Literature that describes the prevalence of inherited red-green color deficiency in different populations is reviewed. Large random population surveys show that the prevalence of deficiency in European Caucasians is about 8% in men and about 0.4% in women and between 4% and 6.5% in men of Chinese and Japanese ethnicity. However, the male: female prevalence ratio is markedly different in Europeans and Asians. Recent surveys suggest that the prevalence is rising in men of African ethnicity and in geographic areas that have been settled by incoming migrants. It is proposed that founder events and genetic drift, rather than natural selection, are the cause of these differences.