Lines on the Map: the Hajnal Demographic Divide
More recently, many demographers and other scholars have questioned both the validity and significance of the Hajnal Line. But regardless of the specific empirical evidence for or against the line’s existence, I am highly suspicious of its geographical position. It is extraordinarily unlikely that any such line would take a straight course between two cities, as it was originally conceived. The Wikipedia map of the subject, moreover, does not even correctly place the line, as its southern terminus is offset well to the west of Trieste. The second map’s revised line, shown as meandering across Europe, is seemingly more realistic. Still one must wonder whether eastern Hungary and eastern Slovakia have ever differed substantially from western Hungary and western Slovakia in regard to marriage patterns. In the end, variation in such matters is usually a matter of subtle gradients rather than hard divisions.
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