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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

Baby Eye Color Statistics

We all know some newborns change their eye color as they grow up. But are you interested to see baby eye color statistics, as how common certain eye colors are at birth? Let's go.

What Influences Eye Color?

Eye color is a trait determined by genetic factors and the amount of melanin in the iris cells, melanocytes. And melanin is the pigment responsible for eye colors:

  • High Melanin Levels: Brown eyes have the highest amount of melanin, which absorbs most light and gives the iris a dark appearance.

  • Low Melanin Levels: Blue eyes have very little melanin. The lack of melanin means that more light is scattered by the stroma (a part of the iris), which causes the eyes to appear blue.

  • Intermediate Melanin Levels: Green, hazel, and amber eyes have intermediate levels of melanin. Hazel eyes, for instance, have a combination of melanin that can reflect light in a way that shows a mixture of brown and green.

Contrary to popular belief, non-brown eyes do not have different pigments. Instead, they reflect and scatter light differently than dark eyes due to lesser melanin.

Some genetic disorders like albinism and heterochromia also influence eye color.

Eye Color Prevalence at Birth

As for baby eye color statistics, a study conducted in 2016 involving 192 newborns revealed the following distribution of eye colors at birth:

  • Brown Eyes: 63%

  • Blue Eyes: 20.8%

  • Green/Hazel Eyes: 5.7%

  • Indeterminate: 9.9%

  • Partial Heterochromia: 0.5%

Another study by World Population Review confirmed the significant differences among ethnic groups. With a higher prevalence of blue eyes among Caucasian infants and brown eyes among Asian, Pacific Islander, and African American infants.

How Eye Color Changes with Age?

Eye color is a polygenic trait, meaning multiple genes contribute to its expression. Interestingly, many babies are born with blue eyes, but their eye color can change as they age. This is due to the gradual increase in melanin production, which can turn blue eyes into green, hazel, or brown over the first few years of life.

While brown is the dominant eye color worldwide in adulthood, variations like blue, green, and hazel add to the rich diversity of human phenotypes. Research continues to uncover the genetic intricacies behind eye color, offering insights into how this trait is inherited and expressed across different populations.

baby with blue eyes


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