I come across the image below, according to which 'white women' would be only 4% of the world population.

Defend Our Diversity: White Women: Only 4% of World Population

Since among 'white women' there are thousands of millions of women living, for example, in Australia, South America, South Africa, Russia and so on, do you think that that '4%' is a bit of an underestimate?

  • 43
    Both "white" and "woman" would need qualification. "White" can be fuzzy as some people exclude Hispanics from that category while others don't. "Woman" can be fuzzy because it might refer to all females, or to a subset of females in a certain age group. The image itself appears to focus on women who almost all have blonde/red hair and there don't appear to be any young children or elderly females, so it seems plausible that it may be using narrower definitions of "white" and "woman".
    – Nat
    Mar 7, 2017 at 2:08
  • 3
    @Nat, I agree with you that "white" would need qualification, I don't think that woman would need one. The fact that the picture has only young attractive women in it doesn't mean that they don't count all women.
    – SIMEL
    Mar 7, 2017 at 10:36
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    I'm voting to close as it is unclear what you are asking. "White" in this context is just too ill defined. Considering the likely source, they probably excluded Slavs, Jews, Arabs, Hispanics and so on, but it's just not clear.
    – tim
    Mar 7, 2017 at 15:26
  • 12
    The image seems to have originated from the Nazi site the Daily Stormer. Andrew Anglin uses it in a blog post in 2014 (the collection of images of women has been used previously, but that seems to be the earliest use of the tag-line which includes the claim). In it, he specifies that he specifically means "White Aryan Woman". You should include that in your question, as it is an important part of the claim(and also because it would remove some of the unclarity and speculation in answers).
    – tim
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:21
  • 2
    @tim: in that case, I take it he means Indo-Iranyan, right? Which reminds me of Tolkien's famous reply to a german publisher: lettersofnote.com/2012/03/…
    – ninjalj
    Mar 8, 2017 at 16:24

4 Answers 4


The world population is estimated to be 7.4 billion source. 4% of that is 296 million.

The population of Europe is 740 million source, North America - 565 million source, South America - 410 million source for a total of 1.715 billion people.

I assume "white" means someone who is predominately of European decent, which includes hispanics.

Assuming Europe and North America are roughly 70% white (Canada is 76%, USA is 72%, France is 85%) gives us 913 million whites. Half of those, 456 million, are females.

Brazil, the biggest country in South America by population is 47% white. If we use that number for the whole of South America, that gives us 192 million whites, 96 million white females.

So the total number of white females is roughly 456 + 96 = 552 million, significantly larger than the 296 million number in the claim.

People have been pointing out that female is not the same as woman. This graph seems to suggest that in 2015 females under 19 were ~ 10% of the total EU population (or 20% of the female population). If we extrapolate this number for Europe and NA's total white female population of 456 million, we get 91 million who are under 19, or 364 million white adult women.

If we do the same for the total number of white females (SA's population might be a bit younger) we'll get 441 million white adult women.

This not so quick and dirty estimate shows that likely there are hundreds of millions more white females than the claim states. It could easily be a 50% understatement, or close to 6% of the world's population and not 4%.

  • 1
    Please avoid discussions on the definition of words in the comments. We are going to delete them without further notice.
    – Sklivvz
    Mar 7, 2017 at 17:38
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    @Sklivvz The meanings of whiteness is very important for the answer to this question. Where should that be discussed? Mar 7, 2017 at 19:19
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    @MarcusYoder you can use Skeptics Chat. Different answers use different evidence based on different definitions, and that's OK. Having 20 comments of people disagreeing with each other based on opinions, not OK.
    – Sklivvz
    Mar 8, 2017 at 1:10
  • 2
    "Hispanics" are people who are related to some branch of the global Spanish-speaking culture. It's a word not unlike "Anglophone" or "Francophone".
    – Kaz
    Mar 8, 2017 at 3:11
  • An important point: Brazil has significatively more non-white population than most of its neighbors. Argentina and Peru (the two other big countries down south) for instance have very little black population. So this answer is erring on the safe side here, which is always a good thing.
    – GnP
    Mar 10, 2017 at 13:43

In order to determine if a statement is true (or rather, not false), we should use the most generous definitions we can. In this case, "white women" is the term in question.

To demonstrate "4% of the world is white women" without context is false, we must show no reasonable definition of the sentence is true.

We do have some context; the flags on the faces of the people in the picture.

The strictest definition of "white" I can find is "Northern European Ancestry" source.

For North/West Europe, I will use the populations of French, German/Dutch/Austrian, Scandinavian/Finland, Switzerland and from the British Isles, and people from that convex hull of nations, and the "white" colonies of Canada, USA and Australia.

This is based off a 1920s racist definition of white, but it is a definition.

The countries I will use are USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, continental France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, based off the 1920s racist "White" definition above.

