Infographic Category Lifestyle

What Percent of People are Left Handed?

By | source:Here Nov 26th, 2021

What percent of people are left handed in the world? You’d be shocked to find out how much this varies by country, gender, and by year…

Roughly 12% of the world is left handed based on the most current data. Would it shock you to learn that this number has been slowly increasing each year since we started tracking?

Are Men or Women More Likely to be Left Handed?

A lefty is 23% more likely to be a man than a woman. While this isn’t fully understood, it is believed that testosterone may accelerate the right hemisphere growth in the brain, which could lead to more left-handedness.

Which Country Has the Most Left Handed People?

  • Netherlands – 13.23%
  • United States – 13.1%
  • Belgium – 13.1%
  • Canada – 12.8%

In general, European and Anglo-American countries have significantly more left-handedness than the rest of the world. In fact, the top 14 countries on the list fall into this category. It isn’t until the #15 ranked country, Turkey, that an exception is found.

The countries with the least left-handedness tend to be Asian countries. Taiwan (5%), Japan (4.7%), China (3.5%) and Korea (2%) round out the bottom of this list along with Mexica at 2.5%.

Is Being Left Handed Genetic?

Great question. We don’t have a solid answer on this at the time although there definitely seems to be a genetic component to it. For instance, if both of your parents are left handed you have a 24% chance of being left handed. More than double the worldwide average.

If both of your parents are right handed these odds fall all the way to a 9% chance of being left handed. Interestingly, if only one of your parents are left handed, your odds of being left handed are higher if your mother is the left handed one, as opposed to your father.

Left-Handedness By Year

What I find to be the most interesting data point here is that the frequency of left-handedness has been increasing each year since the 1860’s. This could have to do with better tracking and record keeping, or it could be caused by other environmental factors.