The uneven distribution of blood groups in the world, illustrated in this detailed map, Without blood, the human body would simply stop working. This vital fluid distributes crucial nutrients throughout the body , exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide, and carries the “militia” of our immune system to prevent infection. But not all blood is the same and, in the event of a transfusion, mixing incompatible blood types can even lead to death.
Blood antigens (A and B) determine the classification of your blood type: there are eight groups of common blood types . And, with different antigen combinations and classifications, exist up to 36 human blood type groups in total. Additionally, blood is further classified as positive (+) or negative (-) depending on whether it contains a protein known as Rh factor. Together, the ABO system and the Rh system give us these types:
A positive (A +): you can donate cells to A + and AB + A negative (A-): you can donate cells to A + / – or AB +/- B positive (B +): you can donate cells to B + and AB + B negative (B-): you can donate cells to B +/- and AB +/- O positive (O +): you can donate cells to A +, B +, AB + and O + O negative (O-): you can donate cells to all types (universal donor) AB positive (AB +): you can donate cells to AB + AB negative (AB- ): you can donate cells to AB +/- With this, we can say that people with Type A blood has only A antigens on their red blood cells and those with type B blood have only B antigens. Individuals with type AB blood have both; people with type O blood have none.
VisualCapitalist has designed a map that reflects the distribution of types most widespread blood tests worldwide with data from Wikipedia. Of the 7.9 billion people living in the world, divided into 195 countries and 7 continents, the most common blood type is O +, with more than 39% of the world population . Meanwhile, the rarest is AB-, with only 0, 40% of the population. But when you break it down to the national level, the story changes. And a lot. Since different genetic factors play a role in determining an individual’s blood type, each country and region presents a different typology.
Map with the distribution of the different blood groups.
You can see the map in its maximum resolution here.
The uniqueness of each country and continent Asia, for example, is characteristic since, although O + is still the most common blood type, blood type B is also relatively present. Almost the 20% of the population of China has this blood type , and it is also quite common in India and other Central Asian countries. And, in comparison, in some West Asian countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan, the population with blood type A + exceeds any other.
In much of America and Canada, blood type O is the most common and is almost possessed by 70% of the population. In this chart, you can see a breakdown of the most common blood types in the United States by race:
Distribution of blood types in the United States by race.
However, in Europe, blood group A is the most common . Almost the 40% from Denmark, Norway, Austria and Ukraine have this blood type. And in Africa, countries like Ghana, Libya, Congo and Egypt have more people with blood types O- than AB +.
In Oceania O + and A + are the blood types dominant in oceanic countries, and only Fiji has a substantial population of B + blood types. Also in the Middle East more than 42% of population shows blood type O +, with Lebanon being the only country with a strong population of blood groups A. Finally, the Caribbean is home to half of the people with blood type O +, despite the fact that Jamaica has B + as the most common blood group.
Here you can view the classification of blood types and their percentage in each region of the world:
Blood types in the world by continents.
Dependent on the red liquid As we have commented previously, the type of blood also determines to whom you can donate or who you can receive from. And on many occasions, there are incompatibilities. In this Twitter thread , the journalist and writer specialized in Asian politics and economy, Zigor Aldama, explained that in China, doctors called him “panda bear” for having the rarest blood group in the world. It may sound funny, but if you were to lose blood in China, they might not be able to give you a transfusion. And, in many other countries, the situation improves little.
The problem is that only 0.2% of the Chinese population has Rh – and is not very given to donate. Aldama says that he has seen real dramas of foreigners desperately seeking blood after an accident or an operation. They even paid the trip to whoever had O-. Another user commented : “Yes, I am A- and I lived 8 years in Shanghai. I found out how rare my blood group was in China in a routine medical check-up. If I was treated with a rare A-, I imagine how it was for you with AB – “.
The problem is that only 0.2% of the Chinese population has Rh- and they are not very willing to donate. I have seen true dramas of foreigners desperately seeking blood after an accident or an operation. They even paid the trip to whoever had O -.
– Zigor Aldama 齐 戈 (@zigoraldama) November 12, 2021 If we could choose which blood to have, we would choose O. This group is called “universal donors” because their blood can be used in everything type of people. It is often in short supply in hospitals, due to demand, according to the Red Cross. In particular, type O negative blood is in high demand as it is the most frequently used for emergencies s, when there may not be time to determine the type of
But it must be noted that, although ABO and Rh groups are the most important blood groups for transfusions, there are hundreds of other antigens that have been found on the surface of these people’s red blood cells. A person’s blood type is rare if their blood does not have an antigen that most people do, or if their blood has an antigen that most people do not. There are some that are only found in 1 out of 1. 000 people .
One of the blood types world’s rarest is known as “Rh-null” . It has been found that less than 50 people in the world have it , which earned it the name “golden blood,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. Is the blood type genetic? Yes, it is usually inherited from parents. Can blood types change? Generally not, which means it stays the same for life. But in some rare cases, the blood type has been known to change, including in cases of bone marrow transplants and in people who developed certain types of infections.
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