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Genetics and the Origins of the Finns

  1. Reijo Norio

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020806



How to Cite

Norio, R. 2008. Genetics and the Origins of the Finns. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. The Family Federation of Finland Väestöliitto, Department of Medical Genetics, Helsinki, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (13 JUN 2013)


The population of Finland initiated from neighbouring south-eastern areas 10 000 years ago when the glacial ice melted, and it developed further from several European sources, among them the Ukrainian and Iberian refuges.

According to nuclear gene studies, the Finns belong to the European family, with some eastern components. In mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) studies, the Finns are indistinguishable from other Europeans. High values of Y-chromosomal C>T transition point to male population movements on the east–west axis.

The Finnish Disease Heritage (FDH) means overrepresentation of approximately 40 rare recessive disorders. It is due to national isolation between Sweden and Russia and regional isolation from 500-year-old internal migrations. This rare disease flora enjoys favourable conditions for clinical and molecular genetic research.


  • Finland;
  • population genetics;
  • hereditary diseases in Finland;
  • mtDNA;
  • Y-chromosome