Catalonia independence is a balkanization problem

How countries are formed

Countries are mainly two things. Land and people.

Countries are formed due of historical reasons and because multiple facts involving thing as culture or hate. Citizens of the different countries around the world share common things. Countries are not inmutable. Due to historical reason there are actually countries inside countries and I am not talking in a figurative way I am talking of Transnistria in Moldova or Chechenia in Russia.

Countries are alive because the people who conform them, are alive. Countries come and go and nothing stays forever.

Why Catalonia want to be independent, at least, according to them

If you see the catalan conflict there are two ways of understand the reasons but one common thing which can lead the Catalonia independence to the balkanization.

The first way of see it is the cultural way. They are autonomous region of Spain, in fact, one of the biggest. They have their own language (Catalan) and some regional culture.

The other way is related with economic. Catalonia is one of the most powerful economic region in Spain. Even if it is not possible to calculate it, you can say that they give more money than they receive to help other poorer regions.

If you ask someone who wants Catalonia as a new state they will give a mix of both ideas but they will came up with a conclusion: “Spain is forcing us and oppressing us”.

In my analysis I will let apart historical facts as “they never been a country because they were part of Aragon Empire and after of Spain”. We are talking a numerous group of people who want to be a different county.

How Catalonia problem will turn into balkanization problem

The leitmotiv is: “you cannot stop the will of the citizens. If the Catalans want to be indepent, you cannot stop them”.

And that’s true, but there is people who will want to keep being Spanish or even to form a new country different than Catalonia.

So I analyzed according to the vote of last September which regions will remain independent and which will remain being Spanish.

In one hand we have the independent parties, which are: JxSi, CUP and And in the other hand the against independence (C’s, PP, PSOE, CatSiqueesPot, PACMA, RECORTES 0-EV, Ganemos and PIRATACAT/XDT).

There are opinions which says that parties like CatSiqueesPot or PACMA are not against the independence. I consider that they are against it because they are national parties in favor of the right to decide but they protect the unity of Spain. I am polarizing the parties that will form a new country tomorrow if it will be in their hands and the ones who do not.

I will count majority as 50%.

As you can see, there is a majority of counties with majority of pro-independence.

Position Number of counties
Counties with majority pro independent 33
Counties with majority against Independence 8

The interest thing come now. If look to the population and the GDP of the counties according to their position within the independence, you will find an interesting fact:

Position GDP (Milions of euros) Population
Counties with majority against Independence 145.604,29 4.838.613
Counties with majority pro independent 60.769,60 2.644.151

As you can see there is not a consensus between the regions. The independence process is not strong enough for talking about a new country and even that the pro independent are ruling things as unilateral independence declaration can end up into a real balkanization of Catalonia.


  • Data extracted from: Idescat
  • Map created (by me) with CartoDB
  • Normalized data in MySQL (by me) available here