The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on demographics. 25% of a country’s demographic score (5% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the ancestry of the people in a country. Ancestry includes two major components: their racial group and parental lineage derived by genetic studies.
Race is a highly controversial subject and there is no exact way to fully categorize it, but it would be negligent not to include it in this analysis. For the purposes of this exercise, four major conventional racial groups based on genetic clustering were included:
East Eurasians include both East Asian people and Native American people, while West Eurasians are generally from Europe and the Middle East. Australo-Melanesians include Native Australians and Melanesians. Despite some superficial similarities in appearance to Sub-Saharan Africans, they are actually the least genetically similar of any two major racial groups. In addition, some racial groups blur the boundaries between these major racial groups to varying degrees. These include:
Central Asians (East Eurasian-West Eurasian)
Polynesians (East Eurasian-Australo-Melanesian)
Indians (West Eurasian-Australo-Melanesian)
Hamites (West Eurasian-Sub-Saharan African)
Malagasy (East Eurasian-Sub-Saharan African)
Central Asians are Turkic people that have a mix of East and West Eurasian attributes, due to their central location between Europe and Asia. They are most heavily concentrated in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Polynesians are concentrated on islands in the Pacific Ocean. They have a mix of East Eurasian and Australo-Melanesian attributes, as a result of people originating in East Asia migrating through Melanesia.
Indians are primarily located on the Indian subcontinent. There is great controversy about the correct racial classification of Indians. Gene clustering suggests Indians have traits of both West Eurasian and Australo-Melanesian people. However, there is a wide range of genetic difference even within Indian itself.
Hamites are generally in countries where West Eurasian people interacted heavily with Sub-Saharan African people. They are most heavily concentrated on the Horn of Africa.
Finally, the people in Madagascar are another unique group. They have a mix of East Eurasian and Sub-Saharan African attributes, since some East Asians migrated to the African island around 500 AD.
Furthermore, the broad definition of the four major racial groups does not fully take into account the wide variance of appearance and lineage of people within these groups. Therefore the following sub-groups were also included:
Native Americans (East Eurasian sub-group)
North Europeans (West Eurasian sub-group)
Native Australians (Australo-Melanesian sub-group)
Paleo Africans (Sub-Saharan African sub-group)
Overall, while race is a complex and multifaceted topic, these categories can be useful for understanding genetic diversity and population history. However, it is important to be aware of the limitations and complexities of racial categories and to avoid making simplistic or problematic assumptions based on them.
Rough diagram of the major racial groups and related sub-groups:
The main source of the data:
Dienekes Anthropology Blog – Human Genetic Variation
Racial categorization alone does not fully capture the complexity and diversity of ancestral origins, thus it is important to also consider the distinct haplogroups of a population when examining genetic lineage. Haplogroups are groups of people who share a common ancestor based on DNA markers inherited from that ancestor. They can be used to track the migration patterns of different populations over time.
For example, in Latin America, a significant portion of the male population can trace their paternal lineage back to Europe due to migration of European males who fathered children with Native American women, though other populations have also contributed to the region’s genetic diversity. While the maternal lineage of most Latin Americans cannot be traced to Europe, European mitochondrial DNA lineages can still be found in some populations.
In another example, Finnish paternal lineage can be traced back to Siberia through the Uralic language family, which suggests a shared genetic ancestry. It’s worth noting that while Y-chromosome DNA analysis and mitochondrial DNA analysis are commonly used to study paternal and maternal lineages, respectively, other genetic markers and methods can also be used to explore genetic ancestry.
The source of the data for paternal lineage:
Atlas of Genetic Genealogy
There is not one single comprehensive location for the information on maternal lineage, but a bulk of it is located at this source: