The nature and extent of genetic variation at 22 polymorphic DNA loci, belonging to three distinct classes, especially, 12 STR loci (D3S1358, vWA, FGA, D5S818, D13S317, D7S820, D8S1179, D21S11, D18S51, HPRTB, F13B, LPL), four VNTR loci (D1S7, D4S139, D5S110, D17S79), and six coding loci (HLDQA1, LDLR, GYPA, HBGG, D7S8, GC) were investigated among eight population groups of West Bengal and Manipur regions of India. Of these, two groups from West Bengal belong to Caucasoid and six (one in WB and five in Manipur) belong to Mongoloid stock. Both STR and the expressed loci show wide diversity among the eight populations. For example, Manipur Muslims show differences in allele frequency when compared to four other regional populations. Similarly, Garo, one of the Mongoloid populations of West Bengal, differ in allele frequency from their counterparts in the Manipur region. Departure from Hardy-Weinberg expectations was observed at certain loci in a few populations (e.g., D21S1137 in Kayastha and Brahmin, HUM F13B in Meitei). Heterozygosity values were higher for Caucasoid than Mongoloid groups. The overall gene differentiation (GST) for STR loci is higher (5.3%) than for those at the expressed region (4.6%). The clustering pattern of the eight populations differs with respect to different classes of genetic markers used. The dendrograms based on six coding loci (HLDQA1, LDLR, GYPA, HBGG, D7S8, GC) differs from those based on STR and VNTR markers. Caucasoid and Mongoloid groups form different clusters and Manipur Muslims are distinct from others. The clustering pattern corresponded with the spatial and ethnic affiliations of the populations. Using different classes of DNA loci at the coding and noncoding region will help to better understand the influence of population structure variables on the genetic structure of populations. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 16:311–327, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.