We are surrounded by relatives every day and don’t even know it

Everybody’s curious when it comes to discovering unknown factoids about their family tree, but new research from the UK makes clear just how diversely spread our DNA really is. A new demographic analysis by genealogy service AncestryDNA provides some truly fascinating statistics that highlight just how interwoven the family histories of British people can be. Turns out, for the average Brit, there’s a one-in-300 chance that a complete stranger is in fact their cousin.

“It’s incredible to think that many of us will be in daily contact with unknown relatives – with no idea that we share much more than the same sporting team or commute to work,” said Brad Argent, commercial director of AncestryDNA. Using a population growth model along with census information and fertility rate data from various sources, researchers at AncestryDNA found that the average British person has 193,000 living cousins within Britain. That’s enough cousins to fill Wembley Stadium twice over.

And it only gets weirder: the average Brit would come across two cousins for every 2.6 square kilometres (1 square mile) of land in Britain, and Londoners are estimated to share their daily commute on the Tube (the city’s famous underground network) with some 12,000 or so unknown relatives, with a 24 percent chance they’re in fact sharing the ride with a cousin. Source: We are surrounded by relatives every day and don’t even know it, research reveals

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