Palm Reading Perspectives

Multi-Perspective Palm Reading: About Hands & how to make a Hand-Diagnosis

The F.B.I. Fingerprint Types vary significant among Ethnic Populations!

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Recently the F.B.I. (the US Federal Bureau of Investigation) has adopted a new computer system which allows them to conduct 165,000 fingerprint checks a day – more than twice faster than the previous system did! More interestingly, fingerprints vary significantly among the ethnic populations around the world!

The FBI has begun using a new computer system that takes just seven minutes to search a database of 70 million sets of fingerprints for a possible match with the fingerprints of a suspect. That’s down from the old average search time of 17 minutes. In a recent side-by-side, five-day test of the new and old computer systems, the new FBI system turned up 910 additional matches between prints submitted to the bureau and prints in the FBI’s database from earlier arrests. Engineers computed the accuracy rate of the new system at 99.6 percent, compared with the rate of 92 percent for the old system, which had been in use for more than a decade.


Each single fingerprint in a person has unique minitue characteristics. However, fingerprints also have characteristics which do not vary among every person! These characteristics are described by the fingerprint ‘types’.

However, in time various fingerprint type systems have been developed. Sir Francis Galton presented at the end of the 19th century the classic model for fingerprint type recognition – the model was based on the number of deltas (triradii) that are present in a fingerprint, result in 3 types: whorls, loops and arches.

But since the 80’s the FBI’s model for fingerprint classification became generally accepted as the best model to study the fingerprint types. In their classic work ‘The Science of Fingerprints‘, the FBI presents the following 8 fingerprint types:

The 8 fingerprint types described by the F.B.I.


The occurence of the individual fingerprint types vary among the populations around the world. This was e.g. described by the Fingerprint World Map, which was earlier presented.

And in the perspective of Multi-Perspective Palm Reading it is always important to be aware that fingerprint type partly depends on ethnicity!

In 2005 a US study focussed on the local variations of the 7 most common fingerprint types: the whorl, ulnar loop, radial loop, tented arch, arch, central pocket loop, and the double loop (only the least common of the FBI types, the  ‘accidental whorl’, was not included in the study).

The study was conducted among a sample of 20.000 US people, including: 5.000 asians, 5.000 blacks, 5.000 hispanics, and 5.000 whites.

And it is very interesting to see that this ‘local’ sample from the US state Georgia, confirms the patters that are also seen in the 1943 ‘fingerprints world map’ + the samples which I have featured in my article:

Whorls are BY FAR most common among asians (and on the ring finger);
Ulnar loops are most common among blacks & whites (and on the pinky finger);
Radial loops are BY FAR most common among whites (and BY FAR on the index finger);
Arches are most common among in blacks & hispanics (and on the index finger).

More news about fingerprints is available here:


The key-results from the 2005 article are presented in the two tables below:



Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 3, 2011 at 4:31 am

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