Hair and Psychology

Hair Color and Eye Color
Statistical data from a German sample

© PD Dr. Ronald Henss

In most parts of the world there is almost no variation in hair color and in eye color. Europeans (or people of European ancestry), however, show a great variety in these physical traits.
The current page provides some statistical data on the co-occurence of different hair and eye colors in a German sample.

The results are based on an ongoing online survey on hair color preferences, and they are based on a sample of more than 9.000 German respondents (27 per cent males and 73 per cent females).

The online survey included the following questions:

  • What is your natural hair color?
  • What is your eye color?
The following categories were provided:
  • light blond
  • medium blond
  • dark blond
  • light brown
  • medium brown
  • dark brown
  • black
  • reddish blond
  • reddish brown
  • red
  • blue
  • grey
  • green
  • brown
  • mixed

The co-relation of hair colors and eye colors are depicted in the following tables.
Because the hair colors reddish brown, reddish blond and red were rare in the German sample (5 per cent alltogether), they are not regarded.

Co-occurence of hair colors and eye colors
Within each row the percentages add up to 100 per cent

   blue    grey    green    brown   mixed
light blond 71.2 3.0 9.1 4.5 12.1
medium blond 51.0 9.6 15.1 6.8 17.5
dark blond 42.7 6.2 12.9 15.7 22.6
light brown 31.3 8.7 19.3 24.7 16.0
medium brown 25.5 5.1 16.2 32.4 20.7
dark brown 14.6 2.6 16.9 43.9 22.0
black 12.6 2.6 9.3 63.6 11.9

   blue    grey    green    brown   mixed
light blond 56.7 2.2 22.4 3.4 15.3
medium blond 46.3 4.7 23.0 8.4 17.6
dark blond 35.4 4.3 22.6 17.2 20.6
light brown 24.3 3.0 23.3 29.0 20.4
medium brown 17.2 2.5 19.3 40.4 20.6
dark brown 12.6 1.3 16.0 54.3 15.8
black 5.0 -- 12.9 74.3 7.9

The tables reveal a clear co-relation between hair color and eye color.
The columns "blue" and "brown" are of particular interest: The proportion of blue eyes is continuously decreasing from light blond across medium blond, dark blond, light brown, medium brown, dark brown to black. And the proportion of brown eyes is continuously increasing in the same order. This pattern holds for males and females.

It should be noted that the data were procured from an online survey, and they are not based on a representative sample of the German population.

Interestingly, our data are fully in line with Malloy's observation: "...consistent with Razib's previous look at published data from Iceland and the Netherlands, blue eyes are more common in men than in women. Also like the European data, green eyes are more common in women" (see: NLSY blogging: Eye and hair color of Americans posted by Jason Malloy)

Detailed results of this study will be reported elsewhere.

Note: Here you find additional data on samples from Northern Germany, Central Germany, Southern Germay, Austria, and Switzerland

I would appreciate any hints on statistical data on frequencies of hair colors and eye colors!

»»» My website at the University of the Saarland, Germany

Copyright by the author.

Ronald Henss: Gesicht und Persönlichkeitseindruck

Ronald Henss
"Gesicht und Persönlichkeitseindruck
Saarbrücken: Dr. Ronald Henss Verlag
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Key words: statistics statistical data frequencies crosstabs hair color distribution eye color distribution prevalence blond hair brown hair blue eyes brown eyes light dark online blonds biodiversity physical traits frequency distribution tables online survey eye pigmentation

© PD Dr. Ronald Henss   Dr. Ronald Henss Verlag