Which Country Has The Highest Percentage Of Its Citizens In DNA Databases?

Over at Foreign Policy blog Passport, we get the answer: It's England. Says Passport:

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.


Find out more unsettling things about the world in this month's Foreign Policy quiz. [via Passport]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


The article is being a bit previous when it writes, "samples are kept for six years". Currently they are kept indefinitely.

This has been ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights. The government is squirming. First they proposed to keep them for 6 years if you are innocent of a minor crime, and 12 years if you are innocent of a major crime. [www.theregister.co.uk] Seriously. Then they proposed 6 years regardless of what crime you are innocent of. Currently there is a suggestion of 3 years. Meanwhile, they aren't destroying any records so they are still being held indefinitely. [www.theregister.co.uk]