Passport

Quiz: Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

For those of you who don't subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you're missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I'd like to highlight this week is:

Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

a) Britain    b) United States    c) United Arab Emirates

Answer after the jump ...

Answer:

A, Britain. The country where CCTV monitoring is ubiquitous implemented the world’s first police-maintained DNA database in 1995. According to 2009 data gathered by the Economist, in England and Wales, 8.7 percent of the population -- one of every 12 people -- have had their DNA profile stored in a police database, where samples are kept for six years. In Scotland, whose statistics are maintained separately, it's 4.7 percent. (Meanwhile, more than three-fourths of British black men ages 18 to 35 are estimated to be in the country’s databases.) No other country comes close -- second-place Estonia’s rate is just over 2 percent. In the United States, it was 1.7 percent in 2007.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.

John MCCOY/AFP/Getty Images

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