Worldwide Eye Color Percentages
Pediatric Eye Clinic
More than 50% of people worldwide have brown eyes, making brown the most common eye color. Learn more fun facts about eye colors and what they may signal about your health.
The colored part of your eye is called the iris. Its color comes from melanin, the same pigment that determines skin color. Different eye colors are the result of different amounts of melanin.
Today, brown is the most common eye color worldwide.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), at one time, all humans had brown eyes. Then, a common ancestor experienced a gene change that led their descendants’ eyes to produce less melanin.
Melanin can protect the eyes from sun damage. That may explain why brown eyes are more common in hotter climates throughout Asia and Africa.
What are eye color percentages around the world?
It’s challenging to determine the number of people with a certain eye color.
To start, researchersTrusted Source have changed the color categories over time. Some have included gray, blue, brown, and black, while others have also used categories like pale yellow and deep yellow.
A 2015 Canadian studyTrusted Source on eye color in young adults noted that there has been little research on the genetic basis of eye color in people of non-European ancestry. The authors also stated that although brown eyes are dominant outside of Europe, there’s extensive variation within that brown color.
“Brown” eyes can range from a light reddish-yellow to a dark brownish-black.
Over 50% of the world’s population has brown eyes, according to the AAO. Just around 2% of people worldwide have green eyes.
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