You might think: In countries where writing and reading is done from right to left, you will find more left-handed people. But it turned out to be the opposite.
Most left-handers are found in Western countries. In the Netherlands, the United States and Canada, this percentage is about 13 percent. In countries where the language operates from right to left – mainly Asian and Arab countries – the number of left-handed people is less than 6 percent.
In many Islamic countries the left hand is considered unclean. Writing as well as eating and shaking hands are done with the right hand.
From a long time ago in some countries, the use of the left hand was associated with the devil and it was better to hide it or abandon it as soon as possible.
Why people prefer it at all and why it differs for a small number of people is still a great mystery. For example, animals do not show the same preference and it has not yet been possible to find a single responsible gene.
Thanks: the latest version of BBC Science Focus.
A small plus: Researchers believe left-handed use has something to do with genes. They suspect that 25 percent is genetic and 75 percent due to other factors. In 2019, a study found that 1 per cent of this genetic component is in the British population. Read more here: DNA found left-handed – it changes the structure of the brain.