• Jose Arrieta

Average Skin Color

Updated: May 19, 2021

The other day I was thinking: Am I darker or lighter than the average human? I imagined I could not answer the question and then got intrigued by the fact it is actually possible.

There is research on the average skin color by country (see here) See the image below.

We also know the number of people in each country (here). From these two data points, we can make a weighted average and compare. It takes a while to copy the skin colors from every country but after a while, we get the baseline answer. As a side note, the average of two RGB colors is the root-mean-square of the two values - weird! Anyway, what's the average human skin color right now? This one:

Average Skin Color Pantone 468 C

For comparison, this is my skin color.

My Skin Color Pantone 7521 C

I am clearly darker than the average person in the world. I am not sure how valid the results are. Probably not much. But the fact one can arrive at any kind of answer tells us quite a bit of how much society cares about the melanin content of our skin.

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