_blank">that book</a>. This is about why areas of Germany and France with a lot of Kevins (and Justins, and other so-called 'Anglo-Saxon' first names, for that matter), tend to vote for extremist right-wing parties.</p><p><span></span>Take the two maps below. The one on the left shows where in Germany 'Kevin' is a popular first name. Quite clearly, Kevin is more prevalent in the former east, and especially so in Saxony, the southern state of the former GDR.</p><p><span></span>The map on the right shows the results of the so-called <em>Zweitstimme</em> ('second votes', or party list votes) in the German parliamentary elections of September 24, 2017. The right-wing <em>Alternative für Deutschland</em> (AfD) obtains its best score in Saxony, a.k.a. Kevin Country: 27 percent, more than double its national average (12.6 percent).</p><p><span></span>One caveat: the map on the left shows the popularity of the name Kevin for new-borns since 2006 – those kids were at most 11 years old at the time of the election on the other map. So it's not Kevins voting for AfD, but their parents. </p>
In Germany, Kevin Country (left) is also far-right AfD territory (right).
Credit: Doyen Mandelbrot<p>Or take the next map pair. The one on the left shows French newborns in 1993 with an 'Anglo-Saxon' name. The highest share of Ambers, Dwaynes, and other newborn 'Anglos' are found in areas colored various shades of red: light (13 percent), medium (14 percent), or dark (15 percent and up). Those areas are predominantly in the north and centre of the country – but excluding Paris and environs.</p><p>And now take a look at the map on the right, showing the results of Marine Le Pen at the second round of the 2017 presidential elections, held on May 7. The winner was Emmanuel Macron (66 percent), but Le Pen, candidate for the far-right National Front (2) obtained just shy of 34 percent of the overall vote.</p><p>Ms Le Pen obtained her highest scores, up to 60 percent of the total, mainly in the north of the country, in a zone largely contiguous with the 'Anglo-Saxon' one on the other map – both zones perforated by a non-compliant Paris. <br></p>
According to Jerôme Fourquet, these twin phenomena are an indication of the 'archipelisation' of French culture.
Credit: Guillaume Durocher<p>In <em><a href="https://www.seuil.com/ouvrage/l-archipel-francais-jerome-fourquet/9782021406023" target="_blank">L' Archipel français</a></em>, Jerôme Fourquet, an executive at IFOP, the famed polling institute, provides some background to the correlation. His sociological portrait of France paints a picture of three related evolutions: the obliteration of the traditional left-right divide in society, the 'archipelisation' of French culture into diverging subcultures, and the deepening alienation of working-class whites from the political mainstream.</p><p><span></span>Fourquet charts social changes by analysing the first names in French birth registries. Take for example the fate of Marie: its decline as the name of 20 percent of newborn girls in 1900 to no more than 2 percent since the 1970s marks the retreat of conservative Catholicism. In wartime, patriotic first names like France or Jeanne (i.e. Joan of Arc) see their fortunes rise.</p><p><span></span>One of the most remarkable trends in recent decades is the rise of 'Anglo' first names, from a mere 0.5 percent in the 1960s to 12 percent in 1993 – many of those names are taken from the music and movie stars of English-language pop culture. The phenomenon is mainly restricted to the lower classes. France's metropolitan elites wouldn't dream of naming their offspring Kevin or Justin, Cindy or Britney.</p><p><span></span>Fourquet notes the prevalence of 'Anglo' first names among the <em>gilets jaunes</em>, the yellow vest-clad protest movement that plagued Macron during his first years in office.</p><p>It is from the same source of disaffected lower-class whites that Le Pen draws most of her support, the pollster argues. Hence the overlap between France's 'Anglo' zones and the Le Pen-voting parts of the country – evidence of the 'archipelisation' of French society.</p><p>It can be argued that a similar conjuncture between identification with English-language pop culture and disaffection with mainstream politics is at work in Germany. <br></p><p><em>Maps found <a href="https://twitter.com/Benoit03157452/status/13355282..." target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/GuiDurocher/status/13353126659..." target="_blank">here</a> on the twitter accounts of <a href="https://twitter.com/Benoit03157452" target="_blank">Doyen Mandelbrot</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/GuiDurocher" target="_blank">Guillaume Durocher</a>. Many thanks to Renke Brausse for pointing them out. </em></p><p><em></em><strong>Strange Maps #1067</strong></p><p><strong></strong><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a><em>.</em><br></p><p>(1) 'Kevin' is in fact a name of Irish origin - it is the anglicised form of 'caoimhín', which means 'of noble birth'. However, from the perspective of non-Anglophone cultures, it is an 'English' name. <span></span></p><p>(2) The <em>Front National </em>has since been renamed <em>Rassemblement National</em>, or 'National Rally'.</p>