Samples and averages

The gradual changes of the genetic variations apply within countries as much as they do across the continent. Apparent genetic averages calculated for whole countries can, therefore, be influenced by the location of the samples.

Although genetic data for the former Czechoslovakia usually come from samples collected in its capital Prague, international surveys tend to quote and use them as the former country's averages and as equally representative of modern Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The narrow and long country of Czechoslovakia spanned the distance from central Germany to eastern Poland, and Prague was at its western end.

cs75126

Czechoslovakia's genetic average was probably different and variation larger than what the samples from Prague appear to indicate, as opposed to samples from more centrally located capitals of more evenly shaped countries.

 

 

Liptov

Liptov

(Historical county.)

Central Europe

Detailed research by Hungarian geneticists concluded that the Slavs and the Germanic peoples are the closest in Central Europe, and that the Hungarians are somewhat farther from either of them, but closer to the Slavs than to any other group. The inhabitants of Budapest are closer to the Slavs than the rest of Hungary.

Another research concluded that the frequency of a certain genetic variation was
48% in Germany
36% in Slovakia
16% in Poland
13% in Hungary
10% in Serbia.

That differs substantially from the historical relationship among the five languages:

genlang150

Slovak and Polish are the closest two, both have a more distant but historically close relationship to Serbian, all three of them are distantly related to German, while Hungarian is not related to any of the four languages at all.

(See "Samples and averages," both studies used Czechoslovakian samples.)

Genetic Europe

Q: How frequent are Asian blood types in Slovakia?

There is no match between the modern linguistic, political, or ethnic maps of Europe and the genetic maps of the continent (some genetic traits in the Basque and Sámi regions are isolated exceptions). Most maps of genetic variations show gradual geographic changes with increasing distance, not an association with the current nations or languages. Calculated genetic averages for individual countries are sometimes at odds with what is seen as their cultural and historical closeness or distance.

Ancient farmers

An example of the multitude of genetic traits that override modern national boundaries may be a remnant of how farmers spread from the south-east into Europe 8-10 thousand years ago. That particular trait is most concentrated in the bottom right corner in the map below and becomes less frequent with each neighboring shaded area (SK marks Slovakia):

neolfarmers

Source: L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, The History and Geography of Human Genes.

Asian links

The same gradual change across Europe applies to human physiological attributes that may be more common in Asia and less so in Europe. Blood types B and AB, for instance, are more frequent in Asia (although AB is never more frequent than types A and 0). Their frequency gradually drops from east to west in Europe:

  A 0 B AB
Beijing, CN 27% 29% 32% 13%
Finland 44% 31% 17% 8%
Sweden 44% 38% 12% 6%
Poland 38% 37% 17% 8%
Slovakia 42-44% 32-39% 14-19% 5-8%
Liptov area 43% 42% 11% 4%
Germany 44% 38% 12% 6%
France 44% 42% 10% 4%
Britain 42% 44% 10% 4%

Slovakia: a range of estimates for the country and areas; data for north-central Slovakia: Juraj Mitura, Central Military Hospital.