Global Lactose Intolerance Figures
Approximately 33% of people are lactose intolerant1, although some 75% of adults exhibit decreased lactase activity1,2. Perhaps inevitably, lactose intolerance is more prevalent in areas that are less conducive to dairy farming, with the highest tolerance being around northern Europe with the frequency of intolerant increasing as we venture south (the exceptions to this rule are Australia and New Zealand, being as they are predominantly populated by descendants of European settlers who brought their farming practices with them)2. Beyond that, this can apply even within countries; India, for example, sees a sharp increase in the south compared to the north3.
|United Arab Emirates||80%b||9.2||7.4||2012||3|
b: Estimate based on surrounding countries average.
c: Rough estimate based on map at 3.
d: Average of north and south; estimates of 30% and 70% respectively.
e: Disparity between Jewish and Arab populations (70% and 80% respectively). Given the similar disparity in population size, an average of the two figures in largely unrepresentative. Working the two out separately and checking that data against the total results in approximately 70%.
f: Varies significantly between ethnic groups. This is a national average.
- Statistics Brain: Lactose Intolerance Statistics
- Wikipedia: Lactose Intolerance (Rev.2014/02/04;23:51b)
- Geotorrents: Global Geography of Milk Consumption and Lactose (In)Tolerance
- Canadian Digestive Health Foundation: Statistics
- Planet Lactose: Lactose-Free Milk in Denmark
- Cornell Chronicle: Lactose intolerance seems linked to ancestral struggles with harsh climate and cattle diseases, Cornell study finds
- Hadassah Medical Centre: Lactose Intolerance