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Alabama
0.3%
Georgia
0.3%
Kentucky
0.3%
Louisiana
0.3%
Mississippi
0.3%
South Carolina
0.3%
Tennessee
0.3%
Arkansas
0.2%
California
0.2%
Colorado
0.2%
Idaho
0.2%
Illinois
0.2%
Indiana
0.2%
Iowa
0.2%
Kansas
0.2%
Montana
0.2%
Nevada
0.2%
New Mexico
0.2%
North Dakota
0.2%
Ohio
0.2%
Oklahoma
0.2%
Pennsylvania
0.2%
Virginia
0.2%
West Virginia
0.2%
Wisconsin
0.2%
Wyoming
0.2%
Michigan
0.2%
Minnesota
0.2%
Missouri
0.2%
Nebraska
0.2%
South Dakota
0.2%
Texas
0.2%
Alaska
0.1%
Arizona
0.1%
Delaware
0.1%
Florida
0.1%
Hawaii
0.1%
Maine
0.1%
Maryland
0.1%
Massachusetts
0.1%
New Hampshire
0.1%
New Jersey
0.1%
New York
0.1%
Oregon
0.1%
Rhode Island
0.1%
Utah
0.1%
Vermont
0.1%
Washington
0.1%

Most Inbred States 2024

Most Inbred States 2024

Inbreeding is the production of offspring from the mating of individuals who are closely related. Inbreeding is taboo worldwide due to the high potential for sexual abuse, especially child abuse, and lasting trauma. Additionally, the chances of inheriting genetic disease significantly increase among children who are the result of inbreeding.

Researchers from the University of Queensland observed 450,000 genomes from people of European descent born between 1938 and 1967. Out of the group, 125 people met the inbreeding criteria, meaning the parents were either first-degree relatives (siblings) or second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, etc.). In this group, researchers found common health issues such as decreased cognitive abilities and muscular function, reduced height and lung function, and a greater risk of contracting diseases in general.

While inbreeding is incredibly taboo in the United States, it is somewhat legal in some states. While not widely practiced, first-cousin marriage is legal in 19 states, and some first-cousin marriages are legal in six states. Sexual relations and cohabitation are only prohibited in nine states. Approximately 0.2% of all marriages in the United States are between second cousins or closer. That means that there are about 250,000 Americans that are in these relationships.

Inbreeding is more common in the following states (in alphabetical order): Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Generally, inbreeding is more common in the southeast region of the U.S. and more rural states. Approximately 70% of inbred families live in desolate areas.

Inbreeding is common, specifically, in the eastern part of Kentucky, and the region is plagued by the stereotype that every family is an inbred family. While the stereotype is not entirely true, inbreeding rates are higher in eastern Kentucky than in any other part of the state. It is believed that this is partially because people have moved to the mountains in eastern Kentucky for the low cost of living and the lifestyle. Still, there are typically no other families living in these locations. The families that move there either don’t have the money to leave or do not want to leave, and the growing children typically inbreed to save their family name.

One family from Kentucky known for generations of inbreeding is the Fugate family. The Fugate family was relatively isolated from the rest of society for nearly 200 years. Their inbreeding led to several medical problems and recessive genes being passed down through each child, such as one that gave some of the offspring blue skin. The blue skin gene is a recessive gene that only appears when both parents are carriers of the gene. The inbreeding caused the recessive gene to appear in both parents.

Most Inbred States 2024

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State
Incest Rate
First Cousin Marriage Allowed
First Cousin Marriages Void
Out Of State Marriages By State Residents Void
All Out Of State Marriages Void
First Cousin Once Removed Marriage Allowed
Half Cousin Marriage Allowed
Adopted Cousin Marriage Allowed
First Cousin Sexual Relations or Cohabitation Allowed
Alabama0.3%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Georgia0.3%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Kentucky0.3%NoYesYesUnknownNoNoUnknownNo
Louisiana0.3%NoYesUnknownNoYesNoRequires judicial approval in writing.Yes
Mississippi0.3%NoYesYesUnknownYesUnknownYesNo
South Carolina0.3%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Tennessee0.3%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Arkansas0.2%NoYesNoNoYesUnknownUnknownYes
California0.2%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Colorado0.2%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Idaho0.2%NoUnknownUnknownUnknownYesUnknownUnknownYes
Illinois0.2%Only if both parties are 50 or older, or if one of the parties is infertile.NoNoNoYesNoUnknownNo
Indiana0.2%Only if both parties are 65 or older.YesNoNoYesYesYesYes
Iowa0.2%NoYesUnknownNoYesUnknownUnknownYes
Kansas0.2%NoYesNoNoYesYesUnknownYes
Michigan0.2%NoYesNoNoYesUnknownUnknownSexual conduct with a cousin who is mentally disabled, incapable, or incapacitated, physically helpless, or developmentally disabled due to autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or intellectual disability is a felony
Minnesota0.2%Only certain types.YesUnknownUnknownYesNoUnknownYes
Missouri0.2%NoYesUnknownUnknownYesUnknownUnknownYes
Montana0.2%NoYesUnknownUnknownYesYesUnknownYes
Nebraska0.2%NoYesNoNoYesYesYesYes
Nevada0.2%NoYesUnknownUnknownNoYesUnknownNo
New Mexico0.2%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
North Dakota0.2%NoYesYesNoYesNoUn­knownNo
Ohio0.2%NoNoNoNoNoUn­knownUn­knownYes
Oklahoma0.2%NoYesNoNoYesYesUn­knownYes
Pennsylvania0.2%NoYesUn­knownUn­knownYesUn­knownUn­knownYes
South Dakota0.2%NoYesNoNoYesYesUnknownNo
Texas0.2%NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
Virginia0.2%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
West Virginia0.2%NoUnknownUnknownUnknownYesNoYesYes
Wisconsin0.2%Only if the woman is at least 55 or either is permanently sterile.NoNoUnknownOnly if the woman is at least 55 or either is permanently sterile.YesYesNo
Wyoming0.2%NoYesNoNoYesUn­knownYesYes
Alaska0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Arizona0.1%Only if both parties are 65 or older or one is infertile.YesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Delaware0.1%NoYesUnknownYesYesUnknownYes
Florida0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Hawaii0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Maine0.1%Proof of genetic counseling from a genetic counselor required.NoNoNoYesUnknownYesYes
Maryland0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Massachusetts0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
New Hampshire0.1%NoYesYesYesYesUnknownNoYes
New Jersey0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
New York0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Oregon0.1%NoYesNoNoYesYesYesYes
Rhode Island0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Utah0.1%Only if both parties are 65 or older or both are 55 or older with a district court finding of infertility of either party.YesYesYesNoUnknownUnknownNo
Vermont0.1%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Washington0.1%NoYesNoNoNoNoUnknownYes
Connecticut0%Yes
District of Columbia0%YesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
North Carolina0%Yes
showing: 51 rows

Sources