Inbreeding Statistics by State

Human inbreeding is the act of mating between two closely related people, including relatives, parents, or siblings. It is often associated with consanguinity and incest. Human inbreeding is said to be started 60,000 years ago when a small group of early African tribes settled down in Asia and Europe. As the years go by, people have realized the danger of inbreeding amongst humans 34,000 years ago and developed social norms. However, the practice of inbreeding is still present nowadays despite being recognized as a strong taboo across the world.

Inbreeding in the United States of America is legal in 19 states, allowing first-cousin marriages. About 0.2% of all marriages in America are inbred, or roughly 250,000 Americans. About 70% of inbred families live in desolate areas. Inbreeding is common in the southeast region and more rural states, such as Eastern Kentucky.

Inbreeding statistics by state

The U.S has a low inbreeding rate of about 0.1 to 0.2% only

Although there’s no actual study conducted per state by either the government or any private entity to look for the rates per state, inbreeding cases in the U.S. are low, mainly because the law prohibits inbreeding or any form of incest. Also, it is generally not accepted by society and remained taboo to the country.

There are only 18 states listed to have inbreeding cases

Washington, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Maine.

West Virginia and Kentucky are the most prominent states that have inbreeding cases

These two states are part of the Appalachian region. The early settlers of the Appalachian region, called “the mountain people “practiced inbreeding for almost 2 centuries.

What is the Most Inbred State in the U.S.?

Eastern Kentucky has the highest inbreeding rate in the U.S

In the 18th, century, many people settled in the mountainous areas of Kentucky and founded the state. The eastern mountain people of Kentucky are called the Appalachians. Since they are secluded from the other states, it forced them to inbreedUp to this date, there are still at least four known communities in Eastern Kentucky that have inbred children.

Inbreeding had dropped 18% in the 1870s

As more people moved to the state and people had become more civilized, inbreeding has become less common. It dropped by 18% in the 1970s, then plateaud in the 1930s. It continuedly decreased until today.  

Law had passed in the late 19th and 20th century to outlaw inbreeding.

Laws prohibiting marriages and inbreeding amongst family members up to the first level cousin level have been passed. The first actual law against marrying your first-degree cousin passed during the Civil war era. Several countries started banning the practice from 1858 to 1960, including Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington,  New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wyoming.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), cousin marriage is legal in 19 states in America, and five states under certain conditions

States like Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina allows first degree marriages. Five other states, such as Maine allows firt-degree cousin marriages if they are more than 50 years old, or if the cousin is unable to reproduce. These states give genetic counseling by a physician before the union.

Which race has the most inbreeding in America?

The Tribe of Appalachia race has the greatest number of inbreeding cases in the American history

According to archaeological research, the indigenous American Indian people or the Appalachian tribe are known to inbreed due to extreme poverty, lack of education, and isolation from the rest of the civilization. They settle in the mountainous region of Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee.

Who is the most inbred family in America?

The best-known inbred family in Eastern Kentucky is the Fugate family

In the year 1820, a French orphan, named Martin Fugate settled in the Troublesome Creek in the hills of eastern Kentucky and married Elizabeth Smith. For nearly two centuries, the Fugates continued to live in relative isolation and sealed off from the outside world. The entire place is im accessible by railroads until the early 1910s. Thus, many of the Fugates began to marry their family members. They passed their blue skin from generation to generation.

The Whitakers are the most famous Inbred family in America

The Whitaker Family includes three siblings and a cousin living in a small home with several dogs at Odd west, Virginia. Their parents have died, who are believed to be closely related genetically and biologically. Almost 100% of the family are related genetically and biologically.

Who is the most inbred person in America?

Many famous personalities in the 18th and 19th century are inbred

There are a lot of famous people throughout American history who practiced consanguinity which includes: 

  • Edgar Allan Poe. The famous poet and author of “The Raven” married his 13-year-old first cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm. 
  • Charles Darwin. The most famous naturalist who published the groundbreaking theory of evolution married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood. They had 10 children, of which three had died at a young age.
  • Albert Einstein. Famed physicist Albert Einstein married his first cousin Elsa Lowenthal in 1919. They were first cousins on his mother’s side and second cousins on their father’s side. 

What is the inbred capital of the world?

The highest inbreeding levels and frequencies of inbred individuals are in North Africa, the Middle East, Central South Asia population. 

According to the NCBI record, based on the household surveys, obstetric inpatients, and pedigree information by Bittles and Black study, they have found that consanguinity was present in almost all populations. North Africa, the Middle East, Central South Asia populations have the highest rate of consanguinity than the rest of the world. 

Brazil, Japan, India, and Israel are the most inbred country in the world

These countries have the highest rate of inbreeding practices corresponding to more than 2% of their population. America is noteworthy, but they have relatively lower rates of inbreeding from 0.1 to 0.2% of the population.