AncestryDNA® ethnicity estimates now provide even greater precision.

DNA science is always improving, and we're proud to announce our latest ethnicity estimate update. We've added new regions in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas in our most precise ethnicity estimates yet.

Explore our latest update and see how your results may have improved.

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See the latest ethnicity estimate update using the interactive map below.

More precise results and eight new regions to call home

With this latest update we have added:

  • Two new regions to West Asia: the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula
  • One new region in Africa: Egypt
  • The Aegean Islands in Europe
  • Bengal in Asia
  • Three Indigenous regions in the Americas: Panama & Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Chile

Your DNA stays the same, but the tools we use to analyze your DNA and determine your ethnicity estimate are constantly evolving and improving. With this update we've added new regions in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas in our most precise ethnicity estimates yet.

Inside our latest breakthrough

See what makes this ethnicity update so special and how our science team made it happen.

Why are we updating customers’ ethnicity estimates?

While your DNA stays the same, our science is constantly improving to provide more precise and informative ethnicity estimates. This year we added more samples to our reference panel, which expands the number and diversity of populations we can compare your DNA to.

How do we name our regions?

Representing the people of the world fairly is our priority. We work with a diverse network of outside scholars and experts to develop and review how our regions are named.

Why might your ethnicity estimate include a place your family is not from?

Because people didn’t always stay in one place, some of the ethnicity regions your DNA looks most similar to today may not be where your ancestors lived.

Find more of your family story.

There are many paths to finding your family history. Whichever way you choose—tracing your family generations back with a family tree or uncovering your ethnicity with AncestryDNA®—we’ll be here to help you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Details about the updated estimates

  • While your DNA stays the same, our science is constantly improving to provide more precise and informative ethnicity estimates. With this update we added more samples to our reference panel, which expands the number and diversity of populations we can compare your DNA to. You may see new regions or changes in your percentages with this update.
  • Creating an ethnicity estimate based on your DNA sample is based on probability, statistics, shared DNA, the AncestryDNA database, and ongoing research and science. AncestryDNA calculates your ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to a reference panel made up of DNA samples from more than 55,000 people, representing 77 groups. Because our reference panel and the way we analyze your DNA both change as we get more data, your ethnicity results can change as we get more data, too. See https://www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/dna-help/ethnicity/estimates for a deeper dive into your ethnicity estimate.
  • For this update, Ancestry’s team of scientists increased the AncestryDNA reference panel size we use to make ethnicity estimates. The updated reference panel has more samples from more parts of the world to increase the total number of regions available for analysis from 70 to 77. We calculate your AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to a reference panel made up of thousands of DNA samples from people with a long family history in one place or within one group. Our reference panel is robust due to the millions of family trees linked to our DNA customers.
    Because this update is more precise overall, many users will see improvements in their ethnicity estimates as percentages change. Others will see new or updated regions in their ethnicity estimates. Ancestry will continue to work to expand the diversity of our products to provide more precise ethnicity estimates to our customers.
  • To estimate your genetic ethnicity, we compare your DNA to the DNA of people with long family histories from specific parts of the world. This group of individuals is called our reference panel. The unique AncestryDNA reference panel is a collection of over 55,000 DNA samples from around the globe that we use to identify 77 different populations.

    It’s unique because most samples come from our database, and their heritage is verified through Ancestry family trees.
  • Representing the people of the world fairly is a priority. We work with a diverse network of scholars and experts to develop and review how our regions are named. We go through several steps to name our ethnicity regions. We start with a set of maps that show us where we typically find a particular ethnicity region in the results of people who are native to an area. We also consider who will typically be getting a region in their results to make sure a name is broad or narrow enough to be a good fit. That gives us a starting point. From there we sometimes test various names with users local to an area or ask them for suggestions. Finally, we have a panel of outside subject-matter experts with local and scholarly expertise who review our names for both accuracy and cultural sensitivity.

