Scotland, one of the most genetically “diverse nations on Earth”

Today we want to remind all of you an extremely interesting study released a few years ago by the University of Edinburgh. The study revealed that the DNA of people living in Scotland has “extraordinary” and “unexpected” diversity, reported BBC.

‘Scotland’s DNA project’, was set up by Edinburgh University’s Dr Jim Wilson along with historian and previous rector of St Andrews University, Alistair Moffat they tested almost 1,000 Scots to determine the genetic roots of people in the country with interesting results!

The results from the project found that Scotland has almost 100 different groups of male ancestry from across Europe and further afield, and more than 150 different types of female DNA from Europe, Asia and Africa.

According to Moffat and despite a long-held belief that Scotland’s ethnic make-up was largely Scots, Celtic, Viking and Irish, it is in fact “one of the most diverse nations on earth”,  The Guardian.



Researchers claimed that Scotland’s location could be a factor in the “astonishing and unique” origins of people from this country.

“The explanation is simple. We are a people on the edge of beyond; on the end of a massive continent. Peoples were migrating northwest and they couldn’t get any further. We have collected them,” said Moffat.

His team found West African, Arabian, south-east Asian and Siberian ancestry in Scotland.

They found that more than 1% of all Scotland’s DNA  are direct descendants of the Berber and Tuareg tribesmen of the Sahara, a lineage which is around 5600 years old! They also discovered DNA originating from the Roman-period Illyria, the area occupied by modern Croatia, which may relate to Roman occupation of lowland Scotland.

If you want more information about this topic, you can have a look at the book The Scots: A Genetic Journey.


These findings show that Scotland has always been a meeting point for cultures and civilisations from the around the world! Showing that Scottish people are both open and tolerant.

This is the spirit we want to transmit at Aberdeen Mela One World Day, a festival open to everyone in Aberdeen, the North East and Scotland – no matter our origin, ethnicity, religion, age, or sexual orientation, the important is to work together to make our community a better place!

And don’t forget, see you everyone on Sunday 30th of July at Westburn Park!


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