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How Common Are Green Eyes?

Green eyes are one of the least common eye colors, with only about 2% of the world's population estimated to have green eyes. People from Northern Europe and Nordic countries such as Finland or Iceland are the most likely to have green eyes. This is thought to be because their genetics are prone to reduced melanin production, the pigment produced by cells that is responsible for dark appearance in skin, hair and eyes. Some scientists believe that all humans originally had brown eyes, and a genetic mutation occurred about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago that affected melanin production and led to the introduction of blue eyes and other variations, such as green or hazel.

More about eye color:

  • A complete lack of melanin will result in red eyes, which is present in people who have a severe form of albinism, or lack of pigment.

  • It is estimated that as much as 40% of all Europeans have blue eyes.

  • In the early 1900s, about half of all children born in the US had blue eyes. As of 2006, only one out of every six Americans has blue eyes, with brown eyes being the most common.

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