The population of these countries in millions is:

318, 35, 23, 64, 5, 81, 66, 8, 8, 11, 17, 6, 5, 10, 5.

The sum is 662 million.

Roughly half of humans are female, so this makes 331 million female human candidates.

Now, another way to restrict what "white women" mean is to make "women" refer to "adult women" Source.

In the USA, 25% of the population is age 18 and under source. In the EU, 15% of the population is age 14 and under source. I'll use the average of these two (80%) to determine what percentage of female humans count as "women".

80% of 331 million is 265 million.

World population is 7.4 billion, so 265 "white" "women" is 3.5% of that total.

Now, not everyone from northern European countries or their colonies is "white" under this restrictive definition. source. So this means 3.5% should be multiplied by some unknown factor Y%.

On the other hand, there will be "white" people outside of these countries.

But 3.5% is sufficiently below 4% that this makes the above claims plausible, if you consider only adult female Northern Europeans to be "white women".

  • This 1888 schoolbook says "white" includes Irish, Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks, Russians, Arabs and Hindoos. books.google.com/…
    – DavePhD
    Mar 7, 2017 at 16:02
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    What this answer does is show that there exists some set of definitions and assumptions that might be historically reasonable (but racist as hell) that could generate the result in the original question. This shows that answering the question of whether or not the original number is "correct" (whatever that means) is entirely a matter of definitions. And our mods have forbidden discussions of definitions in comments. So the question is stuck, and should probably just be closed.
    – KAI
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:18
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    You took only west and northern European countries as your definition of "white", but the picture in the claim contains women with the national flags of the Ukraine, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Poland, clearly who ever created this picture regarded all European as white and not just northern european.
    – SIMEL
    Mar 8, 2017 at 7:50

This question is difficult to answer, partly because different nations record demographic data at different times and in different ways, and partly because some don't even bother. France for one doesn't record its citizens ethnicity, so we don't know how many French citizens are ethnically French. There are estimates of course, so we can know roughly, but not precisely.

But then there's even more problems when it comes to the new world, where the question of whiteness becomes more cultural and less obvious. How do we define whiteness? How do we define non-whiteness? Barack Obama has a black father and white mother, and identifies as, and is identified as, black. It seems in north America whiteness is exclusive, while in Latin America this is less so. 47% of Brazilians identify as white, though most Brazilians have a colourful and diverse ancestry. This, incidentally, is part of why Spain's colonial empire fell apart. It became impossible to enforce the casta system after a few generations of blacks, natives, whites, and others blending their ancestries. So how we're meant to make heads or tails of it is anyone's guess.

For simplicity we're going to just go on self identification and census records. Still, the question remains. What is whiteness? I'm going to assume that whiteness means European ancestry, and so (minus colonies) it stops at the straights of Gibraltar, Bosporus, Caucuses, and Urals. Again, the best we can get is rough estimates. If we go on the largest ethnic groups, including significant white minorities, then it seems that around 90% of most EU states are white, while Russia is 80% white.

So, this would mean that given the EU's population of 510m, plus Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus' combined of about 200m, assuming Russia 80% white, while Ukraine and Belarus 90%... leaves us with a grand total of about 624m white Europeans.

Outside of Europe, from the populations of former colonies, this data suggests the total white population is about 480m. So the total white population of the world is roughly speaking 1,102m.

Now, I am going to assume that "white women" basically translates as "females of majority European ancestry". And I'm going to assume a 50-50 gender split, which isn't going to be exactly true, but close enough. So in that case we're left with a world population of white females of roughly 550m. Out of a world population which is presently 7,400m. This means that we can estimate that 7-8% of the world's population are "white women".

In conclusion and according to the stated assumptions: almost double the initial figure, but still a very small group against the world population. And yet to imply five hundred million people aren't numerous enough to support "diversity" (of what?), I don't know. That's still a lot of people, even if a small proportion of the whole.


Not according to the US government definition of "white".

White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

So all European women, and Middle Eastern women from Turkey, Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran, as well as North African women from countries like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are considered white. Beyond this, all descendants of immigrants from these places are considered white. So most women in North and South America, including descendants of Spanish and Portuguese immigrants, are considered white.

  • "decent" => "descent" ? Mar 7, 2017 at 15:30
  • Hmmm, Wonder what the US considers "A person having origins in any of the original peoples ... and who does not maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment." None of the above? Mar 7, 2017 at 22:58
  • How does the one drop rule affect your math?
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:06
  • @chux - Depends on the rest of their ethnic makup. There are vanishingly few full-bloods still walking around. So realistically, its whatever you are passing for. In some cases that is white, in others black.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:11
  • The US goverment definition might not be the best one around. Would most people really consider Iranians, say, white? Would most Iranians consider themselves as such?
    – Obie 2.0
    May 29, 2017 at 2:55

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