Hungarians show highest rate of Ashkenazi genes after Israelis, company says
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Hungarians show highest rate of Ashkenazi genes after Israelis, company says

MyHeritage, which sells commercial DNA tests, says 7.5% of 5,000 Hungarians tested had over 25% Jewish Ashkenazi genes, in a country where just 1% are recognized as Jews

The new 'House of Fates' Holocaust museum, housed in what was the former 'Jozsefvarosi' railway station, is pictured in Budapest on January 21, 2019. (Ferenc Isza/AFP)
The new 'House of Fates' Holocaust museum, housed in what was the former 'Jozsefvarosi' railway station, is pictured in Budapest on January 21, 2019. (Ferenc Isza/AFP)

JTA — Genetic tests conducted in Hungary suggest that the relative prevalence there of Jewish genes is double that of the United States.

In recent testing conducted by the MyHeritage firm and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, slightly more than 7.5 percent of 4,981 people tested had more than 25% Jewish Ashkenazi genes, the firm announced Tuesday.

Hungary has about 100,000 people who are considered Jewish by the largest organization representing Hungarian Jewry. That number accounts for just 1% of Hungary’s population.

Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of MyHeritage, said in a statement that testing in other countries suggests that Hungary has the highest prevalence of Ashkenazi Jewish genes after Israel.

A Jewish Hungarian girl, covered by an Israeli flag, looks at the memorial of shoes remembering the Holocaust victims on the bank of the River Danube during a commemoration of Hungary’s Holocaust Day in downtown Budapest, Hungary, April 16, 2008. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

In tests conducted in the United States and Canada, only 3.5% of tested individuals displayed Ashkenazi Jewish genes at a rate exceeding 25% of their genetic material.

Testing in Russia, Argentina and Ukraine all showed greater prevalence than in the United States but smaller than in Hungary, according to the study by MyHeritage, which markets DNA tests commercially.

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