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Bittles thinks that relationships between relatives may be on the rise in America because of immigration.Immigration is relevant because consanguinity is much more common in some other countries.
In five countries, more than 50 percent of all marriages are between people who are second cousins or closer, and in Burkina Faso, it’s estimated that two of every three marriages are consanguineous.
They include Australia, where it’s estimated that 0.5 percent of all marriages are consanguineous.
You’ll notice that if you take a global perspective, consanguinity is not rare at all.
To find out whether the share has changed since then, I emailed Alan Bittles, a professor at the Centre for Human Genetics at Edith Cowan University, which, like you, is in Western Australia.
Bittles has spent almost 40 years researching consanguinity and has published more than 100 papers on the topic.