Details about new or changed regions you might see

  • With this update, we ’ve added more samples to the reference panel we use to generate ethnicity estimates. As a result, we’re able to add eight new ethnicity regions, including the Aegean Islands, Bengal, Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Levant, and three new regions in the Americas: Indigenous Americas—Panama & Costa Rica, Indigenous Americas—Ecuador, and Indgenous Americas—Chile.

    A larger reference panel also allows us to better tell neighboring regions apart and improve existing regions. For example, many people with Indigenous roots in Guam or Australia and the Torres Strait Islands will see significant increases in their percentages for these regions. In addition, the Sweden region has become Sweden & Denmark and provides improved results for people of both Swedish and Danish descent. Several other regions also saw significant improvements, including Southern Japanese Islands, Basque, Cyprus, Greece & Albania, Northern Italy, Sardinia, and Indigenous Americas—Yucatan.
  • The updated Sweden & Denmark region provides improved results for people of both Swedish and Danish heritage. On average, people of either heritage will see an increase in the percentage of Sweden & Denmark in their results when compared to the old Sweden region.

    People from places near or with historical ties to Denmark (including northern Germany, the northern Netherlands, and Southeast England) may also see more Sweden & Denmark in their results.
  • Our updated Sweden & Denmark region provides improved results for people of both Swedish and Danish heritage. On average, people with Swedish heritage will see a slight increase in Sweden & Denmark in their results when compared to the old Sweden region.

    Until now, Denmark has not had a separate region, and most people with Danish heritage saw that reflected through a mix of neighboring regions in their results, including Sweden, Norway, England & Northwestern Europe, and Germanic Europe. With this update, on average, people with Danish roots will see a significant increase in their assignment to the Sweden & Denmark region compared to the old Sweden region.

    Most Swedes and Danes will also continue to see differing combinations of ethnicity regions in their results. People from Sweden often see some Norway and Finland in their results along with Sweden & Denmark. Danes, on the other hand, more often see some England & Northwestern Europe and Germanic Europe in theirs.
  • We added two new regions in part of the area previously covered by our Indigenous Americas—Andean region. The two new regions are Indigenous Americas—Ecuador and Indigenous Americas—Chile. We renamed our Andean region to Indigenous Americas—Bolivia & Peru to reflect that region’s smaller scope. You may now have percentages from any of these three regions.
  • Adding our new Indigenous Americas—Panama & Costa Rica region has affected results in neighboring regions, including Indigenous Americas—Central.
  • More DNA samples in our reference panel means we’re better able to tell neighboring regions apart. Our Indigenous Americas—Yucatan region is one that saw significant improvement in this update.
  • We changed the name to better reflect our data and the diversity of the area covered by this region, which includes multiple nation states and many different ethnic and cultural groups.
  • The name Japan better reflects our data and avoids any confusion with a much narrower area the name Northern Japan might imply.
  • We retired our Middle East region in this update. You may now find your results for this area of the world reflected in one or more of three new ethnicity regions—Arabian Peninsula, Levant, and Egypt—or other neighboring regions.

Questions for existing Customers

  • This updated ethnicity estimate is provided free of charge to AncestryDNA customers.
  • No, your new ethnicity estimate will appear in your customer dashboard whether you are logged in via mobile or desktop. If you would like to view your new results in the AncestryDNA app, please ensure you have downloaded the most updated version.
  • Click on the Updated July 2021 link at the bottom of your results to view or download the prior version of your ethnicity estimate. Access to your prior estimate will be available for 90 days.
  • No, we can update your results without you having to provide a new sample.
  • When you receive your DNA results, they’ll include the latest ethnicity estimate.
  • As soon as your new results are ready, we will automatically apply this update. The new results will replace your current ethnicity estimate.

What should I expect from my updated estimate?

