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Blood Types and the Population

Blood Types and the Population

While Type O positive is the most common blood type. Not all ethnic groups have the same mix of these blood types. Hispanics, for instance, have a relatively high number of O’s, while Asians have a relatively high number of B’s. The mix of the different blood types in the U.S. populations are:

Blood Type Caucasians African Americans Hispanics Asians
O+ 37% 47% 53% 39%
O- 8% 4% 4% 1%
A+ 33% 24% 29% 27%
A- 7% 2% 2% 0.5%
B+ 9% 18% 9% 25%
B- 2% 1% 1% 0.4%
AB+ 3% 4% 2% 7%
AB- 1% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%

(source: AABB Technical Manual)

Rare Traits

Ninety-eight percent of people suffering from sickle cell anemia are African-American. These people – most of whom are children – need to undergo regular blood transfusions. Often, they develop antibodies to the blood they receive, leading to potentially life-threatening transfusion reactions. But if they can receive blood that’s more closely matched to their own, that risk is minimized. And the best matches are found among other African-Americans.

Following is a chart of the rare blood traits and the probabilities of finding those rare traits in African-American and Caucasian blood.

Rare Trait (Negative from Factor) Probability of Finding Rare Trait
In Caucasian Population In African American Population
None Found 1 in 250
None Found 1 in 319
None Found 1 in 6,429
None Found 1 in 16,400
None Found Not established (extremely rare)
2 in 10 5 in 10
3 in 10 9 in 10
1 in 10 8 in 10

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