Determining Your DNA Ethnicity Estimate

by Anna Swayne

People from all over the world are curious to know where they come from and who has contributed to who they are today.

DNA testing can shine some light on those questions though the ethnicity portion of your DNA test results.

At AncestryDNA we compare your DNA test to 350+ regions geographic regions around the world we have population data on and then give you your unique ethnicity estimate.

How can AncestryDNA tell you you’re say 43% Scandinavian or have a 24% Ireland/Scotland/Wales ethnicity estimate?

We’ve assembled one the of most comprehensive DNA datasets in the world, with thousands of DNA samples from people with deep roots in each of our over 350 different regions. This dataset makes up what we call a “reference panel.”

Each person in the reference panel is from a specific location and has a documented family tree indicating deep ancestry in a particular region.

To estimate your genetic ethnicity, we compare your DNA to the DNA of the people who make up the reference panel and then upload the results to your Ancestry account. These results can go back 500+ years and are an estimate based on current research. You can expect them to change and become even more refined as we do even more population genetic research.

Your ethnicity results are a record of what you inherited randomly from your two parents and are unique to you. That’s why your siblings’ DNA results may look a little different.

Your brother, for example, didn’t inherit the exact same DNA from your parents that you did, so your ethnicity results may not include all the regions or the same percentages from any region that your brother has.

This is what makes DNA a powerful research tool and allows you to discover connections to your past and learn more about the people and places in your family story in a way only you can.

DNA has the power to help us change the way we look at ourselves as we discover how unique we really are–and at the same time, how connected–and understand more about our personal history. Thanks for being a part of the AncestryDNA legacy.