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Pamela Prindle Fierro

Who has the most twins?

By October 17, 2011

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While it has long been observed that twins are more prevalent in certain parts of the world, a new comprehensive research study establishes some interesting trends about concentrations of multiple birth. In the past, data was not consistently reported, but this new report consolidates birth rates from more than 75 countries between 1987 and 2010.

The average rate of twins is 13.6 twins per 1,000 births. That rate holds fairly true for developed countries in North America and Europe.

So where are the twins?

Benin: The Central African country of Benin produced the highest rate of twin: 27.9/1,000. While all of Central Africa has a higher than average twin rate (18/1,000), Benin reported even more twins! Like Nigeria, long recognized as a hotbed of twinning, Benin is home to many families from the Yoruba tribe. Some attribute their abundance of twins to diet; the cassava, a type of yam, may induce hyperovulation.

Where aren't the twins?

Twinning rates are lowest in Asia and Latin America, with an average rate of 8/1,000 births.

The study doesn't clarify any of the causes of twinning, and it doesn't distinguish between monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (fraternal) twins. In general, the rate of identical twins remains quite low (3.5/1,000 births) and consistent across populations and throughout time. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, are influenced by many factors, such as heredity, diet, reproductive assistance, and maternal age.

More Resources:

How to Have Twins
The Odds of Twins
Unevenly Distributed: Twins in Developing Countries

Comments
October 28, 2011 at 3:33 am
(1) Muhambe Richard says:

The report on these is true though specific research has to be conducted in specific areas and reason for twinning. I’m a father of twins and coincidentally in our village in the same year 2008 over five families in our small village had twin births.
Let there be a research on the prevalence of twin births in the world more so in the certain parts. For my case i attribute the birth to some fertility herbs my wife had to use folllowing delays to get our second born.

May 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(2) Jonathan says:

Benin is in Western Africa, not Central Africa

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