  • We’ve added thousands of additional samples to the reference panel we use to determine your ethnicity estimate. With this additional data, we can now identify 77 different world populations to compare your DNA to, and we’re also better able to tell neighboring regions apart. With this increased precision you could see changes to the regions your DNA is assigned to, your percentages, or both.
  • Don’t worry – your DNA hasn’t changed! What’s changed is the amount of data we have available. We’ve added thousands of additional samples to the reference panel we use to determine your ethnicity estimate. This means we can now identify 77 different world populations to compare your DNA against. Our larger reference panel lets us provide results that are even more precise. Analyzing DNA to estimate a person’s ethnicity is at the cutting edge of science – and in a field that is evolving rapidly, we are always keeping an eye on the latest developments and how we can use them to make improvements to our test result.
  • Increased precision means we’re better able to tell neighboring regions apart. This means that some regions from previous results may not appear in your results anymore.
  • Your latest ethnicity estimate takes advantage of a larger reference panel, which allows us to estimate your ethnicity with an even higher degree of precision.
  • We’re confident in the science behind our proprietary algorithm and the precision of these results. The consumer genomics industry is in its early stages and these results are as precise as possible for where the science is today. At the same time however, we'll keep using advances in science to enhance our customers’ experiences, which means that these results will evolve over time as the resolution of DNA estimates improve. A good example of this is our ability to break up large regions into smaller, more specific regions – which means you may see more precise geographies in your ethnicity estimate over time.
  • Your latest ethnicity estimate takes advantage of a larger reference panel, which allows us to estimate your ethnicity with a higher degree of precision. That said, your DNA is only one element of a much larger picture, and your family history and relatives are an important role in your genetic make-up, even if they are not specifically reflected in your AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate.
  • While we each inherit 50% of our DNA from our father and 50% from our mother, that also means that there’s 50% of each parent’s DNA we don’t get. If your parent only has a small percentage of DNA from a specific region, you might not inherit any of that portion of their DNA.
  • The change will not affect your DNA matches.
  • While we are adding several new European Jewish communities at the same time as this update, ethnicity updates don’t affect communities. Communities use a different methodology to detect them. Our proprietary Genetic Communities™ technology determines communities by identifying groups of people in our DNA network who have more matches to each other than to people in other parts of the network and searching the linked family trees of people in the community to identify ancestors who were in the same area at the same time.
  • Yes! To share your ethnicity results with friends and family outside of Ancestry, click the “Share” button on your results page. Then you can share your results via various social media or messaging channels, download an image of your results, or copy a shareable link of your results. Once you share it, anybody can use it to access a summary of your results.

Miscellaneous

  • We assign the most likely percentage for each of your ethnicity regions based on our analysis. These are the percentages used to make up your pie chart. However, our analysis also provides a number of other percentages that are not as likely but still possible. These make up your range.
  • We have been creating more detailed “subregions” with each of our ethnicity and community updates. For example, in our 2020 ethnicity update, we were able to split Italy into Northern Italy and Southern Italy. And in this year’s update, we retired our Middle East region because we now have three regions in the area: Egypt, Levant, and Arabian Peninsula.

    We also have more than 1,400 DNA communities which are, by and large, much more precise than are the ethnicity regions. For example, in a recent update we added almost 80 of these communities to Pennsylvania alone!

    We typically update ethnicity regions once a year and add new communities several times a year.
  • If Ancestry does not have sufficient data to identify a genetic profile for a specific population or region, your ethnicity estimate will most likely reflect neighboring regions. However, it is important to note two factors. First, some populations do not differ enough at a genetic level to be distinguished as separate regions. Second, countries change over time, and borders on a map today do not necessarily represent genetic boundaries, so there may be population groups or countries that do not fall into a single region.
  • Yes. Your previous privacy settings will remain the same with this update. Additionally, you can adjust your settings at any time via your DNA Results Summary Page. We also offer a host of resources and tools that help you manage your privacy settings on our website.
  • Yes, you can find it on our White Papers page.