Since Dr. Moira McTaggart published her findings on the X-factor in 1990, mutants have exploded into the public consciousness. Today, about 5% of the human population has a copy of the X-Factor gene, and about 1% will manifest a recognizable mutation. Mutations manifest with puberty, typically between the ages of 10 and 14. There is no way to test whether the carrier of an X-Factor gene will develop a mutation for certain.
See the history of mutants in New York City for details.
Since mutants burst into the general public eye in 2001 with Magneto's attack on Liberty Island, the United States has struggled with the question of mutants, crime, and safety. It has passed a number of federal laws on the subject, fought a Supreme Court battle, and put numerous state-level laws into place. It has created an all-mutant spy force and subsequently disbanded it after the leveling of Staten Island.
In general, the US takes an approach of extreme wariness when it comes to mutants. The Sensitive Positions law has been treated with enough wiggle room that many employers simply refuse to employ outted mutants, and there are colleges and universities that have used the same reasoning to deny admittance to those they know are mutants. All states now require mutant registration in order to obtain a driver's license, and most cities large enough to have a sizable mutant population have ghettoized them. It can be difficult for known mutants to rent an apartment or buy a house.
This reluctance to embrace what mutants have to offer has helped lead to a decline in the United States as a world power; their economy has struggled, especially in comparison to rising countries like China and India, and most people acknowledge China as the world's current cultural leader. Chinese movies, food, and styles are very popular in the United States, and Mandarin is widely taught.
In China, the government has embraced and harnessed the utility of mutation. Mandatory registration has been a reality for decades now. Most mutants are involved in mandatory Chinese military or civil service, and it's extremely unusual for China's borders to let mutants leave. China is an economic and cultural powerhouse in part because of its military and economic strength. It's entirely speculation to say that China's position as the world's greatest superpower is owed to its approach to its mutant populace, but there is no denying that China's strength is bulwarked by its mutant power.
India is an independent mutant military power in its own right. India's military stands in a consistent defensive posture against China on one side and Pakistan on the other. Armed conflict with China seems eventually to be inevitable; a few armed scuffles and/or "misunderstandings" have occurred with tensions rising since the 2020s. India supplements its own military with mutant-powered mercenary forces, heavily populated by American ex-patriates.
In Russia and much of Eastern Europe, governments have largely ignored mutants as a specific problem in their legislation. Mafia groups are largely run by mutants and are highly interested in gaining more as members. They often go to extremes to locate and acquire those with useful skills, whether they are interested or not. With the addition of mutants, mafia control and violence has escalated substantially.
In the Middle East, most individuals view mutants as unnatural and hold a personal bias against them. Extreme violence against mutants is common, and many do not make it out of puberty. Middle Eastern governments don't usually bother with laws. Most mutants who hail from the Middle East either live in secret or immigrate to a more friendly location.
The continent of Africa has thrived over the past century under the continuing efforts of the African Union, whose position on mutation is more or less a "live and let live" position, though individual member nations differ widely in their treatment of the subject. Agrarian improvements, foreign aid, increased access to education and improved economic stability have been hallmarks of the past few decades.
Western Europe has a history of tolerance and even acceptance of mutants. This trend reversed rather dramatically, however, when several sizable cities in the Netherlands were completely decimated in 2023 by a gang of teenage mutants whose motivations were never discovered. While a few countries (most notably Sweden and Iceland) still attempt to maintain cordial relations with mutantkind, the EU declared that mutants must be registered in order to travel freely between countries. This requirement has led to a quiet but persistent prejudice against mutants that has persisted even after the EU's dissolution in 2028.
The Catholic Church, headed by Pope Felix VI, a Jesuit from the Sudan, encourages love and acceptance of mutants as of all God's children, but meets considerable pushback for this position throughout the world.
If you want to use some of this information in a character background or a plot, please talk to staff! These are broad strokes and we can be flexible about the details.