Quiz: Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works. The question I’d like to highlight this week is: Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database? ...

John MCCOY/AFP/Getty Images
John MCCOY/AFP/Getty Images
John MCCOY/AFP/Getty Images

For those of you who don't subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you're missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I'd like to highlight this week is:

Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I’d like to highlight this week is:

Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

a) Britain    b) United States    c) United Arab Emirates

Answer after the jump …

Answer:

A, Britain. The country where CCTV monitoring is ubiquitous implemented the world’s first police-maintained DNA database in 1995. According to 2009 data gathered by the Economist, in England and Wales, 8.7 percent of the population — one of every 12 people — have had their DNA profile stored in a police database, where samples are kept for six years. In Scotland, whose statistics are maintained separately, it’s 4.7 percent. (Meanwhile, more than three-fourths of British black men ages 18 to 35 are estimated to be in the country’s databases.) No other country comes close — second-place Estonia’s rate is just over 2 percent. In the United States, it was 1.7 percent in 2007.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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