Scotland's redheads will be counted in new DNA project

Karen Gillan Karen Gillan, who plays 'Amy Pond' in Dr Who is one of Scotland's most famous red heads

A new project to find out why Scotland has the most red-headed people in the world is being launched.

13% of people in Scotland have red hair, compared to only 1 or 2% in the rest of the world's population.

Researchers from the ScotlandsDNA project will count how many redheads there are in the country.

The information will then be used to make a "ginger" map of the British Isles.

Researchers estimate 650,000 Scots have red hair.

But the number of those who carry the red hair gene could be much higher - with as many as 1.6 million!

That's because person who doesn't have red hair can still carry the gene.

Red-haired children

The ScotlandsDNA project is launching a new test which costs £25 and will tell participants whether or not they're a carrier of a red haired gene

They hope it might explain why Scotland is the most red-headed nation on earth.

Managing director of ScotlandsDNA Alastair Moffat reckons it might be down to the weather: "We all need vitamin D from sunshine, but Scotland is cloudy (so) we need light skin to get as much vitamin D from the Sun as possible."

More on This Story

  • Newsround logoWatch Newsround

    Watch the latest update from Newsround, CBBC's news programme for children.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.