Population Structure Among Han Chinese Is the Same as Among Native Britons

Han Chinese living in different provinces of China are about as closely related to one another as native Britons living in different areas of Britain

I noted in a previous post that that there appears to be very little genetic structure (differentiation) within the native British population. A new study by Chiang et al. (2017) documents that there is also very little population structure within the native Han Chinese population.

Chiang et al.’s Figure S4 shows pairwise Fst values (roughly the proportion of variance between groups) for 19 Chinese provinces (multiplied by 10,000 for clarity):

Values range from Fst ≈ 0 to Fst = 0.0029, with an average that looks to be about Fst ≈ 0.0008. These are highly similar to the values documented by Leslie et al. (2015) for areas of Britain, which ranged from Fst ≈ 0 to Fst = 0.003, with an average of Fst =0.0007.

It follows that Han Chinese living in different provinces of China are about as closely related to one another as native Britons living in different areas of Britain.

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