What Is a Human Eye Color Chart?


Quick Answer

A human eye color chart helps determine eye color. It was once used to calculate the odds of babies having certain eye colors based on the eye colors of their parents and grandparents.

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Human eye color charts are no longer used to “predict” eye color because inherited eye color has turned out to be complicated by a multitude of genes. A brown-eyed child can have two blue-eyed parents, and a green-eyed or blue-eyed child can come from several generations of brown-eyed people.

Eye color is dependant on the amount and distribution of pigment in the iris and ranges from the darkest brown to the lightest blue. Dark-brown eyes contain the most pigment, and light gray-blue eyes contain the least, with many shades in between. Fifty-five percent of the world’s population have brown eyes, 5 to 8 percent have hazel eyes, 8 percent have blue eyes and 2 percent have green eyes, which is the rarest eye color. Hazel- and amber-colored eyes are rare variants of brown. Also rare is a condition called heterochromia where an individual has two different eye colors.

Brown eye color is a dominant genetic trait, and nearly all people from Africa and Asia have brown eyes. However, blue eyes are recessive. Thirty years ago, 30 percent of American babies had blue eyes, but immigration has brought that number down to 1 in 6.

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